Being simplistic in form the game of war is ideal for a novice pertaining to card games and for children. The basic aim of the game is to win all cards in essentially what is due to chance.
Traditionally only two individuals partake in the game of war, but there are variations where three or more play. This version is coined three player war which I will briefly discuss this later in the notes section.
A standard pack of 52 playing cards should be used for this game .The ranking of the cards are A, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and the suits of the cards are not taken into consideration for the game.
The cards are shuffled and handed out evenly between the two players; this should result in both players having 26 cards each. Cards are kept face down in front of the players.
At the same time both players should reveal their top card. The player with the highest ranking card returns there card and their challenger’s card to the bottom of their pile.
In the situation of a tie between the two players, a war is declared by the players uttering “one, two, three, and four I declare a war”. Both players place three cards facedown, and one card face up. The person with the highest ranking face up card wins all the cards that were laid out.
- This manner of game play continues until one of the players acquires all 52 cards, winning and ending the game.
- If three or more individuals choose to play War: then cards are as usual shuffled and dealt among the larger party. The gameplay is basically the same as in a two player game, though when war is declared everyone partakes in it not just the individuals with the tie. When a player runs out of cards they drop out of gameplay, and the game continues until one player has all 52 cards.
Original variant: the above instructions of the game are said to have developed from this earlier version:
- Each player has there dealt cards face down in front of them, and they pick up three cards and hold them in a fan formation in their hands.
- When it is there turn they play one of these three cards and pick up another from there facedown deck to replenish their hand once again to three. The player who placed the highest ranking card wins the round and picks up their own card and there other members card.
- If a tie occurs then the same events happen as in the present version, but with one difference, the player who plays the lower rank gets the two cards that caused the war while the player with the higher rank gets the eight cards that were dealt due to the tie.