Stress (card game)

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Skills requiredSpeed
Age range9+
Playing time5-15 min.
Random chanceEasy
Related games
Speed, Spoons

Stress is a card game that uses a standard 52-card deck. It is usually only played with two people. (Although it is possible to play with more) The game requires each player to have a deck of numbered cards from 0 to 9. The objective of the game is to lose all of your cards. In stress there are no turns and you can put cards down anytime during the game. The game starts by having the players draw 4 numbers and placing them on the table face up. Then two cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. After this the game begins. You have to place only ascending or descending numbers on either of the two piles of cards. You can only place cards from your hand on the piles.If both of the cards at the top of the pile are the same nunber, you may perform a stress by saying "stress" out loud. When a stress happens, your opponent will take all of the cards on the table and place it in his deck. Anytime during the game, you can draw more cards to place in your hand, however there cannot be more than 4 numbers. Another version of stress is commonly played with Uno cards where all power cards are removed and only number cards remain.

Game rules[edit]


The aim is to get each hand with a four-of-a-kind. To achieve this, players must put down cards into the middle of the table, picking up another that was in the middle. There must always be four cards in the middle of the table, and in each pile. Once one of a player's hands has four-of-a-kind, that hand can be put down onto the table face-up. Once all of a player's hands are face-up on the table, they must yell "Stress!," or "Hong Kong" in order to win.


The deck is divided into thirteen equal piles, each with four cards. One pile goes into the middle, and the rest of the piles are equally dealt among the players. Each of the players' piles will remain face-down, and can only be lifted when the pile in the middle is flipped. The pile in the middle is flipped over so that all four cards are completely visible. You can only use one hand to put cards

Card piles[edit]

Each player's pile is entirely their own to look at. Only one player's pile can be lifted at a time. If the player wishes to look at another one of their piles, they will have to put down their pile and pick up another one.

The play[edit]

When playing Hong Kong, it is customary for the second, third, and fourth players to win to say "Beijing", "Shanghai", and "Tokyo," respectively. The list may go on to the nth person ("Whiplash!"), or "Reykjavík". Because of the nature and card transferring of this game, there is rarely a time in which two players will not be yelling "Stress!" at nearly the same time. This also brings about the concepts of sabotage into the game.

See also[edit]