simplify 101
Creative Organizing Blog

« two new hobbies + two winners | Main | buckets (again) »

July 12, 2008

scrunch rules!

On my list of things I never thought I'd be blogging about, revealing the inside of my refrigerator and now, blogging about the rules of the card game scrunch are right at the top. I have a feeling you'll hear the rules and say "I know this game. It's called                 !"

So here we go.

To play, you need at least two players. (The more players the better—it gets exponentially crazier and fun with each additional player.)

Each player needs his / her own standard deck of cards. Jokers aren't needed.

To set up the game, each player counts 13 cards and places them face up in a stack. This is known as the scrunch pile. Four additional cards are laid out next to the scrunch pile, face up. The start of the game looks like this:


In this photo, the 10 of clubs is my scrunch pile.

The game is played similar to double solitaire. In the middle of the table you play cards up, by suit, starting with the Ace and ending with the King. On the four cards next to your Scrunch pile you play down, alternating colors.


This photo above is very early in the game. You can see that I played the Ace of spades in the middle, and moved the 10 of clubs off my scrunch pile. I also played the 8 of diamonds on the nine of spades.

The object of the game is to be the first one to "scrunch" by playing all the cards in your scrunch pile, and play the most cards in the center. You do this by moving cards off of your scrunch pile and by flipping through your remaining cards by threes, playing the card on top.


To keep score, you count the number of cards each player gets out into the center. If you were not the player to scrunch, you double the number of cards in your scrunch pile and subtract this from the total number of cards you got out. When I play with my sister we keep a running total, but with the kids we count the winner as the person who scrunches. (This keeps it more interesting for the kids...because each game is a fresh start.) guess what Jay just found? He found that there is a game called "Pounce" that seems to be the same game that we call Scrunch. Have you heard of that one?  Here's a website that does a great job explaining the rules of the game...just in case I missed any fine details.

By the way, there are a couple of differences in how we play and how Pounce is described. The first was mentioned above...we subtract two times the number of cards remaining in the scrunch pile from the number of cards played. This makes it interesting...and can sometimes lead to some hefty negative scores. The other difference is when you get stuck (when all players can't make a move) we take a card from the top of our pile and move it to the mix things up a bit.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I grew up playing Dutch Blitz which is basically the same but with it's own set of cards. :) It's got 4 different sets of cards to easily tell who played what with Amish boys/girls and numbered 1-10. Growing up, we'd then draw an X on the back of one set of cards to get 8 people playing with 2 sets of cards. :) Crazy!!


okay I have never played this game or known by any other but I am keen to give this a go. Thanks for sharing Aby.

Susan D

Dutch Blitz, but uses special dutch blitz Scandinavian cards.


I learned this game from my grandmother but we called it Scrooge. I spent the last 4 weeks with my grandsons - 6 and 9 - and taught them to play. It is so much fun!! We never tried changing the card to the bottom of the deck. Or like Pounce rules said to play them 1 by 1 instead of by 3's.


The Chatty Housewife

I LOVE Dutch Blitz! This looks just a little bit different.

Kay Drenth

We play this same game. I learned it about 15 years ago on a spring break missions trip to Mexico with my youth group. We would have up to 6 people playing! It got nuts! lol We called it Nertz. I beat my hubby at it all the time. lol


We play that same game and call it Nerts. It's super fun with a group of people. My husband doesn't love all the multi-tasking but it's right up my alley.


I missed the fridge post as it went live but loved reading about it just now :)

I blogged my fridge just the other day "by popular demand". It's kind of weird that it would be so interesting but apparently it was.

But then again it was great to see your's.

You keep inspiring me!


"Nuts" is the name of our game. Too much fun!


I grew up playing it as Nertz, and we have family tournaments every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this game!

allison carter

It looks like we all have a different name for this game. We called it Spit because when we worked with the deck in our hand we all had to do it at the same time.
Great childhood memories are bubbling up.


I've played this game too, but can't remember what we called it. We played with teams too, one person was in charge of the scrunch pile and the other person flipped through the rest of the deck. Both people worked together to play the cards in the middle. This way more people could play.

Dawn Pruyn

Yep, we played this ALOT when I was growing up, and we called it Nertz. I had really forgotten about how much fun it was! It may be time to teach my kids...


LOL! I JUST learned how to play this game last weekend and my friend called it "Nertz." We had 8 players (including one who had played with his family every month since he was 10) and it was CRAZY. I am actually recovering from scratch marks on my hand from my overexcited husband who was trying to play the same card as me. We played it with 3 people yesterday and it was SO SLOOOOOOOOOW compared to the game with 8. Not nearly as tense, that's for sure!

Megan @ Disorder2Order

I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE BLOGGING ABOUT THIS! Okay, now that I got that off my chest, we played this all weekend during our 4th (family reunion weekend). We actually had a tournament! You are so right... this game does rule!


Thanks for sharing this FABULOUS game. We've had such fun playing it!!!


Hi, Thanks for sharing the rules of this game. I have never heard of it but plan to do it with my kids for game night. I have a feeling it will be a hit.



Hi! I just came across your blog and had to comment! First of all, I love it! Second of all, I've NEVER come across anyone who spells their name the same as I do!! Is there a story behind your spelling? Mine... I have 5 sisters... all 3 letter names beginning with "a", except for the last sister... my parents ran out of 3 letter names... hers has 5. I was too excited to not drop you a line about it!! Silly, I know! Again.. I love your blog! I just started mine a few days ago! Take care! Aby

Patty Richter

I was thinking the same think with the Dutch Blitz. I learned that from a bunch of my friends who are Norwegian in heritage. I'm always buying new decks to give to people. Another travel friendly game which is also addicting is Pass the Pigs. Once again, I say thanks to my friends (now living back in Minnesota) for introducing me to these simple, yet fun games.


I played something like this as a kid, we called it Nutsy. Loved it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Powered by Typepad