Racing Demon has it’s root in patience; but it’s not a game you can play on your own and patience is not a skill you’ll need to play. It’s best played with loads of other people – as many as you can cram around a table. And it’s quick. Very quick. Each person needs their own small table space and a pack of cards. There is no turn taking. Everyone plays at the same time and as quickly as they can. The more players you have the faster the game.
Each player does the following:
- Shuffles your own deck of cards and count out 13. This forms the ‘Demon’.
- Place the Demon in a face-down pile to the left of your personal play area.
- Reveal the next four cards of the deck and place them face up in a row, next to the Demon.
- Wait until all other players are ready.
How to play:
Each player plays independently as follows:
- You’re going to reveal cards as you progress through the game. As you play, cards may be placed on growing stacks in the centre of the table. All players may build on any stack.
- To place on one of the piles in the middle you must have a card that is of a value one higher than the current card and is of the same suit. For example, if one of the central piles has a 7 of HEARTS at the top of the pile, you may place an 8 of HEARTS on top of it.
- The piles in the middle build up from Ace upwards. Whenever an Ace is revealed, take it and place it in the area in the centre of the table, ideally in reach of all players.
- The cards at the top of your four face up piles are always available to use. These cards can go out into the centre of the table, when piles become available.
- Whenever you have an empty space in your line of four, reveal the top card from the Demon and fill the space with the revealed card.
- The main action you will be taking is running through your deck. This is done as follows. Take the deck in one hand and in the other take the first three cards from the deck while reverse the order of them. You can do this by taking cards one at a time, each time positioning the new one at the top. When you have three cards, flip the three over, revealing the first card you took. This card becomes available to use. NB: It is important to change the order of the cards. If you just flip the top three over without switching the order, you will have the same order every time you work through the deck. Either use the available card, or keep moving through your deck, three at a time, revealing every third card. When you get to the end of your deck, take all the cards in hand again and start again.
- Keep checking if any of your line of 4 or any of the cards you reveal as you run through your deck will go on central piles.
- You may only use one hand to place cards on the central piles and to reveal cards from your demon.
The winner is the player who gets rid of their Demon (though not the line of four) first.
Give the winner one point and play as many rounds as you can. Or play without scoring, nobody will remember the scores anyway.
A warning: This game rewards dexterity, speed and general awareness. Those with mobility or processing issues may find themselves at a disadvantage. If your group wishes to level the playing field, try adjusting the size of the claws. Your youngest and oldest players may benefit from a slightly smaller claw, for example.