A social game.

Required: 1 deck of standard playing cards.

1. Players sit in a circle. Players can enter and leave the game at any time but should do so only between rounds.

2. Deal high card to choose the first player.

3. On his turn, the player shuffles the deck, then deals out cards on the table until he has at least one card of each suit.

4. The player chooses his criteria from the cards in front of him—one diamond, one spade, and either one heart or one club. He shuffles all other cards back into the deck.

5. Every card has a meaning.

Diamonds specify years:

  • Ace-Diamonds specifies the previous years.
  • Numerical diamonds specify a number of years back from the previous year. Thus, if the current year is 2012, then Ace of Diamonds specifies 2011, Two of Diamonds specifies 2010, et cetera.
  • Jack-Diamonds specifies any year in the player's adulthood (age 18+).
  • Queen-Diamonds specifies any year in the player's late childhood (age 13-17).
  • King-Diamonds specifies any year in the player's early childhood (age 0-12).

Spades specify months, counting numerically from Ace forward. The King of Spades indicates that any month can be used.

Hearts and clubs represent various types of events that pertain specifically to the current player. Hearts represent good or positive events. Clubs represent bad or negative events.

6. The player then attempts to recall or recount an event or personal experience that happened on the timeframe specified by the diamond and spade cards of the type specified by his heart or club card. If he is playing a heart, the event or personal experience must be good or positive. If the player succeeds in doing so, he keeps his cards. If he is unable to do so, he shuffles his cards back into the deck.

7. All other players must refrain from comment until the current player recounts his story. Once the player has successfully recounted an event or experience that meets the criteria of his cards, other players may comment within these guidelines:

  • The speaker can decide at any time that he will take no further discussion on his account. At this point, play proceeds to the next player. Participants may not discuss the account any further.
  • Participants must be polite and courteous. Interruption, unwanted interrogation, and mockery are grounds for a participant being asked to leave the game.

8. Once the player is finished with his account and chooses to end discussion on the account, or if the player is unable to give a qualifying account, he hands the deck to the player on his left.

9. Play proceeds in this fashion until all diamonds have been removed from the deck. The "winner" is the player with the most melds.

New Years Eve variation: Omit or ignore all of the diamonds, and just use the spades to determine the month. Recall events and memories of the year ending or, after midnight, just ended.

Card Meanings

Rank Diamond Spade Heart Club
Meaning Year Month Something good Something bad
Ace Previous year January Birth Death
Two 2 years ago February Dating/Engagement/Marriage Breakup/Divorce
Three 3 years ago March Parents/Grandparents
Four 4 years ago April Children/Grandchildren
Five 5 years ago May Money
Six 6 years ago June Sports
Seven 7 years ago July Health
Eight 8 years ago August Weather
Nine 9 years ago September Property/Possessions
Ten 10 years ago October Employment
Jack Adulthood November Man
Queen Late childhood (age 13-18) December Woman
King Early childhood (age 0-12) Any month Anything