Egyptian Ratscrew, also known as French Slap and Egyptian War, is a fast-paced card game for two or more players. To play the game, you’ll need a standard deck of 52 cards (or multiple decks for more players).
To begin, the deck is shuffled and each player is dealt an even number of cards face down. At no point during the game are the players allowed to look at their own cards.
The person to the left of the dealer begins the game by flipping the top card of their pile and placing it face up in the middle to start a center pile. The player flips the card away from themselves so that all players may see the card at the same time. The play of Egyptian Rat Screw continues around the circle with each player placing one card face up on the center pile until a face card or an Ace is played.
When this occurs the next player or “challenged” has four chances after an Ace is played, three after a King, two after a Queen, and one chance after a Jack to place another Ace or face card. If the player completes the allowed number of chances without placing the correct card, the play continues.
If the challenged player manages to place a face card or an Ace, then that player becomes the “challenger” and the next player is given the same number of chances to place a correct card. As long as an Ace or face card can be placed, the game will continue to the next player. If not, the challenger takes the pile and begins a new one. Once a player collects all the cards in a deck, the Egyptian Rat Screw game is won.
Certain combinations of cards agreed on beforehand allow players to slap the pile and claim it. Some examples of slap combinations are a Double, any two cards of equal value; Sandwiches, a Double that has a card of different value between the two cards of equal value; Big Mac’s, a double that has two cards of different values between the two equal cards; consecutive runs of at least three cards, ascending or descending; wild cards, generally Jokers; and Marriage, a King and Queen on top of each other.
The person who slaps the pile the quickest is able to claim the entire pile. If two players slap the pile simultaneously, the one who has contact with the most number of cards wins the slap.
Player Elimination & Penalties
A player is eliminated once he or she has no more cards to flip. If the player’s cards run out while challenging an Ace or face card, then either of two situations can occur. The next player may use the remaining chances to try and counter the challenge or the challenger can collect the pile and begin a new one.
One or more penalty cards must be given if a player slaps the pile on a combination that is not set forth prior to the game beginning. The cards must be placed face up at the bottom of the pile so that the play may resume with the last card played. If a player incorrectly slaps more than five consecutive plays, then they are out of the game.
Even without any cards left, a player may still slap at appropriate card combinations. If, however, they slap incorrectly they are given a strike. Three strikes and they may not slap until the next game.
There you have it, the step-by-step process on how to play Egyptian Rat Screw. Enjoy this fun card game with family and friends. Check out the rest of the site for more fun cards games.
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