Stand Off

Created by C. Scott Davis and Mark Davis

 

Stand Off is a simple memory/strategy card game for two players.

It is played with a standard 52-card pack (jokers removed).

The object of the game is to be the first player to get five cards of a matching suit.


Rules

Both players are dealt five cards, three face-down and two face-up, and the remaining cards are placed to one side, as shown here:

Players are not allowed to look at the face down cards.

The player who didn't deal, plays first.

One each turn, a player may do any one of the following:

At any point that a player believes that all of their cards (face-up and face-down) are of the same suit, they may choose to "declare". Having declared, they then turn all of their cards face-up.

If all of their cards are of the same suit, they win that hand.

If any player declares and doesn't have five cards of the same suit, they lose (see "Scoring" for exceptions).

The player who wins deals the next hand.


Example

In the following example, it is Player 2's turn:

Player 2 may make any one of the following moves on this turn:

Player two may not make any of the following moves:

The actual move that Player 2 would choose to make would depend on what their (and their opponent's) face-down cards are, and how well they remember them.


Scoring

In its simplest form, there is no scoring. Players simply win or lose individual hands.

Games can also be scored, in any of the following ways:

  1. Players play for a predetermined number of hands (say 9 or 15 - odd numbers work best), and the player who wins the most hands, wins the game.
  2. Players get one point for winning a hand, and play until someone gets a predetermined number of points, at which point the player with the most points wins.
  3. Players are awarded points, based on the following:
  1. 10 points if all five cards are of the same suit and consecutive (ie. a "straight").
  2. 5 points for having all five cards of the same suit.
  3. 1 point for each number card (2-10) of the dominant suit.
  4. 2 points for each court card (J-K) of the dominant suit.
  5. 3 points for an Ace of the dominant suit.
  6. -7 points for declaring and not having all five cards of the same suit.

In this variant, both players receive points for card values in their dominant suit (The dominant suit is whichever suit that player has the most of). The highest possible score from a single hand is 25 points (for 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit) and the lowest possible score from a single hand is -5 points (for declaring with only two cards of the same suit).

The highest possible score for a player who declares without actually having five cards of the same suit is only 2 points (9 points for J, Q, K, A of the same suit, and -7 points declaring without having five cards of the same suit).


Playing with other (non-standard) Packs

Stand Off can also be played with other packs, such as the five-suited Star Deck, or the six-suited Empire Cards Deck.

Game play should be identical to the standard four-suit version, with the only real difference being in points for a scored variant (see above). Since there are more than four suits, it is possible for a player to have no dominant suit (ie. five cards, all of different suits). In this case, that player's score would be 0 for that hand (or -7, if they declared).


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Copyright ©2003-2012 C. Scott Davis. Game design copyright ©1980-2012 C. Scott Davis and Mark Davis.
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