Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fruit Salad Card Game

Kyla and I were over at some friends' house last night, and they introduced us to a fun card game called Fruit Salad. It's similar to Hearts, but with some substantial twists. The rules are hard to find, so I did a little research, and here are the rules, as best as I can make out:

-The goal of the game is to finish with the fewest number of points
-Each "set" is comprised of the number of "tricks" as every player has cards. (a trick being the time in which play has proceeded completely around the table every player has played a card).
-The dealer rotates to the left after each set
-The player to the left of the dealer begins each set
-Aces are high, followed by King, Queen ... and so on to 2- the lowest card
-Jokers are not used in this game
-Each player should have the same number of cards, so remove the number of lowest cards possible as necessary in the following suit order: Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, Hearts

A set is played by:
-The player to the dealer's left begins by taking any card from their hand and placing it face up on the table. The play proceeds to the left from there.
-Each player must play a single card on top of the original card by removing it from their hand and placing it face up on the table. If they have one or more cards in the same suit as the original card, they must play one of them. If they have no cards in the same suit as the original card, they may play any one card from their hand, but may not win the trick in this case.
-When everyone has played one card, the trick is over. The 'winner' of the trick is the person who played the highest card in the same suit as the original card, even if the winning card was the original card.
-The 'winner' of the trick removes the cards from the table and keeps them stacked for scoring at the end of the set. If desired, they may remove the cards worth points and keep them in a separate pile to make scoring easier at the end of the set (see below).
-The winner of the trick now begins a new trick by playing any card from their hand, and play continues as above to the left.

When each set is over, scores are recorded for each player as follows:
-In the first set, only each trick won is worth 10 points
-In the second set, only each heart suit card won is worth 10 points
-In the third set, only each queen won is worth 25 points to the players winning them
-In the fourth set, only the king of spades is worth 100 points to its winner
-In the fifth set, only the last trick won is worth 100 points
-In the sixth set, ALL of the above scoring rules apply

At the end of the game (a game being six sets), the scores are totaled for each player, and the player with the lowest score is declared the winner.

Notes:
-Especially on the last set, scoring may happen after each trick, if desired.
-Instead of removing low cards to ensure each player has the same number of cards in their hand, you may add low cards to the game from a second deck, in reverse suit order as above (that is, first add the 2 of hearts, then spades, then diamonds, then clubs). That lets you have one more trick per set, and adds low cards to the game to mix things up a bit.

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