Hand Game

Hand is a well know card game in the middle east specially in Kuwait. Hand is a game that depends on how well a person could simultaneously manage the cards in his hand and count the cards that are played. It could be played with 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 players. In a 2 or 3 player game, only 1 deck of cards is used. In 4 or 5 player game, 2 decks of cards are used. In all cases however, only two jokers are used.

Melds

The main goal of the game is to create melds. A meld consists of at least 3 sequential cards of the same suit and is called a sequential meld. Alternatively, a meld could consist of at least 3 cards of the same values but different suits.

For Example 2,3,4,5 of hearts, or 9,10,J,Q,K of spades make up sequential melds. 7 of hearts, 7 of spades,7 of clubs, and 7 diamonds make up a value meld. King of heart, king of spades, and the king of diamonds also make up a value meld.

Jokers

These are 2 important cards in the game. A joker acts as a wild card and could be used to replace any card in a meld. A meld however, cannot contain more than one joker.

Hand

Hand signal the end of a hand in a game. After a player gets his turn and draws a card from the deck or picks up a card from the field (the field is the area where all the players play their cards in), he/she can declare a hand if all the cards in his/her hand can be placed in a meld with a single card spared to be played in the field (i.e., total of 14 melded cards and one to be played in the field). Once all 14 cards are melded, a player presses hand and throws the single card. There are several types of hand such as regular hand, colored hand, suited hand, joker hand, and double joker hand. Next are the description of the types.

  • Regular hand:This is the most basic of hand types. The only requirement is that you have 14 melded cards and a single card to be played into the field.
  • Colored hand:A colored hand is achieved when all the 14 melded cards, in addition to the card to be played in the field, are of the same color. Meaning, they are all either diamonds and hearts, or all are spades and clubs.
  • Suited hand:Suited hand is similar to colored hand, however, all the cards comprising the meld consist of a single suit in addition to the card to be played into the field.
  • Joker hand:It's the same as the regular hand, the card to be played into the field however has to be a joker.
  • Double joker hand:Same as the joker hand, however, two joker are left out of the melds and thrown into the field.

In addition, players could combine jokers and double joker hand endings with suited or colored cards for even greater points.

Announcing melds during the game

Player do not have to meld all the cards in their hand and end the game with a hand. They can choose to announce to the other player the melds in their hands provided the total value of the cards in these melds exceed a certain threshold that is agreed upon prior to the game (usually 71 in 5 player games and 91 in 4 and 3 player games).

A player that announces his/her melds could end the game if he/she manages to get the necessary cards to complete melds. However, he/she would gain in score half of what a regular hand would fetch.

The benefit in making such a move is that if someone else were to finish the game with a hand, the player that announced his/her cards would be penalized significantly less than the players that did not. As such, this is a very good strategy for someone who is leading in the score sheet. It also has the added benefit that announcing would raise the threshold for other player that want to announce, potentially preventing some of them from doing so.

The value of the announcement

The value of the announcement is based on the total number what is inside each meld. For sequential melds, you simply sum up the value of the cards to get the value of the meld.

For example, Lets say we have a meld of 2,3,4,5,6 then the total value of the meld is 2+3+4+5+6 = 20.

All pictures count as a 10. So if a player had pair of J,Q,K its 10+10+10 = 30. Aces count as 11, unless it is placed prior to a 2. For example, a meld of Q,K,A counts as 10+10+11 = 31. Whereas a meld of A,2,3 counts as 1+2+3 = 6.

The same rules apply to value melds where numbers are summed to give the value of the meld. Pictures count as 10, and Aces count as 11. Jokers would take on the value of the cards they replace.

At the beginning of the game, players could choose to set the threshold of the first meld to be 51, 61, 71, 81, 91, 101, or 111 for all the melds in their hand.

Turns before announcing

A player can only announce when a certain number of cards are played into the field (i.e., turns played). players can choose to set the number of turns before an announcement is made to be 0, 8 or 16. Ending the game with a hand doesn't follow this rule.

Announcing special rules

To add more excitement and make it difficult for players to announce, the rules in which how a player can announce a meld could be selected prior to game start. Players can choose to allow announcing during a players turn when his/her melds exceed the minimum threshold for announcing. In addition, players can choose to restrict announcing such that a player must pick up a card from the field played by the player before him/her, before he/she could announce.

Finishing the round

A player that announces can finish the round when he/she completes all the melds that are are announced and when he/she is left with only one card in his hand that he/she plays into the field. Having in mind the he/she can also complete the other players' announced melds and not necessarily his own.

Player mistakes

The following are the list of mistakes a player could make in which he/she is penalized in score for:

  1. Taking a card from the field and not from the deck without placing the card in a meld and making an announcement, or finishing the game with a hand.
  2. Announcing with a total meld value less than the the announcement threshold.
  3. Declaring hand when a player does not actually have a hand.
  4. Using two jokers in a single meld.
  5. Announcing after taking a card from the deck or prior to the agreed upon number of turns (this is dependent on the agreed upon rules, but the norm is that announcement should be made after a card is taken from the field that is played by the previous player).

Scoring

Finishing (completing melds after an announcement)

Finish Type Winner Players that didn't announce Players that announced Players that made mistakes
Finish (Completing melds after making an announcement) -30 100 Value of cards in hand with jokers counting as 20 150
Regular Hand -60 200 Double value of cards in hand 300
Colored Hand -120 400 4X value of cards in hand 600
Joker Hand -120 400 4X value of cards in hand 600
Suited Hand -240 800 8X value of cards in hand 1200
Double Joker Hand -240 800 8X value of cards in hand 1200
Double Joker Colored Hand -480 1600 32X value of cards in hand 4800

Beginning the game

A player distributed 14 cards for every player, except for the player who will play first and sits to his/her right. The player that plays first will get 15 cards.

After the first player plays a card into the field, the player after him/her draws a card from the deck then plays a card into the field. The player to his/her right then follows and so on.

Based on the rules, whether 16 turns are needed before an announcement, a player can pick up a card from the field that the previous player played and make an announcement. Alternatively, a player that satisfies any of the different hand type requirements can choose to end the current hand by ending it with a hand.

Players can agree to play a total of 5,7,9,11, 13, or 15 hands before a winner is announced. The winner is the player with the least amount of points.