Egyptian Ratscrew

Review on ultimate hand-slap card game; can be played with as few as two people for fun times



Egyptian Ratscrew is the perfect game to play with two people. The more people you have, the more competitive it gets.


Slap! Hands land on top of each other, racing to be the first ones on the cards. Sometimes all a student can afford is a deck of cards. Thankfully, there is a multitude of games to play with these cards for a fun time.

I recommend the card game Egyptian Ratscrew. All you need for this game is two people and a deck of cards. The first step for this game is to divide all the cards evenly among the participants, without looking at the cards. Keep them in a pile, face down. To win the game, one player must have all the cards in their hand.

To see who goes first, each participant should put down the first card off the top of their deck, and whoever has the highest card is the winner. These cards can go in a pile in the center as the spoils for the first round. After the first player puts down a card in the center, each player follows suit in a clockwise direction.

No cards matter until a face card is put down. When a face card appears, the next player in line has a certain number of chances to put down another face card. When a jack appears, the next player has one chance to place another face card. A queen allows for two chances, a king three chances, and an ace four chances. If another face card can’t be produced in that number of chances, all the cards in the center go to the person who placed the last face card.

Then the slapping comes in, which becomes essential when a player is down on face cards, or cards in general. When a card, such as a two, is placed down, and the next card is also a two, players slap the pile in the center. This is called a stack. Whoever slaps the deck first gets to take the center pile. Likewise, when a card, such as an eight, is placed, and then a random card, such as a two, and then another eight, this is called a sandwich. Players can slap the center deck to claim the pile as their own.

I love this game because it can be so fun and competitive. There are multiple strategies to winning, such as having the fastest hands or memorizing where cards are in other people’s hands. It is essential to have a sturdy table for this game as slapping can become quite intense.

Be sure to wear a mask while playing this game as it is in close quarters. If you decide to play this game or have in the past, be sure to comment on your experiences below. Happy playing!