Kings Corner Rules
The rules for Kings Corner are loaded with variations. Most of those variations are in the scoring. Some show up for the start of the game and the starting and ending moves. The rest are on the gambling setup you happen to have. In any case, always decide on the rules before play starts.
You need a standard deck of cards and a big enough space to play in. Nothing huge, just big enough!! Some commercially available sets have a centerpiece and poker chips to play with. You might even find someone that happens to have a very fancy table to play on!! If you’re scoring at all, a pen, piece of paper, and optionally a calculator would be needed.
Whoever the dealer is will deal 7 cards to each player. The game starts with the person to the left of the dealer. Once the cards are dealt, the dealer will place the remaining cards in the middle of the playing area, face down. The dealer will then take 4 cards from the top of the deck and place 1 on each side of the deck, face up. These 4 cards will be the initial building piles. The cards in the building piles are separated so at the minimum, each player can see the bottom and lowest card in the pile. The idea is to build these and the kings corner piles from king down to the ace.
The current player will look at their cards and determine if he/she has a valid move. A valid move is exactly like in the game Solitaire. You must place your card(s) on the correct building pile. Your card(s) that you wish to use during your turn must be 1 point lower than the current lowest card in the building pile and must be the opposite color. So, if there’s a queen of diamonds on the building pile. During your turn, you must place either a jack of spades or clubs on that queen (red and black switching just like with Solitaire). You can place as many of your cards, in proper order, anywhere on the playing field. So if a king of hearts was in 1 of the 4 starting sides and you have a queen all the way down to the 6 (your 7 starting cards), in proper order, you can place all your cards there. You can’t place cards on the bottom of the building piles.
The card order is king = highest card and ace = lowest card. When you start with 1 or more kings in your hand OR you draw a king, it must be placed in an open corner of the center pile of cards during your turn. This also depends on the starting and ending moves variation you’re using. Each side of the deck already has a card to start the game. So this only leaves the corner spaces around the deck. If a king is placed as the initial card for any building pile, it remains there depending on your removing variation. If a building pile is already complete from king down to ace, it can be compressed to show only the king and ace. Then it’s just left in place. The removing variation says take the completed building pile, compress it to a single stack of cards, and set it aside.
During your turn, if you spot an initial card as something lower and of opposite color for the lowest card on ANY other building pile, that building pile can be moved to the other. This leaves an open side on the center deck of cards. For example, one building pile started the game with a 9 of spades. During your turn, if another building pile starts with a 10 of diamonds or hearts, the 9 of spades AND any card placed after it can be moved on top of the 10 of diamonds or hearts. From there, you may use ANY card in your hand to fill in the open space. The card used to fill in the open space is now the initial card. That building pile must continue being built as always.
To win, you simply have to be the first player to get rid of all cards. However, depending on the rules you’re using, you might have just won the round and not the game.
Check out a game of Kings Corner!!
In case you’ve only won the round, scoring gets introduced. The standard is that a king is 10 points and all others are 1 point each.
The variations include a race to a specified score and/or avoiding that high score. So it could be, for example, the first player to 500 points is the winner. If you run out of cards first, all remaining cards in each of the players hands becomes your points. It could also be a setup like the Hearts game that’s typically installed with Windows. When the high score is reached, the person with the lowest score is the winner. If you run out of cards first, all remaining players add their card values to their score. The point value for each card should be determined before play starts.
There are several variations involving gambling. At the start of a game, all players will ante up. Some rules say that each time you draw a card because you have no valid moves, you must match the ante and place it in the pot. Whoever wins the round takes the pot. The other setup for this is with the scoring. The gambling takes places as described here but whoever wins the game, not just round by round, takes the pot. The list of setups for gambling with this game goes on and on!!
Some people indicate that you must draw a card at the start of your turn and announce your turn as completed so the next player can continue. You can either knock on the table or simply say “done” or “your turn” or whatever to indicate the completion of your turn. Others will say you must draw a card to end your turn. This usually works as a better turn completion indicator but sometimes players are forgetful!!