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Level of Play : Player's Choice
3-10 Players, 4-6 Players preferred
3-5 players - 1 Deck / 6+ Players - 2 Decks
The game works better when each player has 13-18 cards. So, for 3-4 players, use 1 deck -- For 7 or more players use two decks -- For 5-6 players, I usually use a deck and a half.
First, deal out all the cards. Place
your cards in numeric order, with pairs grouped together.
The person that dealt the cards becomes President-Asshole (Bill Clinton).
For the first hand, he has the responsibilities of both President and
Asshole (which be explained more later). Basically, this means that
he gets to lead off, and he must sweep the cards after every hand.
Play starts by a player throwing a card(s). You may start with whatever
card(s) you like, but usually it is a good Idea to throw a low card.
The next player plays on that card if he is able to. In order to play
a card, you must throw cards that are both :
- Higher than the card(s) already on the table. ( > )
If a 3 is on the table, you must play at least a 4
Order of cards - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, 2
- Equal to or Greater than ( => ) then number of cards.
If there is a pair on the table, you must play at least a pair. You may
play a three-of-a-kind or four-of-a-kind if you wish, but you may not through
a single card (With the exception of the next rule...)
- You can throw a "2". A "2" is a trump card. A Two will beat
everything, and a two cannot be beaten. After a 2 is thrown, play
stops, and the player that threw the two gets to lead off. You only
have to throw 1 Two at a time. (But you may throw down more than 1
if you a trying to get rid of all your cards.)
That is to say... If the lead play leads of with a single three,
the lowest thing that the next player may through a single four
(although he may throw a pair of fours, three fours, four aces
... just about anything except another three)
If the lead player starts with a pair of Fives, the lowest thing
that the next player may throw is a pair of Sixes. They can throw
anything they like... as long as it is at least a pair, and as long as the
value is seven or higher (or a Two, as explained before)
It is important to remember that Asshole is not Poker. Three of
a kind does not automatically beat two of a kind. It all depends
on the order the cards are played in.
For example, if I lead with a single Ace, the only thing that can
beat it is a two. A pair of Threes will not beat a single
ace because a 3 is lower than an Ace (see rule #1
BUT, if I lead with a pair of threes, a single ace will not
be able to beat it because a single card cannot be played on a pair (see
rule #2) ... with the exception of a single two (see rule #3).
The next player could play a pair of aces, but not just the
Each person takes turns throwing out cards. During each hand, each
player gets to play once (and only once). That is to say, the person
that leads off does not get to play twice in the same hand. When
play returns to the person that lead off, play stops and whoever
played the last card gets to lead off. The only exception to this
is when a two is thrown, after which the hand is over, and whomever
threw the Two leads off.
OBJECT - The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards. The
first person to do so is President. BUT... play does not stop there.
Keep playing until there is just one person left with cards. The players
individual rank is determined by what order they run out of cards. The
first person after the president to run out of cards becomes the
Vice President. Follow the chart below to see the names of
the other ranks.
The list changes according to how many people are playing. The only
important thing is that there must always be a President and an Asshole.
The other ranks are just for bragging (and drinking) rights.
Here is the order for 4 players :
1st - President
2nd - Vice President
3rd - Shithead
4th - Asshole
Here is the order for more than 4 players :
1st - President
2nd - Vice President
3rd - Secretary (Secretary of the Treasury)
4th - Treasurer (Treasurer of the U.S.)
- Garbage man
3rd to last - Rump Ranger
2nd to last - Shithead
Last - Asshole
Powers of office
Yes, power has its perks. The main one being that you can order those
below you to drink.
- President can order ANYBODY to drink
- Vice President can order anybody (except the President) to drink
- Secretary and order anybody to drink (except the Pres and Vice pres.)
- Shithead can order Asshole to drink..
- Asshole can't do shit about it.
- Asshole must shuffle & deal the next game.
- Before the next game starts, Asshole must give president his highest card
(or any card the President asks for) .The President must give the Asshole
a card in return. If the President wants to be nice, he may give the Asshole
a choice of cards.
- If asshole is caught cheating, he should be drug into the street and shot. (Although the president may advise another punishment instead ... but that is entirely up to him)
- If there are more than 6 players, additional powers are granted to the Vice
President. If he wishes, he may ask Shithead for a 8,9, or 10. The
Vice President must then give shithead a card in return (of the VP's choosing).
This may not seem very important, but this allows the Vice President to turn one of
his single cards into a pair, which can help out a lot. If shithead does not
have a 8, 9, or 10, Vice president doesn't get anything.
- President gets to cut the deck, and the asshole must start dealing with the
President. By beginning the deal with the president, it assures that the pres will
get any "extra" cards. (If you are playing with 5 players, 3 of them will get 10 cards
and 2 will get 11) Although it seems strange to want more cards when the whole goal of
the game is to get rid of your cards, but it is actually an advantage because the odds
are that the extra card will turn one of your single cards into a pair.
- Asshole must sweep (wipe) the cards of the table after each round.
- if Asshole forgets to wipe the table, he must drink.
- If a person is president 3 times in a row, he can make a
- The President may call a "Conference" - This is like a social, except everybody
must CHUG their beer. Everybody must keep drinking until the President stops
drinking. When the President stops, the Vice president is permitted to stop. When the
Vice president stops, the Secretary may stop. When the Secretary stops, the
Treasurer may stop.....etc. The asshole must keep drinking until EVERYBODY
else has stopped.
- Players retain their rank until the END OF THE GAME. New ranks take effect
ONLY after the game being played is over.
- Everybody must know who is the president. Anybody that cannot recall who the
current president is should be immediately deported back to Mexico.
Here is an example game with 4 players :
Note: The * symbol indicates that a player has run out of cards.
Player 3 - Two "Queens" */ Player 2 - Does not even get to play, since he is the last person with cards in is hand - Player 3 ran out of cards, so he becomes "Shithead". Since Player 2 is the only person with cards left, he instantly becomes "Asshole".
Player 1-single "3" / Player 2 - single "5" / Player 3 - single "6" / Player 4 - single "7" - Player 4 takes trick, because everybody already has played. Player 4 leads on next round.
Player 4-single "4" / Player 1- Single "5" / Player 2 - Two "6"s / Player 3 - Two "8"s - Player 3 takes trick, because everybody else already played once. Player 3 will lead on next round.
Player 3-Two "5"s / Player 4 - Three "9"s / Player 1 - Pass / Player 2 - Pass - Player 4 takes trick, because Player 1 & 2 both passed. Since he was the last player to throw that round, Player 4 gets to lead in next round.
Player 4 - Two "7"s / Player 1 - Three "Aces" / Player 2 - "A Two" / Player 3 - cannot play - Player 2 takes trick. Player 3 does not get a chance to play because a "2" was played. Player 2 will lead on next round..
....and so on, until players start running out cards......
Player 1 - single "Jack" / Player 2 - pass / Player 3 - Two "Queens" / Player 4 - Two "Kings"* - Player 4 takes trick, but now Player 4 is out of cards. Player 4 becomes "President" in next hand.
NOTE : Normally Player 4 would lead now. But, since he is out of cards, Player 1 gets to lead instead.
Player 1- Two "10"s */ Player 2 - pass / Player 3 - Two "Jacks" - Player 3 takes trick, but Player 1 ran out of cards, so Player 1 is now "Vice President".Player 3 Still gets to lead, though.
ONE FINAL NOTE...
The rules I present here were the way this game was taught to me back in the late 80's, and the way that everybody I ever encountered over the subsequent 10 years played as well. No matter where I went or what type of people I hung out with - whether they were preps in college or stoners in a trailer park - the rules were always pretty much the same. But in the last few years, a entirely new version of this game has began to circulate. It is a seriously 'dumbed-down' version of the 'standard' game, and appears to be very popular in prisons and among other inner-city types.
I have often wondered about the origins of this new game, but I can only surmise that some stupid frat guy somehow wound up in prison and tried to teach 'Asshole' to his fellow cellmates, but failed horribly. It appears that this misguided individual tried to bridge the gaps in his memory of the proper rules with rules from other games such as 'Uno'
. For this reason, (and because of it's popularity in prisons) I like to refer to this new game by the name 'ASS-POKER'.
Instead of each player playing on each 'trick' only once (As in the first version, and as other games such as bridge, euchre, spades, and hearts), play continues forever (as in Uno), or until a '2' is played.
The 'Skip' rule has also been ported over from 'Uno' as well. But instead of having a 'Skip' card, the next player is skipped when a player lays the same cards as the person before him.
The value of the cards is calculated in away similar to Poker, with any pair beating a single card, a three-of-a-kind beating a pair, a four-of-a-kind beating a three-of-a-kind, and so on. So by these rules, a pair of '4's would beat an Ace, and three '3's would beat a pair of fours. A '2' still beats all as in standard Asshole, and other poker combinations such as full houses, flushes, and straights are omitted from the game. This variation basically turns the game of asshole into a twisted gamed of 13-Card Stud Poker, and leaves little room for strategy. (The only real strategy in Stud poker is the way players bet - but in Asshole there is no betting. So the winner of the game in 'Asspoker' is determined almost entirely by the way the cards are dealt.)
- Often times, people that play this version also add other annoying variations... such as allowing the asshole to give drinks while he is dealing. In standard Asshole, people are prohibited from delaying the game by giving the asshole drinks while he is dealing. Allowing the Asshole to give drinks when is supposed to be performing his 'assholey' duties is just plain silly and bestows much to much power on the unworthy.
As you can see, this version is very different from standard 'Asshole' and deserves to be called by a different name. But it seems to be very popular (probably because is is much easier to play when you don't need to be worry about controlling the lead). And the rules are fairly solidified -- People either play one way, or the other... And play is usually preceded by a two-hour argument about which way is the 'right' way. But as a stated earlier, the way I have explained the rules was the way it was explained to me almost 20 years ago - and the way those people had played for years before. So if 'age' is the determining factor in the argument of which version is 'correct', the version presented at the begin of this page predates the other by at least 25 years, since I have yet to find anyone that can trace the age of 'Asspoker' any earlier than the late 1990's.
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