The Classic Parlor Game
From Cheapass Games / Hip Pocket Games!
Pairs is a simple parlor card game. It uses a simple triangular deck of cards: that's 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, and so on all the way to 10x10. There are many ways to play!
The basic rules:
Players take turns taking cards, trying not to get a pair. If you get a pair, you score points (and points are bad). You can also choose to fold, instead of taking a card, and score the lowest card in play. Folding gets you some points, but catching a pair could get you even more.
Pairs doesn't have a winner, just a loser. The first player to reach a target score loses, and the target score depends on the number of players. For example, with 4 players, the loser is the first player to 16 points.
There are many different Pairs decks, most with their own game variants! You can also download the "Pairs Companion," a PDF containing more than 20 different games for the Pairs deck!
Who doesn't love Pirates? Illustrator Brett Bean brings you this deck of pirates, scalawags, and ne'er-do-wells. The Pirate Pairs Deck contains the basic rules and two bonus games, Port and Starboard, as well as the "Pieces of Eight" alternate rule for the basic game.
In the Pieces of Eight variant, you can discard an eight to draw two cards.
In Port, players take turns drawing cards or locking their stacks. The player(s) who lock with the most points win the hand, but catching a pair knocks you out.
In Starboard, the play is similar to Port, but players are all using the same central stack of cards. For this one, you need chips to keep score.