6 new card games to play at the cottage


Oh, we understand that cribbage is a cottage must-play (especially if the family board has markers that are actually small nails, shaved twigs or thumbtacks). There’s also nothing quite like Crazy Eights or War for long-lasting games you can play to stave off cabin fever just a little longer.

But do you ever wonder what else is out there? Whether there are other card games that might be a) new, b) interesting and c) fun?

Read on, and follow the links for complete rules.


You might know this game by its unprintable other name that rhymes with “bass pole.” (It’s also known as Scum, Bum, Rich Man Poor Man, Butthead and—who knows why—Rootbeer.) Whatever you call it, President is a “get rid of all your cards” game that’s best played with four to seven people. If you are left with cards, you not only lose, but your friends and family get to call you an insulting name—at least until the next round.


This potentially loud game involves hitting things and can spark violent temper tantrums—but that’s what makes it so fun. Designed for two people, and following the basic principles behind Solitaire, Spit has players slam their hands down on winning piles of sequential cards. Just don’t play it on a rickety TV table, and make sure you use an old deck of cards, as they’re likely to get pretty beat up.


For those days when it’s too rainy to play real golf, there’s a card game. Like the fairway game, the object of Golf is to get the lowest score, and, also like real golf, a complete game generally has nine or 18 deals. There are also variations for games using anywhere from four- to ten-card hands.


Getaway is a simple follow-suit game, good for inexperienced card players, has its origins in Punjab, India, where it’s also known as Bhabhi (which in Hindi means “brother’s wife,” and is a rather unfortunate insult). The game is best when played with three to eight players, although variations exist where you can use more than one deck.

Spite and Malice

At the cottage, there are always days when everyone gets on everyone else’s nerves (especially when the weather’s not great), so Spite and Malice is an apt title. A form of competitive Solitaire, Spite and Malice is a two-player game with possible variations to include more players. It’s also a calmer alternative to Spit—useful when the hand-slamming and yelling get to be a little much.

Svoi Kozyri

Svoi Kozyri is a Russian game whose name translates literally to “one’s own trumps.” A kind of mash-up between Crazy Eights and Euchre, Svoi Kozyri is best played with four people, though it’s possible to play with two or three.