How to Play Egyptian Ratscrew

Home » Card Games » Egyptian Ratscrew

Egyptian Ratscrew Rules & Instructions

egyptian ratscrew


Number of Players

  • 2+

Supplies Needed

  • Full deck of 52 standard playing cards with Jokers (optional)

Card Rank

  • Aces are worth one (1)
  • No other card rank is relevant to the game


The goal of Egyptian Ratscrew is to gather all the cards to end the game.


Start by dealing an even amount of face-down cards to each player. Don’t let anyone peek! Once you have shuffled your cards into a nice pile, the game is ready to begin.

The left of the dealer plays a card from the top of their deck face up in the middle. 

 If the player turns up a numbered card, the next player can play any card. If the player turns up a face card or an ace, then the next player must play a face card or an ace for play to continue.

If the player cannot match with a face card or ace, then the previous player claims the community pile.

The winner then starts the next round by playing the card on top of their deck (not the won pile).

The player who ends up with all the cards at the end of the wins. Simple right? Not so fast! Introducing the slap rules.

Egyptian Ratscrew Slap Rules

Slap rules are the only thing that trumps the face card/ace rule. Certain cards will allow you to slap the community pile to claim the cards and end the round. Here are the most common ones used. Feel free to follow this list or create your own!

  • Doubles: If two cards of the same rank are played consecutively (Example: 7 & 7)
  • Sandwich: If a single card is played between two cards of the same rank (Example: 5 / 3 / 5)
  • Top/Bottom: When the last card played matches the first card played of the round (Example: 4 / 3 / J / 4)
  • Jokers: If you’re playing with jokers, you can slap the pile when one is played
  • Four in a Row (Straight): Cards played in consecutive order (Example: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7) 
  • Marriage: When a King and Queen are played consecutively in either order. Also, The Game Farm is all for equality, so feel free to call KK or QQ marriage too!
  • Tens: If two cards that are played consecutively add up to ten. This also counts if there is a letter card in between. Example: (8 & 2 or 3 / Q / 7 would both count). Remember that aces are worth one!

As you can see, the slap rules add a fun twist that keeps Egyptian Ratscrew extremely fast-paced. Enjoy!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Related Games



B.S. Rules and Instructions Setup Players 4-8 Materials Deck of 52 standard playing cards (can use more than one deck for larger groups) Objective The objective of B.S. is to run out of cards before your opponents and to avoid being caught lying. Gameplay First, deal...

read more


Euchre Rules and Instructions Setup Players 4 (2 teams of 2) Materials Deck of 24 standard playing cards (9, 10, J, Q, K, A of each suit) Score cards (Usually 5’s from the deck, 6’s and 4’s also commonly used) Card Rank For non-trump suits: Ace high (A, K, Q, J, 10,...

read more


Cribbage Rules and Instructions Setup Players 2 Materials Deck of 52 standard cards (no jokers) A cribbage board or a piece of paper to keep score Scoring 2 points for each combination of cards adding to 15 2 points per pair (three-of-a-kind is three pairs, 6 points;...

read more