How to Play the Card Game Kemps

By Dana Severson

Kemps is card game in which a player has to figure out if his partner's hand contains four of a kind. How do you get a hand with four cards of the same rank? You grab for them. The dealer deals out a set of cards, and you must snatch them as quickly as possible from the table before another player can reach them. It may sound a little childish, but Kemps is fast-paced fun for players of any age.

Have the players form teams of two. Let them take a moment to discuss potential signals (i.e., nonverbal "table talk"), then have them sit on opposite sides of the table from each other.

Deal out the deck until each player has a total of four cards in his hand.

Deal out four more cards face-up in the center of the table, making sure all players can reasonably reach the cards.

Grab a card (or cards) from the table and replace it (or them) with a card (or cards) from your hand. There is no set order of play in the game of Kemps, so grab quickly. Any card exchanged from your hand is placed face-up on the table. This card will be up for grabs by the other players.

Remove the four face-up cards from the table once the exchange has been exhausted and deal out four more cards in the same fashion. Players will again grab a card (or cards) and exchange with one (or more) in your hand. Sweeping and dealing may happen numerous times.

Call "Kemps" when you believe your partner has four of a kind in her hand. You may also yell "Stop" when you believe a player from the other team has four of a kind.

Reveal your hands. If you were correct in your call, the other team earns 1 point. If you were incorrect in your call, your team earns 1 point.

Win the game of Kemps when the other team's score hits a total of 5 points.

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.