Pesten With Cards is a classic Dutch card game that litteraly means Bullying With Cards. Other countries play similair games like Mau-Mau, Crazy Eights, Shedding, Puque, Чешский Дурак, Фараон, Крокодил, Tschau Sepp or Uno. The goal of the game is to be first to get rid of all of one’s cards. The winner will have to say “Last Card” before playing its winning card. If you forget to say “Last Card” when playing your winning card you must picks two cards as a penalty.
The game can be played with multiple decks of cards that also include the jokers. Each player is dealt 7 cards and the rest are placed face down as the stock or stack. At the beginning of the game the topmost card is revealed and placed face up on the table. Then the players take it in turns (clockwise) to play their cards. Note that if a “Pest-card” is shown at the start, it must be executed as if the dealer has played this card.
When it’s your turn, you must play one of your cards by sliding it to the pile. You can only play a card that has the same number, or has the same suit of the card on the pile. Exception to these are the Jokers and Jacks, which can be placed on every card. If you are not able to play any card from you hand, you must pick a card from the stock that will be added to your cards on hand. If this card would fit on the pile, you are asked if you want to play it immediately, or keep it on hand.
When you have played a card and you only have one card left, it is required to say: “Last Card” by clicking on the “Last Card” button above your cards. This will inform everyone that you only have one card left. If you forget to say it, and actually play your last card to win the game, you will get a penalty of two cards from the stock and your last card will not be played. Also if you say “Last Card” incorrectly, you will also get a penalty of two cards. Note that you can always press the “Last Card”-button even when it’s not your turn, to make sure that you are able to say it before you play your last card.
If you are able to play your last card on the pile, you win the round. However your last card may not be one of the special cards (see below, which cards have a special meaning).
Every time a card is placed on the pile, it is determined if this card is a special card. The number or type of the card determines the action that must be performed. In the Netherlands, there are a lot of variations of the actions that are performed when playing a card thus you are able to configure these in the game options, so make sure to set these in the same way you are used. The following actions are available:
The next player must pick 5 cards from the stack. If that player has a joker in hand, it can also play that joker, after which the player after that must pick 10 cards from the stack. Each played joker adds 5 cards to be picked. If you need to pick cards, you are not allowed to play any of them, and the next player must play.
The next player must pick 2 cards from the stack. If that player has a 2 in hand, it can also play that 2, after which the player after that must pick 4 cards from the stack. Each played two adds 2 cards to be picked. If enabled in the options, it is also possible to play a joker on a two, adding 5 cards to be picked. It is not possible to play a two on a joker. If you need to pick cards, you are not allowed to play any of them, and the next player must play.
You must play another card on this again. Don’t forget to say “Last card”, if you play a seven and you can also play your last card. If you are not able to play a card on the seven, you must then pick a card from the stack.
The next player skips a turn and the player after that can play now. When you are playing this card with two players, this means you can play another card again. (Similair to Seven).
Everyone must give one of their cards from their hand, to the left player. Click on the card you want to give, and when everyone has selected their card, the cards are exchanged.
A jack can always be played and it isn’t required to match the suit of the jack with the suit of the pile card. When you play a jack, you can decide what the suit must be. The next player must then play a card in that suit (or a another Jack or Joker).
- King / Ace
The order of playing is reversed meaning that the turns are now counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. If the order was already counter-clockwise, it returns back to clockwise. The order of play, does not affect the Ten card. Cards are always given to the left player. Note that Ace and King are both mentioned here, as different variations use both. Thus make sure that in the options, only one of them is selected. The default setting used is Ace and the King does nothing. When you are playing this card with two players you can play another card again. (Similair to Seven).
Pesten also has extra rules not related to specific cards. These extra rules can also be enabled / disabled in the game options. Make sure you select your preferred rules before starting the game. These rules are:
- Jokers on two’s
If a two is played, you can put a joker on it to add 5, to the pick-count. Enabled by default.
- Reverse card on jokers on two’s
When you must pick cards (joker or two), you can play a reverse card (king / ace) so that the previous player must pick the cards instead. That player can play a two or joker or reverse it again. Disabled by default.
- Immediately play a picked card
If you cannot play a card, you must pick a card from the stock. When this new card would fit the pile, it can be played immediately. Enabled by default.
- Play after penalty pick
If you pick penalty cards (joker or two), you can play a card after you’ve picked them. Disabled by default.
- Cannot win with special card
The last card you play cannot be a special card. Enabled by default.