That’s Georgia the country, btw. This card game was taught to me by an excellent designer from my former country, who is a proud Georgian citizen and game aficionado. Bonus Georgia factoid: apparently they invented wine, around 6000 BC.
The name of the game is something in Georgian that I could neither understand nor spell, so I have re-christened (classic Anglophone) it Interrogation.
Interrogation card game
1 standard deck of cards, with numbers 2–5 removed
- The game is played in partners, with players opposite one another forming a team.
- Aim of the game: collect sets of four-of-a-kind. Since there are nine sets in total (remember, numbers 2–5 are removed), five sets are needed to win.
- A turn consists of asking another player a yes/no question. If their response is ‘yes’, it remains your turn. As soon as you receive a ‘no’, play passes to the player to your left (i.e. one of your opponents).
- If, on your turn, you correctly identify the specific cards of a set held by other players, and (optionally) reveal the remaining members of that set, you collect them, placing them facedown in front of you to indicate that they are yours.
- E.g. Judd asks Curley if he has the Queen of Hearts – yes – and then asks Laurey if she has the Queen of Spades – yes – and then Judd reveals the Queens of Diamonds and Clubs. He takes all four Queens and puts them facedown in front of him – this is one of the five sets his team requires to win.
- Once one team reaches five sets the game is over.
- Since this is a partner game, table talk is a big issue. Agree in advance how lenient you are going to be about infractions.
- For example: Is it okay to ask for repetition of what questions were asked by the previous player? How many turns back can this go? Are players allowed to encode information in how the ask questions? Are players allowed to attempt to send non-verbal signals to one another?
- The best way to get around this problem, in my experience, is to mix up the partners each game.
- Semantics are important. Clarify in advance: does ‘a’ mean the same as ‘one, or does it mean ‘one or more’? (e.g. Does ‘Do you have a King?’ mean ‘Do you have one King?’ or ‘Do you have at least one King?’)
- The onus is on the question asker to be clear about their meaning. Any ambiguity should be punished in favour of the answerer, so long as they had no intention to mislead.
- There is a reason that captured sets go facedown on the table: this is important information. As the game progresses, players are at risk of giving away information about what is in their hand if they haven’t kept track of what card ranks have already gone.
- Any question is permitted as long as it can be answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!