Bringing the Co-operative Spirit into Play
In the Cards 

Card games are notoriously unco-operative. People lose their shirts
in poker and feud with their bridge partners. Quiet, rainy-day
games of Go Fish degenerate into tears and cries of "Cheater!" Even
playing solitaire can leave a player feeling like a loser.

Still, there are ways to play cards co-operatively. As a bonus,
some of these games let you use those 49-card orphan decks that
have been lying around in case the missing cards turn up!

How's Tricks! 
Games in which the highest card takes tricks are more co-operative
if, before play starts, all players predict the number of tricks
they expect to take. If everyone predicts correctly, they all win.

Sharing the wealth: 
Deal out all the cards. The players put down any four-card runs.
Then each player calls out a card he or she needs to complete a
run, and any player who has that card passes it on. As the cards go
round, players take the cards they need to complete new runs or to
add to their original runs. The process is repeated as necessary.
The winner is the whole group when all players have put down all
their cards.

Free Trade: 
Here's where all those orphan decks come into play. Use several
decks, and deal each player an agreed upon number of cards. Then
all the players with high cards of the same suit get together and
pool their cards. The object is to complete one full run of the

The players trade with the other groups for any cards they need.
Cards traded must be of equal value (a two of hearts for a two of
spades; a king (13) of diamonds for an ace (1), five, and seven of
clubs, etc. When each team has a run in its own suit, the game is

A Sound Foundation:
Budding structural engineers can work co-operatively to build a
house of cards (or a whole co-op!) from those part-decks. Some of
the co-operation, of course, is picking up all the cards when the
house falls down.

- Maureen Woodall
From February 1996 VICHA Newsletter (Newsletter of the
Vancouver Island Co-operative Housing Association).

Co-operative games allow everyone to take part without feeling
left out, without feeling like losers, and without hurting or
getting hurt. If you would like to share a co-operative game with
us, please e-mail Maureen Woodall: