NEIL MELVILLE Web Site
Card Games

I like cards.  They are like stiff little pieces of paper that you can clutch in your hand.  You can hide them or show them or toss them.  What a great invention.  And using cards for games: brilliant!  That was a revolutionary idea, and a pivotal advancement in game technology.

Mr. John McLeod has been gathering information on card games for 10 years, and you can find this data at Pagat.com.  I love learning new games, usually even more than I like playing them.  I like designing new games most of all.  New games like REGULAR FLAVOR (But I have to give my brothers Keith and Mark credit for that one).

I am an amateur enthusiast of the collectable card game Magic the Gathering, and have been playing since the Revised Edition.  As part of this hobby, I have dabbled in card and set design (I have only created 3 unofficial sets so far, 2 of completely original and still unofficial cards).

Check out my web article about how I made an illustration for a Magic: the Gathering card.

Some of my favorite card games:
Magic:
the Gathering - The original collectible card game.
Anaconda - A strange Poker variation
Oh Hell - Trick or trump game of precise bidding, played with standard deck
BRAWL - real-time fighting strategy card game.
arUNO - ascending rules UNO
Spit - super speed game (the cards get thrashed, so only for old beat up decks)
BANG! - spaghetti western shoot-em-up
Citadels - build up the city while taking down your competition!
San Juan - Puerto Rico lite (half the game, all the flavor)
LightSpeed - 5 minutes to learn, 1 minute to play, 10 minutes to find out who won
Loot - simple pirate game with deep strategic choices
Unspeakable Words - insane rummy with things that man was not meant to spell
Incan Gold - Like Deal or No Deal with zombies and giant spiders.

Regular Flavor

Also comes in: mint, cherry, and grilled salmon flavors.

No, no, no.  REGULAR FLAVOR is a new card game for 2 to 6 players.  the game is called REGULAR FLAVOR.  It is played with a regular deck of cards, so it is free - no cost to you other than the deck of cards.

Just like Ascending Rules Uno, and other self-modifying games, it was inspired by games of foursquare, where a player gets to declare a new "house rule" when they advance to the server position.  But here it is the dealer, and the dealer is determined by the winner of the previous round.

The game starts with a set of basic rules (the REGULAR FLAVOR):

  1. Each player is dealt 7 cards
  2. Players take turns, starting with the player left of the dealer, and proceeding clockwise.
  3. When it is a players turn, they may play a card.
  4. Cards are played on top of each other in the discard pile.
  5. A player's turn ends when they have played a card, or have verbally indicated that their turn is over.
  6. When a player has no cards in their hand, the round is over.
  7. When the round ends, the player with the least cards in their hand is the winner.
  8. The winner becomes the dealer for the next round.
  9. Before the next round is dealt, the dealer may add or amend (but not erase) one rule, or call REGULAR FLAVOR (returning the game to these basic rules).
  10. Rules #9 and 10 are IMMUTABLE, and cannot be changed by a new ruling.
  11. All rules must apply equally to all players in equal circumstances (no rules that apply to only one player in particular, without being able to affect other players in similar circumstances, as in "Bob cannot play cards").

The added/amended rule(s) can be anything, but the wording needs to be specific.  Precise terminology is helpful to make sure that a rule is observed in the way that you intended.  If the language is unclear, or a loophole can be found, you can bet that someone can and will exploit it to win.  And why not?  That's half the fun.

Some examples of the kinds of rules that can be enacted:

  • Triggers (When "such-and-such" is played, "Such-and-such" happens)
  • Definitions (i.e. the winner is the player with the most cards when the round ends)
  • Mechanics (When each player has played one card, the player who played the highest card collects the cards as a "trick")
  • Restriction (A card can only be played if the last card played was exactly one higher or lower in value)