» Beggar My Neighbour

Beggar my Neighbour is a popular card game for kids. It’s exact origins is unknown, however it did make an appearance in Charles Dickens novel “Great Expectations” published in 1861 . Beggar My Neighbour, also called Beggar Thy Neighbour,   is easy enough to play, however, we do suggest that the age of the children playing the game be at least 6 years of age. Any younger and they will definitely need assistance from an adult.

This game is designed for two players, however it is possible for three or more.  If you intend to play with three or more players, simply divide the cards as evenly as possible.

“What do you play, boy?” asked Estella of myself, with the greatest disdain.

“Nothing but beggar my neighbour, miss.”

“Beggar him,” said Miss Havisham to Estella. So we sat down to cards.

How to Play Beggar My Neighbour

To begin you will need a deck of 52 playing cards and divide the deck in half. The two children will receive half the deck face down. When they are ready to play, the children will take turns flipping over their card into the center pile.

If one of the children turns over a pay card, they must pay for it using the rules below. The pay cards in “Beggar My Neighbour” include Ace, King, Queen and Jack. All cards ranked 2 – 10 are ordinary playing cards.

Once the pay card and payment is complete, the player who used the pay card must pick up the discard pile and place it face down at the bottom of their pile.

Example – Micheal turns over a Queen forcing Sara to lay down two ordinary cards. Once Sara is finished, Michael will pick up the pile and place it at the bottom of his pile.

If by chance Sara places a pay card onto the pile while paying for a card herself, the original pay card is void and Michael would be forced to pay for the new pay card, thus forcing Sara to pick up the pile once payment is complete.

Pay Cards in Beggar My Neighbor

  • 4 ordinary cards for an ace
  • 3 ordinary cards for a king
  • 2 ordinary cards for a queen
  • 1 ordinary card for a jack

Other names for this game include Beat Your Neighbour, Bataille Corse, Egyptian War, Egyptian Rat Killer, Strip Jack Naked.

How to Win This Card Game

There is no skill in this game – it’s pure luck, similar to the game of War. In this particular game, the a player is the winner when they no longer have any cards in their hand.

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