How to Play the Card Game Cucumber

By Dana Severson

"Cucumber" is a fairly different card games, as players play their hands out without following suit until only one card remains. This last card is truly the clincher, and is the deciding factor for the outcome of each round. As you play the game, you’ll begin to understand the strategy it takes to set up your hand so that this last card will help you win. Try a few practice rounds before getting into the real nitty-gritty game play of "Cucumber."

Determine the order of play by dealing out the cards until one of the players is dealt a Jack. This player becomes the first dealer for the game of "Cucumber."

Deal out seven cards to each player, starting with the person to your left and moving around the table in a clockwise direction until all players have a complete hand.

Play a card from your hand. The player to the dealer’s left will lead out any card she would like. Subsequent players will have the option of either playing a higher card than the last card played—meaning the cards increase in value as play moves around the table—or the lowest card in their hand. There is no “suit” for the game, so you may play any card from your hand that is higher than the previously played card. Cards are played directly in front of each player and are not removed from the table from trick to trick.

Continue to play cards until there is one card remaining in each player’s hand. This last card is the most important card in the round. It is the card that determines the loser for that round and the points awarded to that player. The player with the highest card wins the trick, but loses the round and receives the value of the card they’ve played, yet earns the deal for the next round.

Note the value of the card on the score pad and continue to play as already described until one of the player hits 21 points. This player is eliminated from the game.

Win the game of "Cucumber" by being the last person left at the table.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.