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Strategy Card Game - Rafiki

Rating: 8.5/10 - 2 votes

The Rafiki game has been adapted over the years, and is closely related to some other games (such as ‘Golf’ and ‘Rat-a-Tat Cat’) as well as being similar to the board game Cabo. Of course we are biased, but this memory-based card game is in our opinion unmatched in its entertainment value and intensity. A slightly tweaked version is increasingly popular at technology companies’ conferences to act as both an ice-breaker and brain-warmer. However, there was no online gameplay of this game until Rafiki was born last year.

Have the least points in your Hand at the end of each Round. These points get accumulated as your Score at the end of each Round. If your Score hits 100 or above, you lose! Last person standing...
Rafiki is a card game that tests memory and speed. You will benefit from remembering the position, rank and colour of cards.

How to Play:   Start with 4 cards (in a 2x2 square) face down in front of each player (their Hand), with the rest of the pack of cards placed face down in a pile (the Deck).
Each player then looks at and memorises the bottom two cards in their Hand (without showing an opponent), and then turning these cards back face down.
Player One is selected randomly and starts by drawing a card from the Deck. Each rank of card denotes an action...

ACTIONS
Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Joker, Red King = “Replace”.
Replace one of the cards in your Hand with the drawn card (face down). The replaced card goes into the Discard Pile (face up).

7 or 8 = “Look At Own Card”.
Place the 7 or 8 directly onto the Discard Pile (face up), and then look at a card in your Hand (without showing an opponent).

9 or 10 = “Look At Opponent’s Card”.
Place the 9 or 10 directly onto the Discard Pile (face up), and then look at a card in an opponent’s Hand (without showing an opponent).

Jack = “Blind Swap: Swap with Opponent”.
Place the Jack directly onto the Discard Pile (face up), and then swap one of the cards in your Hand with one in an opponent’s Hand.

Queen = “Blind Switch: Swap between Opponent”.
Place the Queen directly onto the Discard Pile (face up), then swap the position of two cards in an opponent’s Hand (either the same opponent, or between two different opponents).

Black King = “Blind Swap or Blind Switch”.
Place the Black king directly onto the Discard Pile (face up), and then either do a Blind Swap or a Blind Switch (either the Jack or the Queen action).

SLAMMING:
During a Turn, as soon as a card is placed face up on the Discard Pile, you or your opponent can “Slam”.

Slamming occurs when you believe there is a card either in your Hand or an opponent’s Hand that matches the rank (i.e. the number / royalty) of the card that was just placed on the Discard Pile.

Pick up the card you believe matches in rank and “Slam” it face up onto the Discard Pile. If the card does match in rank, the Slam is correct; if the card does not match in rank, the Slam is incorrect. Multiple Slams in one Turn are not permitted!

If the card you Slammed was from your Hand:
· A correct Slam removes the Slammed card from your Hand – fantastic. (-1 card in y our Hand)
· An incorrect Slam means you must place the incorrect Slam card back into your Hand (face down), and also draw an extra card from the Deck and place it into your Hand (face down) as a penalty – not so fantastic. (+1 card in your Hand)

If the card you Slammed was from an opponent’s Hand:
· A correct Slam means you remove one of the cards in your Hand and transfer it to the opponent’s Hand (face down) – fantastic. (-1 card in your Hand)
· An incorrect Slam means you return the card you attempted to Slam back to the opponent’s Hand, and then draw an additional card from the Deck to put into your Hand (face down) as a penalty – not so fantastic. (+1 card in your Hand)

ENDING A TURN
Once a player has drawn their card from the Deck; and carried out the required actions; and either no one attempts a Slam or a correct Slam has been played; it is the Turn of the next player, with play continuing clockwise.

ENDING A ROUND
If a player thinks they have the least points in their Hand, at the start of their next Turn they call “Rafiki” (calling “Rafiki” is a Turn in itself). This can be done at any time during the game but must always be at the start of a player’s Turn. If a player has no more cards remaining in their Hand, this is an automatic Rafiki at the beginning of their next Turn.

Following a Rafiki call, each opponent is allowed one more Turn, but the Hand of the Rafiki caller is protected (i.e. no cards can be added to, removed from or swapped with their Hand).

Each player then reveals their Hand and each player’s points are tallied, including the Rafiki caller…

SCORING
At the end of a Round, each card represents the following points:
· Jokers and Red Kings = -1
· Ace = +1
· 2 – 10 = +face value
· Royal cards (except Red Kings) = +10
· If it transpires the Rafiki caller does not have the least points in their Hand at the end of a Round, they receive an additional +10 points added onto their total score as a penalty.

Each player begins the Game with a Score of 0. At the end of each Round the points are calculated and added to the cumulative Score for each Player.
· For example, a points total of 7 on an existing Score of 0 gives a new Score total of 7; a points total of -2 on an existing Score of 50 gives a new Score total of 48.

ENDING A GAME
After multiple Rounds, when a player’s Score is 100 or more, that player is out of the Game. The winner is the last player standing. If it is a draw (two players reach a 100 Score simultaneously), it is winner-takes-all in a sudden death match.

This HTML5 based game works on mobile devices and PC/Mac browsers.

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