Presidents: A Card Game

Merry Christmas readers! One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the quality time spent with family playing games. I have a list of games that I enjoy playing but one of the most recent go-tos for my family is a simple card game and one that I thought I would share with you all today. So, I present to you the game of Presidents.

Presidents is played with two decks of cards (without jokers) dealt entirely out to the number of players. The object of the game is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards. We usually let the person to the left of the dealer start things off. You can play a single card, a pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, etc. It is then the player to your left’s turn. They must either play the same amount of cards that you played matching or rising in rank, or if they cannot play a card they pass. (Example: Joe, Lyla and Matt are playing together. Joe starts by playing 2 fours. Lyla then plays 2 sixes. Matt does not have a pair higher than six, so he passes. It goes back to Joe who passes as well. Lyla played the highest cards before the others passed, therefore, the cards in the middle are pushed to the side and she is then allowed to lay down the next leading card.) Whoever plays the highest card wins that hand and gets to lay down the next leading card. The only exception to this is Two’s. Twos trump everything always. (Joe plays 4 tens, Lyla plays 4 Kings, Matt plays a two, therefore, the cards in the middle are pushed to the side and he is now able to play the next leading card.)

There is no set number of rounds, you play until the first person is out of cards (or, we continue to play until there are no cards left to determine who is the winner, 2nd place, 3rd, 4th, etc.)

Here are a few techniques I like to keep in mind when playing:

Twos are very important. Some of the game is luck and some is strategically planning which cards to lay and when. I like to keep in mind that if you are playing with two decks there will be eight twos in play. I try to count every time a two is played so that I know how many more times someone can steal the hand. I also like to save my twos until towards the end so it’s less likely the hand I have led with will be stolen from someone else.

Ditch your low cards early on. It’s hard to find an opportunity to play threes and even fours. If you have a two and you’ve wiped the cards in the middle, it’s nice to use that opportunity to lay down your low cards. Or, if you’ve won the round and have the opportunity to lay first, seize the chance.

On the flip side, try to save your highest cards for when you really need them. Obviously, if the round gradually works its way up to Queens and Kings, lay them. But, if someone lays an eight and you have a ten and a Jack, don’t jump and lay down an Ace hastily. Save it, because those high cards can be laid on anything. Your lower cards can’t.

Happy playing and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,



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