How to Play Continental

By Contributor

Continental is a card game that puts a twist on the game of Gin Rummy. It is played in several rounds and can be played with 3 to 8 people. The more people the greater chance to drive the score up and move the game along faster. This is a great family game. It is recommended for ages 7 and up. Read on to learn more.

Shuffle at least one deck of cards that includes both jokers. The more players you have the more decks of cards you will want to add. Have several decks of cards on hands to add to the mix in later rounds. Have the player to the right of the dealer cut the deck. That card is placed face up next to a pile of remaining cards that have not been dealt.

Deal out 6 cards to each player for round 1. The player to the left of the dealer begins play.

Choose either the card that is face up or pick a card from the pile. Decide if you can use that card in your hand. You must discard a card from your hand and place it face up next to the pile.

Create 2 sets of cards in order to go down in round 1. You must be able to lay out all cards before you can put them face up on the table in front of you. A set will have 3 cards of the same numeric value, such as 3 kings or 3 threes. You can only go down on your turn.

Lay out your 2 sets and try to get rid of any remaining cards in your hand. This can be done in 2 ways. The first way is by discarding it. The second way is by placing your remaining cards on other players' sets.

Picking up cards from the face up pile that are needed for your hand can be done out of turn but it comes at a price. You must take a penalty card from the pile along with the face up card.

Winning the hand can be done when there are no cards left in your pile. You score a zero for that round. All other players must count what is in their hand still. Any cards laid out do not count towards the score. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game is the winner.

Continue playing by following Steps 1-7 for the remaining 6 rounds. Except that each round has you creating a different thing. Round 2 is 1 set and 1 run and deal 7 cards. A run is 4 or more cards in numerical order and of the same family, such as ace, 2, 3, 4 of hearts or jack, queen, king, ace of spades. Round 3 is 2 runs and deal 8 cards. Round 4 is 3 sets and deal 9 cards. Round 5 is 2 sets and 1 run and deal 10 cards. Round 6 is 2 runs and 1 set and deal 11 cards. Round 7 is 3 runs and deal 12 cards.

Tip

In round 7 you can not discard a card. You must be able to lay down all cards in your hand in order to win. Jokers are wild cards and can be used in any set or run. They can't be placed next to each other in a run if you have more than 1. Scoring goes as follows, cards with a 2-7 are worth 5 points each, 8-kings are worth 10 points each, aces are worth 15 points and jokers are worth 50.

Warning

Aces can be used as high or low but you can not wrap around with them.