Egyptian Rat Screw Game Rules

Posted by John Taylor on

(In Egyptian Rat Screw, players can slap the middle pile on certain occasions to recieve cards)

(In Egyptian Rat Screw, players can slap the middle pile on certain occasions to recieve cards)

Card Game Rules  

Egyptian Rat Screw is a multiple player game that combines chance with agility. Played with a standard 52 playing card deck, the objective of the game is to win all of the cards through drawing and slapping.

For more classic card games, check out our guides for Go Fish and War.

If you are looking for cards to play Egyptian Rat Screw with, check out a standard deck here or one of our Egyptian themed decks here.


Set Up

Before gameplay can begin, a dealer must be selected. Each player draws one card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck and passes out all of the cards to each player in a clockwise fashion. 

How to Play

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer and going clockwise, players take turns drawing the top card of their deck and placing it in a pile in the center of the group. Players can win all of the cards in the pile and advance in the game by two methods: Face Cards and Slapping

Face Cards

If a player draws a face card from their deck, the next player has a given number of chances to also draw a face card or else the pile goes to players on their right. A player’s number of chances to draw a face card depends on which face card was initially drawn.

            If an Ace was drawn, the next player has 4 chances.

            If a King was drawn, the next player has 3 chances.

            If a Queen was drawn, the next players has 2 chances.

            If a Jack was drawn, the next player has 1 chance.


The following card sequences allow any player to slap the pile and get all of the cards:

            Two cards of the same rank are played consecutively

            The card played is the same rank as the first card of the pile

            A combination of King and Queen are played consecutively

            Two cards of the same rank have one different card in between them

            The number value of the cards played adds up to 10

            An ascending or descending run of four cards is played


If you slap the pile when no sequences are in effect, you must add two cards to the bottom of the pile.

For more information on Egyptian Rat Screw and its rules, check out Wikipedia's article here and Instructables's article here.


Beggar My Neighbor

Beggar My Neighbor is a simple card game for two players. To set up a game of Beggar My Neighbor, players need to sit across from each other around a stable playing area. Each player receives 26 cards from a shuffled deck.

How to Play

Gameplay begins when one player flips over the top card from their pile and places it in the middle of the playing area. If the card is not an Ace or face card, the other player flips over their top card. 

Drawing continues until someone flips over an Ace or face card. When that happens, the other player has a number of chances for them to flip over an Ace or face card.

If the card is an Ace, the player has 4 chances.
If the card is a King, the player has 3 chances.
If the card is a Queen, the player has 2 chances.
If the card is a Jack, the player has 1 chance.


If the player cannot draw an Ace or face card in their number of chances, their opponent adds the cards to their own pile. If they can, then the other player must draw for an Ace or face. Play continues until one player has all of the cards and wins the game.


Looking for more card games to play?  Check out this article:

40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions

About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.

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Last update date: 08/30/20

1 comment

  • My husband tries to slap the deck, knowing that the deck isn’t slap-able if I lay down a Q or a J and he doesn’t think he’ll get the pile by laying down a face card in time. Is this legal?

    Jessi on

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