The Aardvark Game
A Game for Friends
James 'Rooter' Quin
Adam 'Tongue' Tilghman
Luke 'Snout' Weisman
Renée 'Buggy' Sharp
rules written up by
Luke 'Snout' Weisman, secretary
The Aardvark game's overall objective is based on the idea that people,
not cards, should be the friends of Aardvarks. I.e. the prevalent
concept is to have in your hand more Aardvarks than other cards, and therefore
to have an Aardvark solely devoted to yourself. The fundamental idea
here is if you have more Aardvarks than cards then there is at least one
Aardvark which has no cards to devote his (her) attention to and so devotes his (her)
aforementioned attention (of the Aardvark's) to the individual in
possession (or holding) of the hand (of cards in his (her) hand(s).)
The Aardvark game requires a fifty-two (52) card deck of the classic style
found in the average working household throughout the USA and parts of
Four (4) persons interested in playing, not merely observing but actually
taking a part or rôle in, the Aardvark Game, A Game for Friends.
One (1) Table around which the four (4) persons are seated. See
diagram A below for some suggested arrangements.
The following seating positions in Diagram B are not recommended and
could provide some extensive problems that are not discussed in this text.
Note: We would like to say that the rightmost arrangement of Diagram B,
should one of these arrangements become absolutely necessary, is the preferred
seating arrangement of the collection.
Spend a moment in deep appreciation of the creators of this most unusual
and terrific card game. Singing the Aardvark Alma Matter or the Aardvark
Information Song (see below) at this point is encouraged to raise group moral.
Once all players are seated properly, they should elect an individual from
their ranks and designate that elect the Dealer™. The Dealer™ should
now take the aforementioned standard fifty-two (52) card deck and perform
the following, in the following order: A, B, C.
A) Shuffle deck until bored with this process.
B) Not allow anyone to cut the deck as the Aardvark Game the Game of
Friends Game is a game of friends and so there is to be no cheating.
As cheating is a violation of the rules, consider this to not be a rule,
so no one can cheat.
C) Deal the cards in any fashion such that each person has in
front of them thirteen (13) cards and such that no person can be
certain as to the location of any specific (i.e. unique) card being in
any specific pile.
Now each person should pick up their cards,
namely the pile of cards closest to them, and consider those cards in
a manner that conceals the identities, i.e. suits and values, of those
cards from the other players but reveals the identities to that
What is An Aardvark?
Aardvarks are our friends. In addition they eat ants. Sadly
neither of these two things have much bearing on the game. However,
all cards commonly known as Aces, or As, or, in extreme circumstances, Ones,
are Aardvarks. I bet you did not know that did you?
The Gifting Phase
The Gifting Phase is when each player gives another designated player three
(3) of their cards before looking at the gift from another designated player
which is often, but not always, not the player who the original player's
cards were gifted to in the first place.
Designation of players is as follows: The first hand the designated
player (i.e. the receiver of the gift) is on the Left, the second hand
the designated player is on the Right, the third hand the designated player
is the one which is not on the Right nor the Left and is also not yourself.
The fourth hand the designated player is that player which has not yet
been designated to receive a gift by you, i.e. yourself. In the fifth hand and following (except the exception following), if anyone
is still playing, the entire process resets. The twenty-third (23rd)
hand, however, everyone gives three (3) cards to everyone else as twenty-three
(23) is bigger than nineteen (19).
The Objective of the game is to Call Aardvarks to the Field and then Capture
them into ones hand. When, through successive calling and capturing,
a player has more Aardvarks than other cards, and has at least one Aardvark,
that player wins. If more than one (1) player has such a situation
at the same time, all players fitting that situation win.
Power of the Rich Rule
The King of Diamonds can be no Aardvarks' friend except for the Aardvark
of Diamonds who is lulled by riches.
The Field is the table where Aardvarks, when called, are placed face up
in full view of all players.
Each player has three (3) imaginary Call Slots in front of it.
Beginning a Call
When a player places a non-Aardvark card on the table in an imaginary Call
slot of some player which has no cards in it, the player who played the
non-Aardvark card is said to have started a Call for the player whose imaginary
call slot was filled. To start a Call the player can only play a
card whose value is nowhere in evidence on the field.
Each player may have only three (3) Calls. No player can start
a Call for any other person save itself unless the player already has three
Continuing a Call
When a player plays a card of the same value on any Call which has been
begun, and the total number of cards (before the play) does not exceed three (3), the Call
is said to have been Continued.
Having a Call
If a Call is in a player's imaginary Call Slot, then that player
is said to own the Call.
Concluding a Call
When a player places the fourth (4th) card of some value on top of three
(3) other displayed cards of that value and then shouts "Aard!",
the Call is Ended. This can cause either a Calling or a Capture of
the aardvark with the suit matching the first card played of the call's
value (i.e. the card at the bottom of the call's stack). If that
aardvark is not on the field, it is placed on the field and the player
who owned the Aardvark escapee receives the four (4) call cards.
If the aardvark is grazing (i.e. on the field), it is placed in the hand
of the person owning the Call. In this case, the four (4) Call cards
are removed from the game.
A special event where some number from one (1) to four (4) aardvarks are
placed on the field in a special ritualized manner.
Once the Gifting Phase is over, the Game Begins. The Game consists
loosely of each player in counterclockwise order doing any number of things.
The most common thing is to either Begin an Aardvark Call or to Continue
an Aardvark Call or to Conclude an Aardvark Call.
When a player has no cards in his (her) hand, that player undergoes a
mystical transformation and becomes an Aardvark. They begin to behave
Aardvark (friendly, nocturnal, exploring with a sensitive nose).
During their turn, they use any legal (i.e. displayed) Aardvark superpower instead of
playing a card. If they acquire a card, they become human again (if that's
what they were to begin with).
Note: an aardvark may not be its own friend. However, if there are ever
two player/aardvarks, and if they are friends, both of them win.
The Aardvark Superpowers
Any player can thrown an Aardvark on the field at any time with one exception
detailed below and say, "Aard!" This starts an Aardvark Display.
Anyone wishing can thrown their Aardvark on the field and say, "Aard!"
The last person to throw an Aardvark on the field totals the number of
Aardvarks thrown out in the display and subtracts one (1) if it was not
her turn. This number is the number of Aardvark Superpower Points
that person gets. The last person to throw an Aardvark on the field
is said to have 'Won' the display. No new display can be begun until
that person has finished with a turn.
The Actual Aardvark Superpowers
Each aardvark has its own superpower, as follows:
The greedy diamond aardvark gives the power to take a random card from a
given player's hand.
The generous Heart aardvark gives the power to give a card from any
player's hand (including your own) to another player (not including you).
The spade aardvark uses its powerful spade-like forefeet to dig up the top
card of an Aardvark call into the hand of the player who owns that call.
The club aardvark knows that, in the deepest sense, we are all in the same
"club" - Club Earth. To demonstrate that we should share with our
club-mates, it gives the power to move a partially complete aardvark call
to an empty call slot owned by another player.
The power of a given aardvark may be used only when that aardvark is "in
the field", or visible.
When the points have been spent, that player's turn is said to have been
finished with, and play resumes with the player on that player's left.
Beginning the Play
This is the final rule. The player with the King of Diamonds, which
is commonly referred to as the card that is not an Aardvark Friend even
though it is possible for him to be so, places said King of Diamonds on
the table as a Call to begin play.
Appendix A-Songs to Accompany the Game