Kings in the Corner
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Kings in the Corner (also called King's Corner, Kings Around, Kings Corners or Spider.) is a multi-player solitaire-style card game using one deck of standard playing cards with between two and four players participating. The game was thought up by the Grey Family aboard the SS Suevic in the 1910s.
Each player is dealt seven cards from the top of the deck. A game play "board" is then set up on the playing surface. Four cards are laid down, face up, in a plus pattern, with the remainder of the deck face down in the middle. In this fashion there should be a card north, south, east and west of the deck with empty spaces in the "corners".
The player who takes the first turn is determined by each player drawing a random card from the deck; the player with the highest draw takes the first turn. If you are playing with two players, whoever did not deal the cards will go first. Alternatively, the person to the left of the dealer starts. You start the turn by drawing a card from the middle stockpile.
Players then attempt to discard from their hand by playing their cards in descending numerical order in a suit of the opposite color using the cards on the "board" as a starting point. For instance, if there is a four of clubs sitting on the playing board, a player can take a three of diamonds or hearts from their hand and discard it onto that four. Players can continue playing as many cards from their hand as are eligible for play in this fashion. At the end of the turn a player draws a card.
If at any time a player has a King in their hand they should (during their turn) place it in one of the empty corners (thus the origin of the game's name.) These corner stacks now become active in game play and cards can be played on them during turns in the same fashion as the normal game board.
To end a turn, one knocks the table.
The "twist" in the game comes when a space in any one of the four main game play slots becomes vacant. This happens when the highest card in the chain of cards in any slot is applicable to be played on top of the lowest card on any other slot on the board. For instance, if the cards on the northern slot are "five of diamonds, four of clubs, three of hearts" and the cards on the southern slot are "two of clubs, ace of hearts" then a player may move the cards from the Southern slot on top of those on the northern. Now there is a "vacancy" in the southern slot on the board.
If a player accomplishes such a move during their turn, they now have the privilege of additionally being able to play cards from their hand in ascending order (in alternating colors) underneath the highest card in any stack on the board. For instance, if the western stack has "eight of clubs, seven of hearts, six of clubs" a player may now take a nine of hearts or diamonds from their hand and play it under the eight of clubs (and so forth...) This method of play may only be executed when a vacancy is in existence and only during the turn for which the vacancy exists. The player ends this turn by filling in the vacancy with any card or combinations of cards (in correct order) from their hand.
If a player fails to pick at the beginning of their turn another player can call that person on it and the person loses their turn. Also if a player fails to notice a move that could be completed on the open board, as soon as the active player "knocks" that they are finished, the first player to slap the cards that could have been played gets to complete the turn and set out as many of their cards as possible and still gets their turn when regular play resumes.
The first player to play all of his or her cards onto the board is the winner.
Another way to play is to be dealt 7 cards, and play the cards in your hand or draw from the deck until you have something to play. Each row of cards may be moved to another row if its playable. That will also count as your turn if you have no more cards left. If the other person finishes before you, you may make an attempt to tie. If playing with 2 people, the loser shuffles. If there is a tie, anyone can shuffle, and if you run out of cards and there is an open space in the north, south, east, or west you have to draw three and continue your turn.
- "Rules of Card Games: Kings Corners". Pagat.com. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- An open-source version of Kings in the Corner (at code.google.com)
- An online, open-source implementation of a solitaire version of Kings in the Corner (at www.dogcows.com) (No longer available at that link. Archived rules can be found here (at archive.org).)
- Another version of the rules (at www.pagat.com)
- Another version of the rules (at www.members.shaw.ca) (No longer available at that link. Archived here (at archive.org).)
- A document about computer card games at cd.textfiles.com, describing alternate rules based on a solitaire version