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Family Games Newsletter - April 2010
April 05, 2010

April 2010

Welcome to the April 2010 issue of our Family Games Treasurehouse newsletter. We hope that you were able to celebrate Easter as you considered the death and resurrection of Jesus and enjoyed some excellent quality time with your family.

In our last issue, we looked at one of the best known games, Chess, and three simple parlor games. In this issue we will look at two new card games and two international games.

Hockey Card Game and War Card Game

Hockey Card Game is a popular two player card game in Canada. It is loosely based on the game of hockey, where players must create a 'breakaway' before they have a chance of scoring a goal.

The game is played over three periods with each period consisting of a full deal of 52 cards, divided into four deals of 5 cards and a fifth deal of 6 cards. Players look at their cards and take turns to place a card on a central pile, trying to match the previous card. The first time a player creates a pair is called a 'breakaway'. (A 'Jack' can also be played at any time to create a breakaway.) If they can also create a matching pair on their next turn they have scored a goal, otherwise the breakaway has been intercepted. Only one player can be on a breakaway at any time.

Each goal scores one point. The player with the highest score at the end of the third period wins the game. For more details and a sample period, see the full rules for Hockey Card Game on our website.

365 Kids Games

War Card Game is another two player card game, this time for children of all ages. The deck is shuffled and dealt alternately face down in front of each player.

One player turns over their top card and places it face up on the table between the players. The opposing player then turns their card over. The player with the highest card (with Aces low; that is A, 2, 3, 4, ..., 9, 10, J, Q, K in order from lowest to highest) picks up both cards and places them face down at the bottom of their pile before turning their top card over for the next play.

Play continues until both players put down a matching pair (for example, two 6s), starting a 'war'. Both players put down another card each before turning over a third card each. The highest card of the third set wins all six cards and puts them at the bottom of their pile. If the third set was another pair, they put down another card each and then a fifth card each to decide the war, with the winner picking up all ten cards.

The first player to win three wars wins the game.

For more information and some alternate variations for winning the game, see War Card Game from our website.

P.S. If you are ever confused about card game terms, check out our Card Game Glossary for an explanation. You may like to bookmark the page for future reference.


International games from around the world are an excellent way of showing your family how children from different cultures amuse themselves as they enjoy playing games. Family Games Treasurehouse has many outdoor, active worldwide games along with some quieter games from other countries. The two games described below, from Europe and Asia, are active games for large groups of children.

Pebble Chase is a simple chasing game from Greece. A tree, fence post or similar object is chosen as a marker, about 20 metres (60 feet) from the play area. A leader is chosen and the rest of the children form a circle around them, facing inwards and holding one hand palm up to form a cup.

The leader walks around the inside of the circle with a pebble (or something similar), pretending to drop the pebble into each player's hand. When the leader does drop the pebble into a player's hand, that player must immediately run to the marker and back before dropping the pebble in the leader's hand. The other players chase the first player, trying to tag him/her. A player who tags the first player becomes the new leader. If the first player successfully runs to the marker and back without being tagged, they are the new leader.

365 Kids Games

Gilli Danda is another outdoor game that requires a fair bit of space, this time from India. Before the game begins, you must make a gilli (a wooden stick about 8 centimetres or 3 inches long and tapered at both ends) and a danda (another wooden stick about 60 centimetres or two feet long). A circle about 1.2 metres (4 feet) across is drawn in the middle of the field, with a small oval-shaped hole in the centre of the circle.

Players form two teams. The fielding team spreads out around the circle while the first batter from the other team tries to hit the gilli (placed across the hole) with the danda twice. The first hit is to make the gilli jump into the air and the second hit is to knock it as far as possible out of the circle. If a fielder catches the gilli before it touches the ground, the batter is out.

If the gilli is not caught, the danda is used to measure the distance from the hole to the gilli, with the batter scoring one point for each length of the danda. The danda is placed over the hole in the circle and the fielder closest to the gilli then throws the gilli, attempting to hit the danda. If the danda is hit or the gilli falls so that it remains within the circle, the batter is out. Otherwise the batter can hit the gilli again. Each batter has three attempts to score by hitting the gilli before the next batter has their turn. When every player on the batting team has had a turn, the teams swap positions. The team with the highest total score after every player has batted wins the game.

If you enjoy playing these games, why not try some of our other Worldwide (International) Games from Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, Australasia and North America ?

As we have mentioned in our last few newsletters, we hope to have a range of family game e-books coming out later this year. Your favourite games from Family Games Treasurehouse along with many, many more games in an easy to print book form.

If you signed up to this newsletter a while ago, the free e-book you received now has a new, more colourful front cover and some extra graphics inside. Check out to see the new cover. If you would like a copy of the updated e-book, you DON'T need to subscribe again. Simply send us a short message at and we will send you the link for the free download. We'd also love to receive any comments about the e-book that we can use as testimonials on the website. Thanks!

Finally, click on the image/link below to find out how you too can break the '9-to-5' routine by starting your own website that can earn you money and give you more time to enjoy with your family. Site Build It!

Until next time,
Andrew Low
Family Games Treasurehouse

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