President (card game)
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|Alternative name(s)||Scum, Asshole, Arsehole, Kings, Warlords and Scumbags, Scumbag, Slaves and Masters, Capitalism, Janitor, Landlord, Rich Man Poor Man, and many others|
|Players||3-8; 9+ multiple decks|
|Cards||54 (2 Jokers)|
|Card rank (highest to lowest)||Joker, Deuce (2), Ace, King etc|
|Playing time||5-15 min.|
|Dai Hin Min|
President (also known as Scum, Kings and Assholes, Arsehole (in British English), Kings, Warlords and Scumbags, Scumbag (the latter two names originating in Australia), Janitor, "Man of the House", Landlord,Slaves and Masters, Rich Man Poor Man and many other names), an Americanized version of Dai Hin Min, is a card game for three or more in which the players race to get rid of all of the cards in their hands in order to become President in the following round. It can also be played as a drinking game.
Gameplay is similar to Dai Hin Min, in which players attempt to get rid of their cards first. It is generally played as an aces high game, although 2s are often played as being higher than aces (so that the 3 is the lowest card).
There may be many titles used by players during the game. Often, players move seats to sit in the order of their place, so as not to forget the order. There is generally at least a President, Vice President and Scum.
The rankings for four players are as follows:
- President - The winner of the previous round.
- Vice President ("VP") - Second place.
- Vice Scum (or other names) - Second last place.
- Scum (or other names) - Last place in the previous round.
The number of titles used depends on how many players are in the game. Common extra titles include the Secretary one level below VP, Citizens, Middle-men, Normals, Neutrals or Average Joes in between the high and low named ranks, and Clerk one level above Vice-Scum. Other ranking systems use the presidential line of succession. The Secretary and Clerk are generally only used with six or more players, and rules regarding card passing or drinks can be changed to accommodate these two positions as desired. A large and/or odd number of players generally calls for having at least one Average Joe, and there can be as many as needed.
The President (or the Scum in some versions) deals the cards, starting with himself and proceeding in order of player hierarchy from low to high until all cards are dealt. If the Scum is the dealer, this ensures that the President begins with the fewest number of cards if the hands are uneven.
- Single - a card that is played alone
- Double (Dub) - a pair of cards of the same value (ex. Two 5s are known as dub 5s)
- Triple (Trip) - three cards of the same value (ex. Three 5s are known as trip 5s)
- Quadruple (Quad) - four cards of the same value
- Kicker - a single card played with a four-of-a-kind to make it a bomb (in some variants)
- Bomb - A single card that can be played on any card(s) to clear the pile of cards (often 2, 10, or 4)
- Hand - any valid play (single, dub, trip, quads, etc.)
- Laser - having all four 2s
- Quick Clear - One or more cards that are suddenly played by a player, regardless if it was their turn, which are the remaining cards that can complete the cards on the table, which also clears the deck (Example: John plays two Queens, and Mary plays the other Queens, even though it wasn't her turn, and clears the deck)
- Clear/Table - when someone plays a hand and everyone else passes, it "clears" or "tables" to the person who played the hand. This person may lead with whatever hand they wish. Also, if a player gets rid of all of their cards, it clears to the next person who can beat the hand, or if no one can or doesn't wish to, it clears to the player after the one who got rid of their last card. In addition, some rules have a certain card (usually a 2 or joker or suicide king) as an automatic clear card.
How to play this game
The person who is President (or the Scum in some versions) shuffles and deals the cards. All the cards are dealt as evenly as possible in clockwise rotation.
After cards are dealt, the Scum must hand over their two strongest cards to the President, while the Vice-Scum must hand over their strongest card to the Vice President. The President and Vice President then hand back an equal number of any "junk" cards they do not want.
The rules provided are merely one of many ways known to play the game; there are many different varieties with slight twists to the rules.
Play in President is organized into tricks, much like Spades or Bridge. However, unlike those games, each trick can involve more than one card played by each player, and players do not have to play a card in a trick.
The player on the dealer's left begins by leading any number of cards of the same rank (1-4, 5 or more are possible with wildcards, jokers or multiple decks). The player on the left may then play an equal number of matching cards with a higher face value, or may pass. (In a few variants, it is permitted to play cards with an equal value as the last cards played. Doing so may skip the player next in order.) Note that the same number of cards as the lead must be played. If the leader starts with a pair, only pairs may be played on top of it. If three-of-a-kind is led, only three-of-a-kinds can be played on top of it. (There are notable exceptions among the many, many variants in this game.) The next player may do the same, and so on. This continues until all players pass, or until one or more 2s are played; as the 2 is the highest value, nothing can beat it except an additional 2 (e.g. two 2s beats a single 2, three 2s beat a pair, etc.) or a joker. The last person to play a card leads the next trick.
Notes on game play:
- The ordering of the face values is a little different from most American card games - the deuce (2) is the second highest value and is unbeatable unless topped by a pair of 2s or one of the two jokers. The ace is next highest, the King the next highest, etc. with the 3 being the lowest. A few variants allow a single deuce to be played on top of any other combination, but typically games require the same number of deuces to be played as were originally led. Another variant leaves one-eyed jacks (jacks of hearts and spades) higher than the deuce; the one-eyed jacks can be bested by the suicide king (king of hearts).
- When players pass, this does not limit them in any way from playing later, even during the same trick. In some variants, however, a player cannot play on a trick in which he or she passed previously.
- Players can pass anytime, even if the player has cards that could be played.
- The number of cards that can be led to begin any trick is only dependent on the cards in the player's hand and his/her strategy.
- Regardless if it is his/her turn, a player can complete the cards on the table by playing the remaining cards of the quadruple, which is referred to as a Quick-Clear (see above Terms)
End of a round
When one player runs out of cards, he/she is out of play for the rest of the round, but the other players can continue to play to figure out the titles. A few versions hold that once a player goes out, players count remaining card values to establish titles, or simply count the number of cards remaining in each player's hand, and other versions have one player left with cards at the end.
When playing by traditional rules, once titles are decided, everyone needs to get up and move. The President is the dealer (or the Scum in some versions), and the players must rearrange themselves around them so that they are seated in order of rank, clockwise. Most American variants do not rearrange the seating of the players, so everyone plays in the same order each hand (though the President still leads the first trick).
The very first round of the game normally begins with the 3 of diamonds, as it is the lowest card in the game. If playing with more than four players and more than one deck of cards, another opener will be decided by the players. The 3 of diamonds may be played with other cards, as in dub 3s, or in a five-card hand (a straight, flush, full house, etc.). After the first round has determined player rank, subsequent hands are opened by the President.
President's Choice & Trading
When the first player to get rid of all their cards wins and becomes President, the other players continue to compete for their positions. When all players get rid of their cards, the deck is re dealt, but the top card of each deck is turned face-up, so that the President can choose his/her deck. After the President chooses, the other players choose their decks in order of their rankings.
After everyone has received their decks, the players are able to trade cards with one another. In a group of four, the President trades two cards with Scum, and the VP trades one card with Vice Scum. In some scenarios, the President will allow Black Market, in which any player can trade with any other player. When this happens, the President usually has a poor hand and needs better cards.
If a player leads out with four of a kind, the hierarchy of all the cards will be reversed. For example if 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A,2 is the typical order of power (from left to right), after four of a kind is played it would be the reverse of that: 2,A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3. If another four of a kind is played, the order would switch back. Revolutions are typically utilized in the game to create better balance and avoid having the same player remain in first position indefinitely.
When played as a drinking game, the following rules may be used:
- A card of rank equal to the number of players in the game (generally 3-6) is a "social", and when played all players must drink twice. This card may be played on any card or combination of cards. Multiple "socials" can be played at once or consecutively. The following player then plays based on the combination of cards that was played before the "social".
- If a player passes, he or she must drink. Sometimes this is limited so it only applies if anyone else can play before the pile is cleared.
- When a player matches the rank of the previously played card combination (only possible when playing singles, pairs or with wilds), the next player's turn is skipped. A skipped player must drink. For instance, if a 3 is played on top of another 3, the next player is skipped and must drink. If a three is then played by the player after the skipped player, the player after him or her is skipped and drinks.
- The film American Pie 2 featured the main characters playing the game at a party, including a deleted scene where they argue over the rules.
- The film Jackass: The Movie
- The film Beerfest, in which the main characters are depicted playing in a bar.
- The book The List, in which President is played at a party.
- Durak, a similar game
- The Great Dalmuti, a commercial variation of President with a non-standard deck.