The rules of the Name Game are simple. Even small children will have no problem following them. The only requirement is for the players to recognize the values of the cards. In this game, suits don’t count.

To make the game fun, there must be at least four players. Less than four players can in theory play, but the game will not be as much fun, because there will be less opportunities for laughter.

I suggest that you gather at least five or more players to get as much fun out of the game as possible.

The Rules:

First the players must change their names. The most laugh-filled games I’ve experienced are the ones where players switch names with each other.

For example Mommy Julia becomes Little Erick, and Daddy Robert becomes Little Monica. Little Erick, on the other hand, assumes the name Mommy Julia, and Little Monica assumes the name Daddy Robert.

After each game, the players can agree among themselves on a new set of names to use in the next round. If the players, for example, decide to use names of flowers, Daddy Robert may take the name dandalions, Mommy Julia tulips, Little Monica roses, and Little Erick orchids.

Or the players may want to choose titles of songs or movies, names of places, famous persons, tourist destinations, planets in the solar system, etc.

The players have two minutes to memorize their new names. Assuming they agree to switch each other’s names, the game will proceed like this:

The dealer (usually the Daddy) deals each player a card. He deals the cards face up, starting with the player to his left.

The players should watch the last card dealt (the top card) on their respective files. Each time two players have the same top cards (say, queens, seven’s, or three’s [remember suits are ignored]), the players call out each other’s “new” name.

So in our imaginary game above, if a Three of Hearts falls on Erick’s file and the Three of Spades falls on Mommy Monica’s file, Erick calls out Mommy Monica’s new name (in this case Erick), while Mommy Monica calls Erick’s new name (in this case Mommy Monica).


The player who calls the opponent’s name first wins that particular deal. He gets to capture ALL his opponent’s cards.

The dealer will deal the next card to the losing player (the one who lost all his cards), and the deal will proceed clockwise.

The fun begins when three or four duplicate cards turn up one after the other. A lot of confusion ensues. Wrong names, blank stares, shouting and screaming will surely follow to contribute to the fun.

The player who captures the most cards from his opponents wins the game.

Good luck and have a fun weekend.


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