Maybe it was the crazy name, or the “slap rule”, but out of all the card games I played with my brothers and sisters as a kid, Egyptian Rat Screw was my favorite. Like any games that involve being the fastest to slap the deck of cards, this game isn’t for the very little guys. When I first introduced my boys to games that involved speed, they still hated losing so much it NEVER went over well when they didn’t slap the deck first. And I’m too competitive to “let” them win.
How to Deal
Deal all of the cards evenly, face down. Gather them into a tidy pile in front of you and Don’t Look!
How to Play
The person to the left of the dealer starts the game by flipping over the top card on their pile and placing it in the middle, face up. Everyone continues around the circle, placing cards in the center until someone places a face card (J, Q, K, or A).
When a face card or Ace is in play, the next player also needs to place a face card or Ace. If they don’t they lose the ENTIRE middle pile to the person who first placed the face card. The winner of the pile collects their cards and starts the next round.
The Slap Rules: This is where it gets interesting
Winning a “Face-off” isn’t the only way to collect cards. You can slap in when any of these things happen. I honestly don’t remember using ALL of these slap rules. If it’s too many to remember, just pick a few. Half the fun of playing these games as kids was making up our own rules.
Doubles— if there’s a 4 on the pile and the next person places another 4, you can slap in to get all the cards.
Sandwich– If there’s a 4, then someone lays a 3 and then the next player’s card is another 4– slap in to get all the cards.
Tens– When 2 cards played add up to 10, you can slap and get all the cards.
Jokers– Anytime someone lays a Joker you can slap in.
4 in a row— When 4 cards are played in increaseing or decreasing order, (4,5,6) or (8,7,6)- Slap in and collect those cards!
Marriage- If there’s a K and someone plays a Q, or if there’s a Q and someone plays a K- Slap in.
If you get slap happy and slap at any other time– put 2 of your cards on the bottom of the center pile.
If you run out of cards, keep playing. You can slap in to get some cards back. The game doesn’t end until one person has ALL the cards.
How to Win
Be the person with ALL the cards at the end of the game.