Jun 13, 2016

Hey y’all, it’s time for another “Well Written Wreview”!

Today we are going to have a look at “Pairs” by James Ernest, Paul Peterson and Hip Pocket Games (an imprint of Cheapass Games).


This is a competitive, press your luck style pub game for 2+ players (recommended no more than 8 players). To prepare take the deck and shuffle the cards, deal one card, face-up on the table, to each player. Deal 5 cards face-down off to the side as “Burn Cards”. Then place the deck in the center of the table. The player with the lowest number goes first (in case of a tie, deal each tied player an extra card, face-up, until the tie is broken).


On your turn you have one of two options:

  1. Hit – Flip over the top card and place it face-up in front of you.
  2. Fold – Take the lowest number card on the table and place it sideways in front of you, scoring it as points. Then, discard all cards in play (except for cards turned sideways as points), deal each player a new card, and start a new round.

If ever you hit, and get a card that matches one you already have in front of you (making a “Pair”) turn that card sideways in front of you scoring it as points. Then discard all cards in play (except for cards turned sideways as points), deal each player a new card, and start a new round (never take the cards that are sideways as points). If the deck ever runs out, take the discard pile and the burn cards and reshuffle them, deal 5 new burn cards face-down, then continue play.

Some of the Cards

In this game there is only one loser, while everyone else wins. The determining number for losing changes depending on the number of players, but there is a simple formula to follow (60 divided by the number of players, plus 1).


And that’s the game, it retails for $9.99, and comes with the rules, 55 cards (called a “Pyramid Deck” i.e. one 1; two 2’s; three 3’s; four 4’s; five 5’s; six 6’s; seven 7’s; eight 8’s; nine 9’s; and ten 10’s), one bottom card place holder (for covering the bottom of the deck, or to mark the placement of new, reshuffled cards), and the box. You can check it out here: Cheapass Games: Pairs

There are a number of different versions each with different art and variant rules of play. There is even a “Pairs Companion” rule book compiling all of the variations of play (available at the link above).

I give it 6 out of 6 pairs of pears.

Until next time, keep playing games, and the next round is on the house!

-Trevor L. Cooper

More Info: Pairs at BGG

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