President card game
Rules of the game

Vincent Brévart
Vincent Brévart


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  Rules of the game - President EspañolFrançais

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President rules of the game. The rules of President in a few simple lines, specially written for those who want to quickly learn to play. These pages tell you all what you need to start playing President. Learn to play in a few minutes, and then practice with the free program called Élysée for PC (all Windows), Mac OS X, Linux.


Rules of the game

How to play President

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Basic principle
  • 4 players playing for themselves

  • a standard 52-card pack and 2 Jokers

    • 4 suits ( Spades,  Hearts,  Diamonds,  Clubs)

    • 13 cards per suit (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2)

    • 2 Jokers

After the dealing, each player holds 13 or 14 cards (this difference is not very important). In President, the cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest in the following way:

Card ranks

The Joker is the highest, then the 2, and then the Ace (A).

The suits (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs) have no effect on the game. So, players sort their cards by rank (jacks together, 9's together, etc.) without worrying about suits. Here is an example of cards sorted in the right way:

Cards sorted in the right way

Cards sorted by rank, from highest to lowest.

President is a game in which you always have to beat the previous play. So, there are a few very simple rules to follow:

  1. The player who starts can play from 1 to 4 cards of the same rank. He chooses the rank and the number of cards he wants. For example, let's suppose that he plays two 5's.

  2. Then, to be allowed to play, the next player must lay the same number of cards than the previous player, but of a higher rank. For example, he may play two 6's, or two 7's, etc.

  3. If a player cannot play, he passes and misses his turn. He may also decide to pass even if he can play. Passing does not prevent him from playing on the next round.

  4. Each one plays or passes in turn, with as many times around the table as necessary, until three players pass in a row. Then, the last one to have played collects the cards, and he starts again like in (1).
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Aim of the game

President is an individual game. When three players have passed in a row, the cards played on the table are collected and put to one side, but they do not count to win the deal. Because the aim of the game, for each player, is to get rid of all his cards before the others.

The first player to get rid of all his cards wins the deal. He then becomes the President, as a reward for his victory. The next one is made Prime Minister. The third player to have no more cards become the Worker. And the last one is jokingly called the Bum.

Social rank according to the place

1st President   4 Points  
2nd Prime Minister 3 Points
3rd Worker 2 Points
4th Bum 1 Point

To have fun in President, it is not absolutely necessary to keep scores. But the above table shows a way to give points according to the social rank obtained by each of the players. The scored points accumulate from deal to deal. And the ultimate aim, to win a whole game, is to reach a certain number of points (for example, 30 points).

The derisive term used for the last social rank varies according to custom. Many players use other words like Scum, Asshole, Poor Man, and so on. In Élysée, you can easily change this term in the preferences, as well as the three other ranks.

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Exchanging cards

At the beginning of each deal, players must exchange cards according to the social rank they got at the previous deal (President, Prime Minister, Worker and Bum).

  • The President gives the Bum his two lowest cards (or the ones he chooses).

  • The Bum gives the President his two highest cards.

  • The Prime Minister gives the Worker his lowest card (or the one he chooses).

  • The Worker gives the Prime Minister his highest card.

There is no card exchange on the first deal of a game since players have no social rank yet. And when two players exchange their cards, they do it without showing them to the two other players.

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Other little rules

  1. One single Joker is enough to beat any set of cards. Then the round ends as no one can beat a Joker.

  2. You can play with the optional rule which allows players to make equal plays (to play the same number of cards and of the same rank as the previous player). Generally, this rule goes with the one telling that an equal play skips the next player's turn.

  3. Another optional rule is called revolution. When a player plays 4 cards of the same rank, the card order is reversed, and the 2 becomes the lowest card while the 3 becomes the highest. Only the Joker is not changed by a revolution.

  4. You can also play with a maximum of exchanges in a row, so that from time to time the social ranks are canceled and the four players start again with equal chances. Because the exchange penalizes the Bum and the Worker who sometimes have difficulty catching up with the scores.

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A few hints to make a good start

When exchanging cards

  • When you are President or Prime Minister, give your lowest card(s) while making sure you don't break your sets of the same rank. It is often better to give a higher card than a card belonging to a pair, for example.

When playing

  • Try to rapidly get rid of your lowest cards.

  • Don't hesitate to Pass so as not to break your sets of same rank cards.

  • At the end of a deal, when you just have a few cards left, think carefully. In many cases, you can find all by yourself the simple strategies that will make you finish.

If you have understood the basic principle of the game, feel free to download Élysée, President card game in free full unlimited version, that will allow you to play against the computer quietly. All the rules, as well as their numerous variations, are detailed in its help pages. The program and the help pages are all in English, with multilingual support for the menus and dialog boxes (Spanish, Italian, German).

Direct link to this page, that you are free to use

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