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Gifts and Blessings: A Card Game

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About Gifts and Blessings

Gifts and Blessings: The Card Game turns standard card games upside down.

Gifts and Blessings is a fun and family friendly two player card game played with standard playing cards. Based on Christian Biblical principles of giving, the objective of Gifts and Blessings: The Card Game is to collect cards, as gifts, from the other player. You may then choose to use these gifts or allow them to turn into Blessings. The player with the greatest value of Blessings at the end of the game wins. The value of the cards given determines the value of the cards received in return.

The Symbology of the Cards

In Gifts and Blessings: The Card Game, the cards have a special symbology.

The King, Jack and Queen represent the Holy Trinity: The King is the Father. the Jack is the Son. The Queen is the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the Jack ranks higher than the Queen in Gifts and Blessings.

Each suit of cards represents a certain form of gift: The Diamond represents Wealth. The Club represents Friendship. The Spade represents Guidance. The Heart represents Love. This does not actually effect game play, but it helps us to think of the cards as gifts when we apply these values to them.

How to Play Gifts and Blessings

A Christian Card Game

Gifts & Blessings Field of PlayEquipment Needed to play Gifts and Blessings

One standard deck of 52 playing cards (or 2 standard decks of 36 playing cards).
A calculator or pen & paper is not required, but may be desireable for adding up or keeping track of your score.

Starting the Game

The playing cards are shuffled and seven cards are dealt out to each player.

The remaining cards are placed in a stack, face down, between the two players. This stack is known as the Fountain.

The player who did not deal the cards is the first player to give.

The first player to give in each round is referred to here as Player One. The second is Player Two.

A Round of Play

A round of play is made up of two phases: The Giving Phase and the Receiving Phase.

In the Giving phase: Player One chooses a card from his or her hand to give to Player Two. This card is placed face up on Player Two's side of the Fountain. This is known as the player's Gift Pool.

Player Two returns the favor by giving the gift of a card from his or her hand back to Player One.

Here's the deal:

A. The card given back should be of the same suit and of an equal or higher value than the card given.

Note: In Gifts and Blessings, the Jack ranks higher than the Queen. This is because the royalty cards are meant to represent the Holy Trinity: The King is the Father, the Jack is the Son and the Queen is the Holy Ghost.

B. If Player Two does not have a card of the same suit that is of an equal or higher value, then he or she must give back a card of another suit that is of an equal or higher value.

C. If Player Two does not have any cards that are of an equal or higher value than the one given to him or her, then he or she must give back a card with the closest value to the card given to him or her, reguardless of the suit.

Remember: Cheaters never prosper. Be honest in which cards you give. This is a game, meant to be fun. If you are found to be cheating not only do you forfeit the game, but your friends and family will not want to play with you any more and you run the risk of seriously damaging your relationships. After all, if you can't be trusted in something as trivial as a card game then how can they feel that they can trust you in any other area of life?

In the Receiving phase: Each player, starting with Player One, chooses to either take that gift by placing in his or her hand, or allow the gift to be a blessing by placing it face up in front of his or her self. This is known as the Blessings Pool.

A. A player may only have seven cards in his or her hand. That player may therefore only take as many gifts as will bring that player's hand back up to seven cards. Any other gift cards must be placed in the Blessings Pool.

B. Once a card becomes a Blessing, it must stay a Blessing. It may not be later taken back into the hand as a gift.

Once a player has moved all of his or her gift cards out of the Gift Pool, if he or she does not have seven cards in his or her hand then he or she draws as many cards as necessary from the top of the Fountain to return his or her hand to seven cards before the next player takes his or her turn.

Each player takes turns being the first giver: Player one in one round becomes player two in the next round. Player two in one round becomes player one in the next round.

Royalty Cards

A Queen is worth 3 cards, a Jack is worth 5 cards and a King is worth 7 cards.

If Player One to chooses to give a Queen, he or she recieves 3 cards back as a gift from Player Two's hand. If he or she gives a Jack, he or she recieves 5 cards back as a gift from Player Two's hand. If Player One gives a King, he or she gets all seven of Player Two's cards back as a gift. Normal rules apply as to which cards are given first.

If Player Two gives back a Queen, Jack or King, he or she draws the corresponding number of cards from the Fountain and places them in his or her Gift Pool. If more than one royalty card is given back as a result of a royalty card being given to him or her, Player Two draws the correct number of cards for each and every one of those cards and places them in his or her Gift Pool.

Running out of Cards

As the game progresses, the Fountain will eventually run out of cards to draw. The game continues as normal, with each player playing with the number of cards they have in their hands until one or both players run completely out of cards to play.

If either player is completely out of cards to play at the end of a round, the game is over.

Ending the Game

When at least one player is out of cards to play at the end of a round (after all cards have been removed from their Gift Pools and any cards have been drawn from the Fountain if available), the game is over. If either player has any cards left in his or her hand, he or she adds these cards to the other player's Blessings Pool.

Determining the Winner

Each player adds up the face value of each and every card in his or her Blessings Pool. The player who'se cards have the greatest total value wins.

Although Royalty Cards have a higherarchy during game play, they represent different aspects of the same God. Queens, Jacks and Kings are all, therefore, worth 11 points each.

Gifts and Blessings: The Card Game created by Michael Camarata
Copyright © 2010, Michael Camarata

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