26 December 2011

How to Play "Hand and Foot" {a Card Game for Your Family to Enjoy}

I hope you all had a great Christmas.  I sure did.  I loved watching Boo open and play with her new toys...  (And I didn't mind getting presents, myself!)  But one of the best parts about Christmas is having the family all gathered together.

While we still have family all gathered for Christmas, I thought I'd share this game that my in-laws taught me.  It's called Hand and Foot.

{The instructions are kind of long.  I tried to highlight what was most important, though.  Let me know if you have any questions!}

You play in teams of two.  The game works best with 4-6 people.  (Too many takes a long time.)

You need:
One more deck of regular playing cards than there are people playing.  So if you have four people, you need five decks of cards.  {By the way, it makes for easier clean up if each of the decks looks different--that makes it really easy to separate them back out when the game is over.}
a pen and paper for keeping score.

Special Cards:

Jokers and 2's are wild.

3s are special.  Red 3's are worth 100 points on their own.  (You cannot make a Book out of them--more about Books later.)  Lay down any red 3's immediately and draw replacement cards.

Black 3's don't count as anything, so they make good Discard cards.

Getting Ready to Play:

Team members do not sit by each other.  They do not talk to each other (about their cards) except to ask how many wilds the other has, if they want to.  Pick which member of each team will hold the team's Books.  (One more minute...)

Shuffle all the cards together.  Then stack them all up in the center of the table.

Each person gets their own cards.  You want to grab exactly 22 cards without counting--if you succeed, you get 100 bonus points.  If you don't, draw more/return some so that you have 22 cards.

Without looking at your cards, split your hand into two 11-card stacks.

Everyone ready?  Pass one of your piles to the player on your left.  Now look at the BOTTOM card only of both of your card stacks.  The stack with the higher value becomes your Hand, and the other is your Foot.  Put your Foot aside, as you will play from your Hand first.  (You can look at all the cards in your Hand, now.)

Starting the Game:

The person to the left of the player who drew first gets to go first.  At the beginning of every turn, you must draw two cards.  Check out your Hand--you need to get sets of three or more (that is, three or more cards of the same number) in order to lay down.  Color is not important.  You can use wilds (jokers and 2s), but no more than one of the initial three cards in any set can be a wild.

Do you have a set of three?  If so, lay it down (or give it to the Book Holder of your team to lay down); this is the start of your first Book.  A complete Book has seven (or more) cards.  The goal of the game is to have at least four Books--two Dirty (with one or two wilds) and two Clean (with no wilds).  You can have more than these mandatory four Books.  More Books = more points = good.  You and your teammate will work together (but without talking!) to complete your Books.  When a Book is complete, stack it up with a red card on top if it is Clean, and a black card on top if it is Dirty.  (This helps for adding up points at the end.)

{You can also have a bonus Book of all wilds.  This book doesn't count towards your two Clean and two Dirty Books, but it does earn you an extra 1000 points.  But beware!  If you don't get complete this Book, it costs you 1,000 points!  And if you don't have at least one Clean book when the game is over, this Book doesn't count.}

Do you have more than one set?  (Lucky!)  Go ahead and lay it down.

You end your turn by discarding one card.

Then the next player (going to the left) takes their turn.  And so on.  Remember that both members of a team add to the same Books.

See above for examples of Clean and Dirty books, both completed and not.  (By the way, there should not be two stacks of 7's; they would all go together into one Book.  You can continue adding to a "finished" book at any time in the game.)

When you run out of cards in your Hand, you go to your Foot.  If you run out of cards without having enough for a discard, you go straight to your Foot and continue your turn.  If your discard is the last card in your Hand, pick up your Foot and be ready to play from it in your next turn.

The game is over when someone gets rid of all their cards--both it their Hand and their Foot.  But remember, you cannot go out if your team does not have at least two Clean and two Dirty Books!  If they go out with a discard, everyone gets one more turn.  If they go out without a discard, the game ends right then.

Counting up the points:

First you count up your Basic Points.  For every completed Clean Book, you get 300 points.  For every completed Dirty Book, you get 100 points.  (If you have a Book of Wilds, see above.)  Remember to add your Red 3's to this number.

Then you count up your card values:

Aces  --  20 pts
2's  --  20 pts
Black 3's  --  0 pts
(Red 3's  --  100 pts, but they were already counted in your Basic)
4's - 8's  --5 pts
9's - Kings  --10 pts
Jokers  --  50 pts

If these cards are still in your Hand or Foot, they have a negative value, and so are subtracted from your Basic.  If they have been laid down, they have a positive value, and so are added to your Basic even if their Book is not complete.

The team with the most points wins!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! I love to hear from you--your comments make my day!

I've been getting a lot of spam comments lately, so I'll not be allowing anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry to any legitimate anonymous commenters!