If you have ever played solitaire and wanted to play a version in which you can compete against your friends using the same deck, Flinch offers that opportunity. Players in the game manipulate their own personal piles of cards in an attempt to deplete their stock piles. To win the game, players must develop a strategy to get rid of their own cards while trying to prevent their opponents from doing the same.
The Cards and How to Start
Flinch is played by two to eight players. The equipment for the game includes a set of 135 playing cards. These cards include nine cards for each of the numbers 1 through 15. The standard deck in Flinch provides enough cards for up to four players. If there are more than four players, a second deck of Flinch cards, which must be purchased separately, must be used. To start the game, each player is dealt a stock pile of 10 cards face down, with the top card flipped face up. Each player also receives five cards for her hand, which only she can view until they are played.
Turns In the Game of Flinch
A player starts his turn by playing any cards from the top of his stack or his hand into the playing stack area. The playing stacks are common piles in the middle table shared by all of the players. Each playing stack begins with a 1 card, and cards are played to the stack sequentially in ascending order. Up to 15 playing stacks can be in play at one time, and a playing stack is removed once a 15 card is placed on top of it.
The player must play any 1 cards he possesses to the playing area. He then has the option of playing any face up cards in his reserve pile, cards from his hand, or the face up card on top of his stack to the playing stacks. A player is never required to play a card ranked higher than a 1, if he does not wish to play it. If the player uses up all the cards in his hand, he may draw five new cards from the draw pile and continue his turn.
Ending The Turn
Players end their turns by discarding one card face up to form a reserve pile. The first five discards by a player must be to separate piles. After the five reserve piles are formed, a player may place her discard on any reserve pile she wishes.
Winning In Flinch
The first person to play all 10 stock cards wins the game of Flinch. Flinch can be played as a single hand or multiple hands to determine the winner. If you are playing multiple hands, continue playing until one player wins a specified number of hands, such as three wins. Another option is to play a set number of hands, with the player winning the most hands being the winner. With those rules, it is possible for multiple players to tie for the most wins.
Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.