A Brand New Card Game For People Who Really Like Each Other And Also Argue Sometimes
Uncle Screwie is a brand new card game. It combines the basic game play of gin rummy with the partners strategy of bridge, and poker’s ability to read the table and anticipate cards. Collect the cards you need, trade with your partners to get the most points and never forget the first rule: winning is good, but watching your friends lose is even better!
We always say that this is a game you can learn in five minutes, and spend the rest of your life trying to master. Basically, if you have ever played any game where you trade cards to collect sets and runs (for instance, three 8s or a 4-5-6-7 of hearts) you are up to speed. If you’ve ever played a game where you derive great enjoyment out of making the other team crazy, you’re already a pro!
Once you have picked your partner (choose wisely!) someone shuffles the Uncle Screwie card deck and gives each player seven cards, placing the rest of the cards in a stack and turning the top card over so everyone can see what it is.
Every round has a Starter goal (Round One is two sets, Round Two is a set and a run, and so on) that you have to collect and put down to start playing. Each time it’s your turn, you have four steps:
- TRADE: if you want the card turned face up, trade it for one of your own, placing your card face up in its place. This is optional, if you don’t want the card, don’t take it.
- DRAW: Take the top card from the stack and out it in your card rack.
- PLAY: If you have collected the right set of cards for that round’s Starter, or if you are already Down, play whatever cards you can.
- PASS: Signal the end of your turn by saying pass.
Once you or your partner has hit Starter and put your cards down (we call that Going Down). At this point you can lay down new sets and runs or you can add to the sets and runs you and your partner already have on the table. Plus there are eight Wild Cards, one for every member of Uncle Screwie’s family, just to keep things lively). Continue to collect, trade and play the rest of your cards to be the first person to put down every card (Going Out).
Every card has a specific point value — you get points for all the cards you’ve played, and lose points for all the cards still in your hand. Once someone has gone out the round is over, so add up your points, see who is ahead, gloat a bit, and get ready for the next round.
Because it’s a partners game, there needs to be an even number of players, at least four. Groups of six play all the time. You could play eight but at that point, we’d recommend two tables of four.
There are seven rounds in each game and completing all seven can take anywhere from an hour (if you all know what you’re doing) to an evening (if you’re just figuring it out). But you can always cut down the number of rounds played to fit into whatever time you have.
You know that one family member that you love with all your heart but also hope your kids don’t necessarily turn out like? In our family that was Uncle Screwie. World-traveler, master joke-teller, fearless dresser. And lover of card games.
Every time he would come visit he’d have some new idea for a game to share. Finally, he brought home what we know call Uncle Screwie, and that was it. We were all immediately addicted and as we shared the game with friends we saw that they all felt the same way. The rest, as they say, is Screwie history.