• Angela Cumming

How to Play Asshole/President

Asshole or President is known by so many names including Bugger and Screw Your Neighbour, and it was another game of my childhood. I loved (still do, actually) playing this game with friends while hanging out or during indoor recesses (I don't get a recess anymore though, unfortunately). It's a great group game but it can be tricky because everyone has a different variation they play with (See Variations below)!


*Disclaimer: Use of language up ahead, as I'm sure you can tell by the title of this post.


Number of Players:

3 or more

Materials:

-one deck of regular playing cards (Jokers recommended)

Objective of the Game:

The game can be played by round or as a longer game with several rounds. The point of the round is to be the first person to get rid of all their cards and the winner of the game is the President after X number of hands.

Set-up:

Dealer deals all the cards out, evenly, to the players. 3s are the lowest, Aces are high, 2s beat an ace, and Jokers beat a 2. See play for more details on this.

Play:

In the first round, the player with the 3 of clubs goes first. They must play the 3 of clubs, but they can play as many 3s as they'd like.


Each subsequent player must match the number of cards for that hand. If someone starts the hand by laying doubles then everyone must lay doubles in that hand. The next player also must play higher than the card shown. For example, if the first player plays three 3s, then the next player must play three 4s or three 5s or any other set of triples higher than that. Play continues clockwise with each player playing a higher card(s).

Players can pass if they cannot go (or don't want to). When a player passes, they are out for the remainder of that hand and cannot jump back in to win it. When all players have passed, the most recent player to have laid cards wins that hand. The cards are turned over and removed from play and that player can begin a new hand by laying down whatever cards they'd like.


2s can be played at any time and they beat everything but a Joker. If doubles or triples are up for that round, you only need one less 2 than what is shown to play it. This sounds confusing but it's really simple. If doubles are up, you only need one 2 to beat them. If triples are up, you only need to lay two 2s (instead of three) to beat it. Jokers can beat a 2 and can be laid at any time. Only one Joker is needed, no matter how many cards are up.

Winning a Round:

You are the winner of the round if run out of cards first. Keep playing to see how each player places. This is important! Depending on how many players you have, places are as follows:


1st place: President

2nd Place: Vice-President

Middle Players: Neutral

Second-to-last Place: Vice-Asshole

Last Place: Asshole


You can ignore vice-president and vice-asshole if you only have 3 players.


Setting Up Subsequent Rounds:

Just like before, all cards are dealt evenly to the players. This time, once players have their cards, they need to exchange them. The Asshole must give their TWO best cards (even if they are Jokers) to the President in exchange for any two cards. The Vice-Asshole must give their best card to the Vice-President in exchange for any one card and the neutral players are safe.


The asshole goes first and can player whatever card(s) they'd like. Play continues as before.


Winning the Game:

You are the winner of the game if you finish as President at the end of X number of hands. You can pre-determine how many rounds you will play or call the game when you're bored and someone has been dominating for too long. Usually it's the latter.

Variations:

-Burning: In this version, you may play the exact number card played before you. This is called 'burning'. For example, if player one plays two 6s then player two can also play two 6s and burn the first player. When a player burns the cards, the hand is swept and that player can start a new hand by laying down whatever they'd like.


-Runs: In this version, players can discard when a run of 3 is achieved. The number of cards they discard depends on the multiples in play. For example, if double 3s are laid down, the next player plays double 4s, and the next player plays double 5s then all three players can discard two cards from their hand. Play continues as normal after this. Only the players involved in the run may discard!


-You can play with both burning and runs.


-Jokers are not necessary for the game.



Do you have any variations of Asshole/President? Let me know in the comments!


Need a new deck of cards? Grab a two-pack using this link so you always have one on hand!


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