Snap is a British card-game, often alluded to in British literature and popular culture due to its ubiquitous nature on the Isles. Snap is a popular matching game, played by children and adults alike, able to accommodate from 2 to 8 total Players.
The Snap card game is related to another game called Slapjack. Like Slapjack, Snap is a game of speed and reaction time. It also utilizes the “second chance” mechanic.
How to Play Snap?
Snap uses the standard, 52-card Anglo-American deck. As the game can have anywhere from 2-8 Players, hands may not be equally dealt out to each Player.
Once the deck has been shuffled, all Players will be dealt one card at a time, the first card dealt going to the Player immediately clockwise from the dealer. Dealing proceeds until all of the cards have been exhausted from the deck.
Cards should be dealt face-down, and Players should not look at the cards dealt to them. Instead, they should file their cards together into a single stack, creating a deck of randomly assorted cards in front of them. Once each Player has formed their own small deck, gameplay may begin.
Each Player, beginning with the first Player to the clockwise of the dealer. That Player will draw the top card from their deck, and place the card next to their deck, face-up.
Players should not look at their card before playing it face-up. Instead, cards should be drawn away from the Player, towards the center, allowing all Players to see the card at roughly the same time.
Players will take turns, each emulating the first Player by revealing their top card one at a time. Play will continue until all Players have upturned one card, or until there are two cards of the same rank face-up at the same time.
- In the former case, all of the Player’s cards will be collected and placed into the middle of the play area, forming the “Snap pot.” The pot should be made orderly, like a face-up discard deck.
- In the latter case, Players should declare “Snap!” as quickly as possible. If there are two 10s face-up, for example, then a Player should immediately declare Snap! The first Player to declare wins the two matching cards.
- If there is a tie, and it cannot be otherwise determined who declared first, the two cards will be placed into the pot.
At any point in the game, if the top card of the pot matches another Players revealed face-up, then any Player may then declare “Snap pot!”.
Similar to the previous declaration, if two Players declare Snap pot at the same time, their cards will be taken into the pot.
If a Player runs out of cards, they are given a “second chance”. They are able to continue playing until the next potential Snap or Snap pot is revealed.
If the Player with no cards in their deck is able to declare Snap or Snap pot first, then they are given the two cards. If a Player is unable to win the Snap, or the pot, they are removed from the game.
Gameplay continues until one Player possesses all of the cards in their deck.
The essential rules are listed below:
- Ties are resolved neutrally, with both Players giving their cards to the pot.
- Snap is a “verbal” version of the game Slapjack, favoring pairs instead of the Jacks.
- Only one card may be drawn at any given time.
- Players should not look at their cards.
- If a Player declares snap at an incorrect time, they must pay a card into the pot.
- Suit does not matter.
Imagine there are four Players:
- Player 1: 4
- Player 2: K
- Player 3: Q
- Player 4: 9
Each Player pays into the pot. Round 2 begins.
- Player 1: 7
- Player 2: 9
- Player 3 declares snap.
- Player 3 takes the 4, K, Q, 9, 7, and 9.
Do Americans play Snap?
Yes, the United States does play Snap due to its close relations and relative economic and cultural exchange with the United Kingdom. However, there are more popular types of games that are already played in the United States, such as Spit and Speed.
How do you win the game Snap?
Snap is a game of luck and reaction time, rather than strategy and planning. By possessing all of the other cards, or by being the last remaining Player after all other Players have used up all the cards in their deck.
What age is Snap card game for?
Due to its simple rules, and relatively non-exhaustive rules, the Snap card game is appropriate for toddlers of three and older. It is a good game for children to play, as it encourages matching, memory, and recognition skills and reaction speed.