How to Host a Crazy Cards Party

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Sample Score Sheet
Sample Score Sheet

Crazy Cards is like a mix of the classic card game Spades, the mindless mingling game Bunco, and speed dating. Players don't need to know how to play--they just need to follow simple directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Card tables and chairs
  • Playing cards, one deck per table
  • Table numbers, one per table
  • Score sheets, one per person
  • Pencils, one per table
  • Name tags (optional)

Send out invitations at least two weeks in advance. Your Crazy Cards invitation should make it clear that guests need to RSVP by a certain date. You will want to have enough guests to seat four players to a table, although you can play with a "ghost" or two. Ideally you will have 12 or more players.

Decide on party food and drinks. Consider having a different bowl of sweet or salty snacks at each card table for guests to enjoy as the game advances.

Set up card tables with four chairs each. Depending on the number of guests, you may need to use more than one room, such as the kitchen, dining room, living room and family room--or a large gathering space such as a church hall. Each table should be numbered so guests know where to rotate during the game. Each table should have a pen or pencil so players can keep score.

Plan for at least 30 minutes of mingling time at the start of the party. If guests don't know each other, be sure to provide name tags.

When it's time to begin the game, gather everyone together to explain the basic rules: Players sitting opposite each other are partners for that round. Before dealing, each person at the table draws a card; high card deals out all cards (13 cards to each player.) The person to the left of the dealer plays first. Moving counterclockwise, each person plays a card in the same suit, if possible. If that's not possible, he may play a card from the "trump" suit or another suit. The partners with the most "tricks" (hands won) are the table winners. Each trick is worth 10 points. Winners advance to the next numbered table but switch partners for the next round. Losers stay at the same table but switch partners for the next round. There is no bidding as in classic Spades. No leading with the trump suit until one is played (except in the no-peek round or unless that's all you have left in your hand.)

Each person should receive a score sheet with his name on it. Score sheets should list eight rounds and include the rules for each round. Consider handing out table assignments. That way, couples or groups of people who do know each other can start out playing together.

Sample Score Sheet
Sample Score Sheet

Play a practice round before beginning.

Consider adding fun activities, such as team pictures, after some rounds. Another idea is an "Instant Challenge," such as a house of cards building contest or paper airplane flying contest, for extra points. Make sure everyone has time to revisit the bar and snack table--consider calling an intermission for that purpose.

Tips & Warnings

  • This party works well as a neighborhood get-together or family reunion activity.
  • It also can be used as a fundraiser--ask folks to buy tickets to the party, and wow them with fun, food and drinks.
  • If you wind up with an odd number of players, the host or hostess can sit in or sit out or, if necessary, one seat at a table can remain open and the other players play for the "ghost" off the top of the ghost 's card pile.

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