Reminiscent of solitaire, Kings Corner is a multiplayer game where players attempt to get rid of cards from their hand by playing them to piles of alternating red and black cards.
Also Known As
Kings in the Corner
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand.
A standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Cards rank from King (highest) to Ace (lowest): K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-A
Number of Players
2 to 6
How to Play Kings Corner
To begin the game, use a random method to select a player to be the first dealer and then deal 7 cards face down to each player. Place the rest of the cards in a face-down stack in the center of the table as the draw pile. Draw four cards from the stack and place one face up on each side of the draw pile to create the foundation piles. These are known as the “original” foundation piles and each is designated as one of the four cardinal directions: N, S, E, and W. The piles should be positioned like a plus sign, in this manner:
Any cards added to the foundation piles during the game should be placed in an overlapping manner so that all cards in the pile can be seen.
Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, each player takes a turn, with play proceeding clockwise. On their turn, a player may take any number of the following actions in any order:
- Play a card onto an existing foundation pile
A player may play a card from their hand onto one of the existing foundation piles on the table. The card played must be the next lower in rank to the card on top of the foundation pile, and it also must be the opposite color.
For example, a red 8 (heart or diamond) could be played onto a foundation pile that had a black 9 (spade or club) on top.
- Start a new foundation pile
A player may play a king from their hand onto the table to start a new foundation pile. Only kings may be placed on one of the four diagonal “corners” of the tableau (i.e., NW, NE, SW, SE). Cards may then be added to the new foundation pile by any player in the same manner as the other foundation piles.
- Move a foundation pile
A player may move an entire foundation pile if the bottom card of a foundation pile is the opposite color and one rank lower than a card on top of another foundation pile.
For example, if one foundation pile contains a black queen, a red jack, and a black 10, and another foundation pile contains a red 9 and a black 8, the pile with the 9 and 8 could be moved and placed on top of the other pile.
Note that if one of the original foundation piles contains a king on the bottom of the pile, a player may choose to move that pile to an empty corner location.
- Play a card on an empty original foundation pile
If one of the original four foundation piles becomes empty (because the cards in it were moved onto another pile), a player may play any card from their hand to the empty space, thus starting a new foundation pile.
After a player has performed all the actions they wish (which could be none), they end their turn by drawing 1 card from the draw pile and placing it in their hand.
If the draw pile runs out, do not reshuffle. Players simply end their turns without drawing.
Game End and Winning
The game ends as soon as one player plays the last card from their hand. That player is the winner.
Occasionally the game may end with no players being able to (or being unwilling to) play any further cards.
Kings Corner Variants
Keep score over several games (rounds). Before the first round begins, players should decide on a game-ending score (such as -25). At the end of each round, players with cards remaining in their hands receive negative points. Kings are worth -10 points and all other cards worth -1 point each.
After each round, the player to the left of the current dealer becomes the new dealer.
Once one player exceeds the game-ending score, the game is over and the player with the highest score (the least negative points) is the winner.
If a player draws a king, or has a king in hand, they must play it to a corner at the first opportunity.
At the beginning of the game, when drawing to create the four original foundation piles, if a king is drawn it is immediately placed in one of the corners. A new card is then drawn to replace it.
Each player draws a card at the beginning of their turn instead of at the end.
In this variant, the game-ending score is 250. After each round, points are scored for the cards remaining in each player’s hand. Aces score 25 points, face cards (King, Queen, Jack) score 10 points each, and all other cards score their face value. Once one player reaches 250 points, the player with the lowest score is the winner of the game.