We have a new favorite game that has taken over our summer! It's the card game Friday the 13th, created by one of our favorite game designers, Reiner Knizia, and published by Iello Games. This game is easy to learn and easy to teach–so we've taught it to everyone who's visited this summer, ages 6 and up, and it's been a hit. Each games runs four rounds, but they're quick, and we've found that whether we're playing with 3, 4, 5 or 6 players, it's still fun.
To begin, the deck is dealt out to all players (it's okay if some have one more card than the others). There are three suits–yellow (mirrors), green (cats), and blue (ladders)–all superstitious objects. Three piles will collect in the middle of the table, one for each suit. In turn, each player places a card on one of the piles and announces the total (by adding the number values).
When a pile gets higher than 13, the player lays their card on top and takes the ones underneath. These are put face-down in front of that player for scoring at the end of the round. A red “Friday the 13th” card can be placed on any of the piles, and it basically “poisons” that pile, since those red cards are worth more points.
When each round ends, each player scores their cards. Whoever has the most of a color (blue, yellow or green) doesn't count those cards at all. The others are worth 1 point each, except for the red cards, which are each two points. So for my score below, I'd score 2 for the yellow cards and 2 for the red, a total of 4. In our five-player game, I had the most blue cards, so those are worth zero (yay!).
Play continues for four rounds, then the player with the lowest score wins. We love how quick this game plays, and the scores can be topsy-turvy from round to round. That's great for kids to learn that while they may score a lot in one round, they may score zero the next.
Friday the 13th can be found in independent game stores, at the Iello Games website, or on Amazon for around $14.99.
Looking for more fun family card games? Check out:
Playing games together is one of our favorite ways to spend time together!