Card Games

Panjpar | Dozdakaan | Nowrang

Pronounced: paenj-par

Panjpar, or Five Suits, is a game played with two people. The objective of the game is to get rid of your cards.

You start by finding out who goes first, in whichever method you please – whether it’s both players taking one card of the deck and who ever has the higher card goes first, or flipping a coin, etc. The player who goes second becomes the dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck, and dispenses five cards to each player (one at a time, so one card to Player 1, then one card to Player 2, second card to Player 1, second card to Player 2, and so on). Then the eleventh card, the dealer turns over and places next to the rest of the deck. The suit of this eleventh card becomes rang, which means it’s the most powerful suit and is stronger than any other card.

Now, to play the game, Player 1 will look at his/her cards, and put down a card, to which Player 2 has to beat. To beat a card, the opposing card has to be a higher number of the same suit (i.e any number above two can beat a two, a 10 can be beat by a Jack and higher, and the only thing that can beat a King is an Ace). One can always use a card of rang to beat any card not of rang, where numerical order does not matter (so, if rang is hearts, then a King of Diamonds can be beat with a two of hearts). If there becomes a rang-baazi, where rang is being used in the playing field, the same rules for normal cards apply, wherein the only way to beat the hand is by a higher number card (if rang is hearts, and one player puts down a 10 of hearts, the only way to beat that card is Jack and higher, of hearts). A player can let down one card, three cards or five cards, but for multiple cards at a time the cards must be in pairs. To put down three cards, two need to be a pair, and the third card can be anything, so thus, for example, a Jack of Hearts, a Jack of Clubs, and a Five of Diamonds. To drop five cards at once (one’s entire hand), there must be two pairs, plus another card, so for example, a Jack of Hearts a Jack of Clubs, a Five of Diamonds, as well as a Seven of Diamonds and a Seven of Clubs.

If Player 2 can beat Player 1’s hand then those cards get put into another pile separate from the deck. If Player 2 cannot beat Player 1’s hand, that player must pick up the hand, and Player 1 gets to put down another hand. At all times both players need to have at least five cards in their hands, so, if Player 1’s hand was beaten by Player 2, then they both need to pick up cards from the deck to have five cards in their hands (Player 2 does not need to pick up cards if he or she could not beat Player 1’s hand). You then keep playing until the deck is finished and one player has finished all their cards, and it has to be at the same time.

Note: when all the cards finish in the deck, and the only card left is the card turned over showing what the rang is, then that card must also be used. Sometimes this might not all happen at the same time, in which case the pile of beaten hands has to be sorted out, shuffled and then used as the deck.

Instructions written by S. Ghilzai – January 20, 2016

Pronounced: dozd-a-kaan

Dozdakaan, dozd-baazi, or in English “Thief’s Play”, is a card game that can be played with as many people as one wishes. The objective of this game is also to get rid of all of ones’ cards. Like panjpar, it is up to the players to use their desired strategy to find who is the dealer. The dealer dispenses cards to all the players, one by one, until the entire deck has been dealt. Whoever the last card goes to, starts the game.

Players must not look at any of their cards, but rather organize their cards into a small deck, all cards facing down. Player 1 turns over his or hers’ first card, and places it next to their mini deck. Then, Player 2, and so on. When another player has a card one number lower than yours, you can place your card on top of his (for example, if a player is showing an eight, no matter what suit, and you turn over a nine, you have to put your card on top of his). If you place your card completely down without noticing that you can put your card elsewhere, you lost your chance, and the game continues. If you do put your card on someone else’s, then you keep drawing until you cannot put your card anywhere else except beside your deck. If one draws a two, of any suit, then that card has to go into the middle of the deck.

As the game continues the two’s in the middle of the game generate their own decks, so, if there is a two of clubs in the center, then if someone draws a three of clubs it must go on top of the two of clubs in the center, and so on, as the stacks keep growing. Again, whoever loses all of their cards first, wins the game, however, everyone must keep playing after the winner is found, to find who the dozd, or thief is.

Instructions written by S. Ghilzai – January 20, 2016

Pronounced: now-rang

The photo shows an example of the kind of 3 sets needed to win the game.

Player one distributes 11 cards to Player 2, and then distributes 10 cards to him/herself. The remaining cards go in the middle (face down). The objective of the game is to gather your cards into consecutive sets of the same color – 1 set of four and 2 sets of 3. A set of four is called garwanj. A set would be like 7, 8, 9, and 10 of clubs. The first person to complete one set of four and 2 sets of 3 wins the game. After the card distribution, Player 2 puts down one of his/her cards that cannot be used to make a set, and picks up a card from the middle deck. Then Player 1 can either pick up the card Player 2 put down or pick another from the middle deck. This continues until one of the players completes all the sets her/she needs.

Instructions written by Abdullah Qazi – January 20, 2016