Conquian, also known as “Coon Can”, or the Konkar game, is a rummy style game originating from Mexico in the 1800s. This game is believed to be the originator of modern rummy, and still sees play today.
How to Play Conquian Card Game
Conquian is designed to be a 2-player card game. All you need to play are a deck of cards with the 8, 9 and 10 cards removed, making a deck of 40 cards.
To determine the dealer, each player draws a card from the deck after shuffling, and the player getting the higher card becomes the dealer for the round. The cards are valued with K being the highest, and the Aces being the lowest.
Each player is then dealt 9 cards each, one at a time. The remaining cards are then placed at the center of the board, forming the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is revealed, forming the discard pile.
The goal of the game is to form a meld of 10 cards, including the 9 initial cards and the last card drawn. Melds come in two variations, sets and sequences.
Sets consist of cards from the same rank. 6♣ 6♦ 6♠ is a valid set.
Sequences consist of cards in a rank sequence, and are only valid if all cards come from the same suit. 4♣ 5♦ 7♠ is not a valid sequence, whereas 5♦ 6♦ 7♦ is valid.
The minimum number of cards in a meld is 3.
The non-dealer goes first. At the start of their turn, a player draws a card from the draw pile or the discard pile. The drawn card can only be kept if it is used in a valid meld. If a player has a valid meld, the player will need to reveal the meld by setting the cards face up on the board. Revealed melds can no longer be discarded.
If a player cannot form melds, the drawn card is discarded. If a player forms a meld with the drawn card, any unmelded cards from their hand can be discarded. A player must end their turn with 9 cards in hand, including the revealed melds.
A player can form multiple melds in one turn, so long as they are valid.
How to Win?
The first player to meld all cards from their hand will be the winner of the round.
Conquain rules exist to promote more strategic play. There really is only one main rule in Conquian, and that is the idea of forcing melds.
With discards and melds being revealed, a player can carefully choose their discards to force a player to meld. This is shown in detail in the Hands section of the guide.
A player cannot refuse a forced meld. However, it should be stated that a discard is to be used in a forced meld.
The Conquian rules are:
- Each player is dealt 9 cards.
- At the start of each turn, a player draws a card from the draw pile or the discard pile.
- If the card can be used in a meld, the meld is revealed. A card from hand is discarded.
- If the card cannot be used in a meld, the card is discarded to the discard pile.
- Melds cannot be discarded.
- If a player forces a meld with a discard, it cannot be refused.
- If all cards are drawn from the draw pile, and no one has completed their melds, the round ends in a draw.
Conquian scoring is additive across multiple rounds. The points awarded are based on the remaining cards in hand. Since the winner clears all their cards from hand, their opponent gets 0 points. The card values are added up to determine the points. Individual card values are as follows:
- 2-7: Face value
- Jacks, Queens, Kings: 10 points
- Aces: 15 points
An unmelded hand of 6♣ 8♦ would be worth 14 points in total.
Conquian in English countries follow a few rules. A player always begins and ends their turn with 9 cards in hand, including the revealed melds. The main complexity in Conquian comes from the forcing of melds, so here is a detailed example of meld forcing.
A player has 2 melds and 2 cards remaining.
|3♣ 3♦ 3♠ |
10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦
At this stage, the player can win via the drawing of a 6♠ or 9♠. To prevent this, the opposing player discards a 3♥, forcing the player to meld the following:
|3♣ 3♦ 3♠ 3♥ |
10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦
Since this exceeds the 9-card limit, the player is forced to discard one of the two unmelded cards, breaking the potential sequence.
- Conquian strategy revolves around knowing what melds are available to you.
- Try to maintain at least 3 unmelded cards, even resorting to not revealing completed melds if possible.
- Prevent forced melds. Forcing melds can lock your opponent out of a win, but the same can happen to you.
- Don’t meld unless you have to. You are only required to reveal a meld if the drawn card is used.
- Meld sequences at the ends. Since wrapping around is not allowed, making sequences at the ends are less vulnerable to forced melds.
- Remember that the 8, 9, and 10 cards are not included. The sequences consider 7 and Jacks to be adjacent cards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I play Conquian online?
There are many online simulators for Conquian, this playing site is one of the more popular sites.
Is there a mobile app to play Conquian?
There are multiple Conquian apps on Android and iOS for interested players, and browsing through the respective apps stores is the best way to find them.
How many cards are in Conquian?
There are a total of 40 cards in Conquian, with the 8, 9 and 10 cards removed from the standard 52-card deck.
What happens when all cards from the draw pile are drawn?
If all cards from the draw pile are drawn, the round ends in a loss, and both players do not receive points.