Ristiseiska

Brief Description

  • A Finnish variant of card game Fan Tan
  • Three or more players
  • Ristiseiska means 'eight of clubs' in Finnish
  • The game is very popular in Finland

Deal

  • A standard 52-card pack
  • The ranking is from ace (lowest) to king (highest)
  • All cards are dealt to the players. Some players may get one card more than others, that does not matter.

The Object

To get rid of the cards in the hand

Gameplay

  • The player who has seven of clubs starts the game by playing it on to the table
  • The turn passes clockwise
  • After the seven of clubs is played, each card must be played according to the following rules
    1. In each suit a seven must be played before any other cards of that suit
    2. After a seven is played, a six of the same suit can be played
    3. After seven and six of the same suit are played, an eight of the same suit can be played
    4. When cards 6 to 8 are played of the same suit, the run can be extended on either end ie. a five or a nine can be played next.
  • The layout on the table
    • Sevens are located in a one row in the middle of the table
    • Cards of the same suit are placed on either above or below the seven of the suit so that cards with a value higher than seven are on the other side and cards with a value lower than seven are on the other side.
    • Cards from eight to king of the same suit can be put in a same pile to save the space. Same applies for cards from six to ace, too.
    • An example of the layout.
club-8   heart-10 *  
club-7 spade-7 heart-7 diamond-7
club-6 spade-6 heart-3 *  
    • cards 4-6 and 8 to 9 of hearts are located under cards heart-10 and heart-3 in this case
  • A player must play a card if he/she is able to do so. If a player violates the rule (ie. pretends that he/she can not play a card while having a card that could be played according to the rules), each of the opponents is allowed to give a card of a free choice to that player.

Begging for a card

  • In the case that a player has no card that can be played according to the rules, he/she must beg a player on the right for a card. There are two exceptions to the rule.
    1. A player can simply pass without begging for a card if it is his/hers first turn.
    2. The last card in the player's hand can not be begged for. If a player can not play a card and the player right to him/her has only one card, a player second right to him/her must be begged for a card. If each of the opponents has only one card, the turn passes by.
  • The card given to the begger must be given face down so that other players do not see it.
  • After the begger has been given a card, the turn passes to the player left to him.

The play of an ace or a king

A player who plays an ace or a king can continue if he/she wishes and is able to do so. He/she can play multiple cards if all of them are aces or kings. It may be strategically wise not to continue in some cases.

It is a custom to turn the pile upside down when it is completed by an ace or a king.

End of the game

There are two alterative ways to end the game and various ways to calculate points

  1. The game is over when only one player has cards in his hand. He has lost and he will deal the next deal. No points are given in this version of the game. It is possible to count the number of the lost games, if one wishes to do so.
  2. The game is over when one of the players has played his last card. In this version other players are given minus points according to the cards in their hands. At the simplest, one minus point for each card in the hand. An alternative method of calculating points may be used, if players agree. A couple of alternative scoring methods to be concidered are:
    • Ace is worth 14 points, other cards according to their value (King 13 points, Queen 12 points etc.)
    • Points for cards from ace to king: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 accordingly

The Strategy

  • Play stingily your cards!
  • You should keep the control of the game in your hands as long as possible by playing cards that force other players to play cards you want to the table.
  • It is wiser to play a card that helps other players to play a card that benefits your play in future than to play a card that hinders other player's game
  • When someone begs you for a card, give a card that you think is played last. Preferably give a card that can not played before you put a specific card on the table.

Variations

Ristiseiska can be played using a forfeit which can be any small object such as a matchbox. Instead of begging for a card, a player who can not play a card must take the forfeit. The game is over when one of the players runs out of the cards. Scoring: Each ace is worth 14 points, other cards according to their value. In addition the holder of the forfeits gets 25 points. The player who has least points when one of the players get a certain amount of points (200 for example).


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