Monday, 12 May 2014

How to Play "Donkey"

For those who have never played, "Donkey" is a simple card game, for three - six players.  Any more players and it can become very drawn out.

You will need:
a deck of playing cards
some counters/ buttons/ pennies. sticks etc - one less than the total amount of players (eg we had four players, so used three counters)
paper and a pen, to write down each player's name with space left next to it

1/ From the deck of cards, separate out a set of four matching cards for each player.  We played with Aces, Jacks, Queens and Kings, as they are easier to distinguish between quickly, especially for Youngest. Discard the rest of the pack.

2/  Shuffle the chosen sets of cards and deal, face down - each player should have four cards.

3/ Each player looks at their cards and decides which set they would like to collect (usually the set that they have most of to start with).  They choose one card to discard and place it face down in front of them.

4/  When each player has a card face down in front of them, all cards are passed to the player on their left, who picks it up and decides if he wants to use or discard it.

5/  Play continues this way until a player is holding a complete set.  When this happens they quietly put their set down face up and pick up a counter.  Other players then race to pick up the remaining counters (often they are engrossed and don't always notice)

6/  The person left with no counter has lost that round, and on the piece of paper you write a letter, starting with D, and continuing for each lost round until you have spelled out "D-O-N-K-E-Y".  This is the end of the game and the loser (the 'donkey') has to "Hee-haw" loudly.

Some people play the game with no counters, they just race to see who is last to lay their cards down.  However this can lead to quite heated disagreements!

When playing with someone disadvantaged by being younger/ slower than the others (eg Youngest), we put all the counters next to him so he had less distance to reach - and when it looked like he was going to loose too quickly, the person who was about to lay their complete set on the table would sometimes "accidentally" flick a counter into Youngest's lap.. We only did this a couple of times as it became quite controversial!

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