Irish Snap
Irish Snap
Players: 2+
Type: Shedding
The aim is to lose all the cards in your hand.
The Deal
All the players sit around a table, so that they can all reach the centre. All the cards are dealt
out, one at a time in a clockwise direction to all the players. Cards remain face-down and
players may not look at their cards.
The Play
Play starts with the person to the dealer’s left. They initiate play by turning over their top card
and placing it into the centre, face-up, saying “One”. The player on his left then puts their top
card face-up on top of his, while saying “Two”. Play continues in this way (going “One”, “Two”,
… “Nine”, “Ten”, “Jack”, “Queen”, “King”, “One”, “Two”, etc) until one (or more!) of the following
● The card just laid matches the card underneath (same as normal snap).
● The card just laid matches the card number spoken by the player (e.g. they put down an
Ace while saying “One”).
At this point, all the players must slap their hands on top of the pile of cards in the centre. The
last player to do so takes the entire pile and puts them on the bottom of the pile in their hand.
This player then starts the next round, resuming from “One”.
If any player slams, or even starts to but jerks it back (“flinches”) they forfeit the round and pick
up all the cards in the centre.
The game has two major variants:
1. When a player has used all their cards, they continue to say numbers in turn, and still
have to slap when required. Only when one player has all the cards does the game end.
This variant usually makes the game last longer but allows everyone to continue play.
2. Alternatively, when a player has used all their cards, they cease play. The first player to
do so is the winner, and the player left with all the cards at the end is the loser.
Additional Variations
If the the card just laid is a Queen players should slap
Numbers aren’t spoken – the players must keep track in their head
When a player has no cards, their number still “counts” – i.e. if a 6 is laid, and a non-card
holding player says “six”, that’s still a snap.
● When certain numbers are spoken (e.g. “Jack”), play changes direction. Alternatively,
keep the jokers in, and use them to change direction.
● Words are substituted for certain numbers. So “cat” instead of “ten”, or “monkey” instead
of “three” for example.
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