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How to Play K'nack the Card Game

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Do you have the knack to K'nack?

K'nack is a fun and simple card game played with a standard deck of cards which promotes matching and strategy skills.

K'nack can be played at large social gatherings, in small and intimate groups or even in a Solitaire version.

 
Can You K'nack?
 
 



K'nack, the Card Game and K'nack Solitaire
created by Michael Camarata
Copyright © 2010, Michael Camarata

What is K'nack?

A Quick K'nack Quiz

How do you pronounce K'nack?

You pronounce K'nack like "knack," except that the first K is not silent. The K is pronounced like a C, as in "Cat".

The Objective of K'nack, the card game.

Can you K'nack?

The objective of K'nack is to get rid of your cards by matching them, according to the rules, with other cards on the field of play. The first player to use all of his or her cards is the winner.

How to play K'nack, the Card Game

Multi-Player K'nack

The goal of K'nack is to place all of the cards from your deck onto the field of play.

For a card to be played, it must be of the opposite color and have a value of one above or one below the card (or cards) by which it is being placed. This is referred to as a "match" in K'nack.

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Equipment Needed to play K'nack:

1. A Large playing surface, such as a dining room table or a living room floor.
This playing surface is known as the "Field of Play."

2. 1(+) standard deck(s) of playing cards (52 standard game cards + 2 Jokers per deck).
1 deck = 1 to 2 players, 2 decks = 3 to 4 players, etc.

Note: Some countries use a 36 card deck. For these countries, use 1 deck of cards per player.

Starting K'nack, the card game:

1. The cards are shuffled and dealt out evenly, face down, between all players. Each player places these cards face down in a stack in front of his or her self.

2. Each player draws five cards from the top of his or her deck into his or her hand.

3. The player to the left of the dealer starts by choosing one card from his or her hand and placing it face down in the center of the field of play.

Note: This is a free card. Like a joker, any card may be placed face up next to it, provided that it "matches" any other cards that border it as well.

Playing K'nack, the Card Game:

1. Each player places a card in turn to either the left, right, top or bottom of any card on the field of play. Each card played must be of the opposite color and have a value of either 1 above or 1 below the card it is being played next to. For instance, a Seven of Hearts can only be placed next to a Six of Clubs or Spades or an Eight of Clubs or Spades.

Note: All cards must be laid in the same direction. A card can not be placed sideways to another card.

Here's the trick: The card being played must have the opposite color and a value of 1 above or 1 below each card it is being placed next to. This is referred to as a "match" in K'nak. If it does not match all cards that it borders, it can not be placed in that position.

Wrap Around: Card values wrap around, so that a King can be played next to either a Queen or an Ace and an Ace can be played next to either a 2 or a King.

Jokers are wild. They may be placed in any position. Any card may be placed next to a joker, provided that it matches any other cards bordering it as well.

2. If a player does not have a card in his or her hand that he or she can place on the field of play, then he or she must pass. The next player then plays his or her card. If no players can play a card, then the game ends. See Ending the Game

3. After a player plays a card, he or she draws a new card from the top of his or her deck to replace it so that his or her hand contains 5 cards.

Ending the Game:

A Game ends in one of two ways:

1. No players can play a card.

2. One player runs out of cards to play.

If no players can play a card, then the game is over. Each player adds up the cards left in his or her hand and deck. The player with the fewest cards left wins. If more than one player has the same number of cards left, then they tie.

If a player runs out of cards, then he or she is the winner. Other players may add up their cards to see their place in the game, or they may choose to continue playing out the game for placement.

Special Rules:

"K'nack!": When a player draws the last card from his or her deck into his or her hand, he or she must say "K'nack!" If that player does not say "K'nack!" then each player, starting with the player to that player's left, draws the top card from his or her own deck and places it in that player's deck. If a player has no cards in his or her deck, he or she places a card from his or her hand into that player's deck. If this causes a player to run out of cards, then he or she wins.

Dangler's: A card that hangs over the side of the table or other field of play is called a "dangler." A dangler may be allowed so long as it remains on the field of play of it's own accord. It may not be hooked under the edge of another card. No other objects may be used to hold it in place.

Leaners: When playing on a surface such as a living room carpet there may be objects, such as chair legs, against which a card may be leaned. A card may be leaned, provided that it leans at no more than a 45 degree angle.

K'nack, the Card Game and K'nack Solitaire created by Michael Camarata
Copyright 2010, Michael Camarata

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K'nack Solitaire

The rules for playing K'nack Solitaire are slightly different than multi-player K'nack:

The Goal of K'nack Solitaire:

The goal of K'nack Solitaire is to place all of the cards from your deck onto the field of play.

How to play K'nack Solitaire:

As in multi-player K'nack, a card must be of the opposite color and have a value of one above or one below the card (or cards) by which it is being placed. This is referred to as a "match" in K'nack.

1. The player shuffles a deck of cards and places them face down in front of his or her self. This is commonly referred to as the Stock.

2. The top card is drawn and placed face up in the center of the playing field.

3. The next top card is drawn and placed face up beside the deck. This is commonly referred to as the Waste. If the card can be played, it is placed on the field of play.

4. If the card can not be played then another card is drawn off of the top of the deck and placed on top of this card. If this new card can be played, it is played and the card under it becomes open for placement.

5. The game continues in this manner. Only the top face up card can be placed onto the field of play. Any cards under it can not be played until the cards above them have been played.

6. When the player runs out of playable cards, he or she may re-shuffle the face up stack, place them face down and continue to draw cards one at a time for play. This may be done twice, for a total of three passes through the deck.

7. The game ends when all cards are played or no cards are able to be played.

K'nack, the Card Game and K'nack Solitaire created by Michael Camarata
Copyright 2010, Michael Camarata

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