Runger - a New Card Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Runger - a New Card Game

1 Conversation

Card Games | All Fives | Auction Pitch | Bezique | Blackjack | Bull/Cheat | Cover-cover
Cribbage | Egyptian Rat Screw | Euchre | Goofspiel | Hearts | Kalabriasz | Mao | Mau Mau
Poker | Runger | Russian Crazy Sevens | Skat | Spades | War | Whist

Runger is a card game based entirely on a piece of (science fiction wargame) 'Warhammer 40,000' fan fiction. It is similar in many respects to Blackjack and it may be useful to have some knowledge of that game, though this is not essential.

What You Need

  • A standard 52-card deck (plus two Jokers if you want to play the '175th rules' - see below)
  • 2-4 players
  • Some money (if you plan to gamble)

The Object of the Game

Each card has a value (see 'Card Values', below) and the object of the game is to score 20 points with your cards. If no-one has 20, the nearest to 20 wins. In the event of a tie, whoever is nearest (but lower than 20) wins. Any other result is a tie and the winnings, if you are gambling, are carried over to the next game.

How to Play

First the players decide how many 'rungs' are going to be used. A 'rung' is a space that must be filled by a card. In other words, the number of rungs determines how many cards you have to play in that turn. Usually, players use between three and five rungs. Three is the recommended number for beginners, but you can use as many as you like (rarely are more than five used, as the game gets far too hard!).

Next, the players are dealt between five and seven cards, depending on the number of rungs. Those who wish to take part then place a wager into the centre of the table - this becomes the 'pot' - and play begins.

The players decide who goes first in a mutually agreeable manner, usually whoever dealt or the winner of the previous game. The players must fill all of their rungs with cards. Each player takes it in turns to place a card down, going clockwise around the table. Players may 'fold' at any time, meaning that they no longer take part in the game. During a gambling game, however, any money placed in the pot stays in the pot - you can't fold to get your money back!

Card Values

The following card values are used during Runger:

  • Number cards - face value (ie, a Two is worth 2 points, a Three is worth 3 points, etc).

  • Picture cards (Jack, Queen, King) - 'block cards'. They have no value and simply fill a rung.

  • Aces are worth 1 point unless they are placed with a card of the same suit, then they are worth the same as the card with which they were placed. Note that picture cards have no suit for the purposes of this rule. For example, in a game with three rungs, a King (0 points) followed by the Ten of Hearts (10 points) followed by the Ace of Hearts is a winning hand - the Ace is worth 10 points because it was placed with the Ten of the same suit.

The '175th Rules'

  • The 'Galetonian' card groups are: Hearts, Titans (diamonds), Oaks (clubs) and Spades1.

  • Two Jokers are needed - red ('The Angel') and black ('The Reaper').

  • The 175th rule: if a player plays an Ace, a Seven and a Five of the same suit, then they automatically win unless cancelled by the next player with The Angel.

  • The 'Triple Ace' rule - if a player uses three Aces then they automatically win, unless cancelled by The Reaper, The Angel or a 175.

Note that these rules apply regardless of the number of rungs. If a player cannot cancel with his next placement, the player who made the play wins.

More Variations

Of course, there's no limit to how many rules you can add, so long as all the players know about them. Here are a few others you may like to try:

  • Royal Ladder - if you can get a King, Queen and Jack of the same suit, then you can play a Royal Ladder, which works like a Triple Ace.

  • Switch - when a player plays a Joker, he immediately swaps all his cards (except for those already played) with those of another player. A mean tactic, especially if you have a bad hand...

Try it out, you may be surprised how much fun it is!

1You can use a normal deck, but the 'official' card types are put in for true fanatics.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Edited by

h2g2 Editors

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more