President is a card game that is generally played by adults. It is known by several names, including Asshole, Scum, and Capitalism. The game has many variations, and is played by 4 to 7 players.
What You Need to Play
- 4 to 7 players
- A deck of 52 cards. 2 is the highest card in President, and 3 is the lowest. (2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3)
- To play more with more than 7 players, add a second deck.
Objective of the Game
The objective of the game is simple: Be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
The Principle of the Game
- The first player to get rid of all their cards is declared President, while the last player becomes the Asshole. Players who get rid of their cards after the President also inherit a title.
- Depending on the number of players, the hierarchy is as follows:
- The players write down their score after every round.
- The first player to reach the set number of points wins the game.
Setting Up the Game
- Shuffle the cards.
- Each player draws a card. The one with the lowest card becomes the dealer for the first round.
- The dealer deals all the cards to the players as equally as possible. (It’s possible for some players to have one more card each than the rest.)
- Players look at their cards and can sort them.
- Players take turns clockwise.
How to Play?
- The player who starts the game is the one on the left of the dealer, unless another player has the Queen of hearts, in which case they start the game.
- During their turn, the player can either place a single card, or a series of cards of the same value. (For example, the player could place three Kings.)
- The next player can either play or pass their turn.
- A card can only be followed by a higher value card. (For example, If a player places a 5, then the next player has to place at least a 6.)
- A series of cards can only be followed by another series of cards of the same number and of higher value. (For example, if a player places a set of three Kings, then the next player has to place a set of three Aces or three 2s.)
What Happens if All Players Pass
If all of the players pass, the following takes place:
- All cards placed on the table are set aside.
- The last player to have placed a card goes again.
- If that player doesn’t have any more cards, the turn passes to the next player.
How Does a Round End?
- A round continues until all the players, except for one, have managed to get rid of all their cards.
- The first player to get rid of their cards is the President.
- The second player to get rid of their cards is the Vice-President.
- The third player to get rid of their cards is the Citizen.
- The fourth player to get rid of their cards is the Vice-Asshole.
- The fifth player to get rid of their cards is the Asshole.
- The players change their positions around the table after each round. The President chooses wherever they want to sit, and the rest of the players organize themselves so that every player has the player who’s one rank higher on their right. This means that the players will always be sitting in a circle where the order from left to right is President, Vice-President, Citizen, Vice-Asshole, Asshole.
- The Asshole will have the responsibility of collecting, shuffling, and dealing the cards for the next round, starting with the player on their left, which will of course be the President.
- Once the cards have been dealt, the Asshole must give up their two highest cards to the President. In return, the President gives the Asshole their two lowest cards.
- The Vice-Asshole gives their highest card to the Vice-President. In return, the Vice-President gives the Vice-Asshole their lowest card.
- A new round begins.
How Does the Game End?
- Before starting the game, the players must agree on a scoring system.
- A common and practical scoring system dictates that after every round the President receives 2 points, the Vice-President receives 1 point, the Citizen doesn’t receive or lose any points, the Vice-Asshole loses one point, and the Asshole loses 2 points.
- The players must also agree on a number of points to be reached for the game to end. You can choose any number depending on how long you want the game to last.
- Once a player reaches that number of points, they’re declared the winner of the game.
The Different Variations of the Game
As we’ve mentioned earlier, President has a lot of variations. Here are some different rules you can apply to your games to make them even more exciting.
- Make it possible for a player to place more cards than the previous player, provided that the cards are still of higher value. (For example, three 10s can be placed on top of two 9s.)
- Make it possible to place cards of any value as long as they are as big as or bigger than the set the previous player had placed. (For example, three 10s can be placed on two Jacks.)
- Make it possible to place a card of the same value. (For example, a Jack can be placed on a Jack, or two Aces on two Aces.)
- You can also force the next player’s turn to be skipped if a player places a card of the same value as the one on the table. (For example, if player B places a card of the same value as the card player A had placed, player C’s turn is skipped.)
- If a player places a complete set of cards (four of a kind), the rules change until the end of the round. From now on, you have to place a card of lower value than the one your opponent placed. (For example, a 5 can be placed on a 10.)
- You can also allow the Joker into the game. The Joker can do the following:
- Fill in for any card. (For example, two Kings and a joker can be placed together to serve as a set of three Kings.)
- Be the highest card. (The joker is higher than the 2.)
Revolution, Coup, and Guillotine
- A Revolutionreverses the order of the cards (3 is the highest card and 2 is the lowest). Additionally, when a Revolution takes place, the last player to have placed a card goes again as the direction of play is reversed so that it is counterclockwise. A Revolution starts when one of two things happen:
- A player places a complete set of cards.
- If placing a card of the same value as the previous one is allowed, then a Revolution can start with the rare occurrence of four players placing the four suits of a card in four consecutive turns. (For example, players A, B, C, and D successively play an Ace each.)
- To stage a Coup, a player must place a set of four cards and a Joker, or three cards and two Jokers.
- The coup results in the overthrow of the President: The President will be forced to switch ranks with the player who staged the Coup.
- A Guillotine takes place when a player places a set of four cards and two jokers.
The player who does this switches positions with the President. After that, the former President switches ranks one more time with the Asshole. (If the player who caused the Guillotine is the Asshole, then they simply switch ranks with the President. Causing the latter to immediately become the Asshole.)