Kings Corners is a great game for two or four players. It is an extremely simple card game, with rules that only initially sound complicated. Basically it asks the players to understand how cards would rank in order from the king and downward. For example, Kings Corners follows the K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-A order.
Additionally, the game requires that the player distinguish between red and black cards. Other than that, the rest of the game is simply paying attention and making the strongest moves.
A game of Kings Corners begins with the dealer handing out seven cards to each player. They will then place the remainder of the deck into the center of the table. Following this, they flip four cards face up from this central pile and set them along each side of the deck. This looks like a cross, or “plus” sign.
The name of the game reminds the players that a king ends up in each corner of the table. This means that should the dealer reveal a king in the four central cards, the player who has won the right to go first (by choosing the highest card prior to play) can take that card and set it in the corner of the table nearest to themselves.
If one of the foundation/central piles begins with an ace, there is nothing that can be placed on top of it.
Play continues in a counter-clockwise motion around the table.
To play, players must stack up the cards from highest to lowest, alternating from red to black. This is done in several ways:
- A player may lay one of their cards on the foundation/central piles, making sure to slightly overlap the cards so that the whole stack can be seen.
- This allows for another way that a player can make a move, which is to place an existing pile atop one that it would naturally belong to. For example, during a player’s turn they may simply move a red five and black four over to another pile that is showing a black six at the top.
- A player may lay a king from their hand in one of the empty corners of the table, and this can serve as the base for a new stack of cards as well. For instance, a black king can have a red queen placed upon it, and so on.
- Any player who has a turn following the relocation of a foundation/central pile may place any of their own cards in its place.
- The player who plays all of their cards wins the hand and the game stops. If, however a player has no card which can be played, they must take a card from the center stack. This completes their turn. Alternately, someone who simply does not wish to play a card may also draw a single card as well.
Once the center pile is gone, play must continue until one player runs out of cards. There are times when players have cards remaining, but no further moves are possible, and it is at this point that players must agree to end the game.
All players with cards remaining in their hands at the end of a game will receive penalty points. A king costs the player ten points, and all other cards are a single point. The game ends when someone exceeds a previously agreed upon limit. The winner is the player with the lowest score.