Folks have asked for instructions on how to play Snerts.
Snerts is a multiple-player Solitaire game. Yes, really. You need at least four players to make it really fun.
- Each player must have a deck of cards, each deck with a back different from all the others so the cards can be returned to each player.
- Each player deals a deck of 13 cards and puts it face up at the left.
- Next to the pile deal out four cards in a row, also face up.
- Somebody says “Go,” and everyone starts dealing 3 cards up from the remaining cards held in the hand.
- The cards are played black on red or red on black in descending value.
- Aces go up in the middle of the table.
- Anyone’s Ace can be played on by any player. If I put up an Ace of spades Kathy can play her two of spades on it and Joyce can play her three of spades on it.
- You can play off the 13-card stack ONLY to the communal piles begun with everyone’s Aces OR to spaces left empty when you play the four cards next to the pile. You may NOT play cards off the 13-card deck onto cards in the spaces; only when those spaces are empty may you so move.
- The first person to play all 13 cards, whether up on the Aces or in the four empty spaces to the right of the stack yells “Snerts!” and play instantly ceases. The other players count the remaining cards they had in the 13-card stack. Gather in the piles in the middle of the table and separate them by the different backs.
- Each player counts the cards they played on the communal Aces. From that total they must subtract the amount of cards they had left in the 13-card stack. That is their total for that game, and it is entered in the scorecard.
- Play to a hundred, play to a thousand, pick your number, or just play it a game at a time.
Now, the way we played it growing up in Seldovia (and the way we still play it), there can be tremendous strategy involved. For example, maybe I get all 13 cards up but I don’t yell “snerts” right away because I want to get even more cards up, so I keep dealing and playing.
Or maybe I’ve got a five-six-seven-eight of hearts I want to play on a pile in the middle, but I don’t have a four, and Kathy does and she hasn’t seen it so I say “Kathy, play that four of hearts.” She of course may choose not to do so because she doesn’t want to put up one card and have me put up four. But she also might have the nine-ten.
It may sound complicated. It isn’t, and it is a whole lot of fun. One cautionary note: Everybody file down their fingernails before you start.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.