the playing card football game 

The playing card 'Football' game is a card game for two players. A single pack of playing cards
is used for the game ( the joker is discarded ). Players require a playing field grid and score
sheet and the correct form is attached to these instructions. A small movable marker or counter
is also required, this is used to position each play on the field grid.

A group of players may take part simultaneously in a series of games comprising a round-robin,
or a knock-out competition. Each pair of players will require a pack of cards, score sheet/playing
grid and a small marker.

Procedure for Play
The pack of cards is first divided into two halves, each half comprising one complete red suit
and one complete black suit of cards. Each player takes one half of the divided pack.

Prior to commencement the players should determine the duration of the game and at 'kick-off'
make a note of the agreed finishing time. Setting the finish time on an alarm clock or watch,
to represent the closing siren, will prevent the players from unwittingly playing beyond the
allotted finishing time.

A coin toss determines the opening 'kick-off' which is deemed to be taken on the 10 metre
line on grid 2. The marker is placed on this line on the Field Grid Layout and represents
the present ball position on the field. It is subsequently moved up and down the field grid to
mark the progress of play.

Passage of Play
Each passage of play commences with the in-possession player dealing first. Each red card
that he deals progresses play by one grid position. Each black card represents an effective
tackle. The defending player deals one card following each black card (tackle) dealt by his

Last Tackle
The sixth black card dealt in one hand represents the play preceding the sixth or last tackle
and the ball is deemed (subject to loss of possession) to have been kicked-ahead by four
(4) grid positions or to grid 11 (5 metre line)  whichever is the lesser distance. Possession
changes after this play.

Finding Touch in Play
Should the defending player deal a ten (10) or a picture card following his opponents sixth
black card in the above sequence, the kick-ahead is deemed to have found touch. In this
case possession is determined by a scrum. The scrum feed is by the first card dealt in the
succeding play.

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Loss of Possession
When during a passage of play, the defending player deals a card of equal value (pair) to the
preceding black card dealt by his opponent in-possession, then possession is deemed to
have been lost and the players roles are reversed. This rule takes precedence over the

Teams incur penalties during play by dealing consecutive cards of equal value (pair).
The penalty is taken by the opposing team -
         when outside or on grid 7 position (22 metre line), by kicking-ahead 4 grid positions
         from within grid 7, by kicking-ahead to grid 11 (5 metre line)
Providing the penalty kick finds touch, the team taking the penalty resumes play from this
new position.

Finding Touch from Penalty
When a penalty is incurred the offending player deals one extra card, if this card is a King the
penalty failed to find touch and possession immediately reverts to the team which incurred the
penalty at the position to which the ball was returned by the penalty kick.

After each passage of play when possession of the ball changes, the cards dealt from that
preceding hand are returned to the bottom of their respective half pack/deck. the cards may
then be shuffled at the discretion of either player.

Possession Against the Feed
The scrum is fed by the first card dealt after the opposition fails to find touch, and this card
is used also to start the new passage of play.  In the event, however, this card is either a
Queen or a King possession is deemed to have gone against the feed and possession will
revert to the opposing team.

Scoring Play
Field Goal
When the ball is on grid 10 (10 metre line) or grid 11 (5 metre line) the in-possession player,
on dealing a picture card, has the option of taking it as a field goal (value 1 point). If the
player does not elect the field goal option, the card resumes its normal play function.
Following a field goal, possession changes and play resume from grid 3 (22 metre line).

Penalty Conversion
When a penalty is incurred on or within grids 1, 2 or 3 that is, on or within  the opposition
22 metre line, the penalty is taken by attemting a goal conversion. One card is dealt for the
attempt. It is deemed successful when either a 10 or a picture card is dealt (value 2 points).
Possession changes after the attempt and play resumes from grid 3 (22 metre line).

A try is scored, when a player after dealing a red card reaches the in-goal line (grid 12)
during a normal passage of play, then if the next card dealt is black the ball is deemed to have
been grounded and a try is scored (value 4 points). If that next card is red the ball has gone
dead-in-goal and possession changes and play resumes from grid 3 (22 metre line).

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Try Conversion
The black card that confirms a try also determines the distance the try was scored from the
centre goal position (and therefore the distance of the conversion kick). The actual conversion
depends on the next card dealt. Provided that the conversion attempt card has a value equal
to, or greater than (aces count as one only) the preceding black try card, the conversion is
successful (value 2 points). If the value of that card is less than the black try card, or a King is
dealt, then the conversion failed and no extra points are awarded.
Following a conversion attempt, possession changes and play resumes from a centre kick-off
Note that this is taken from grid 2 (10 metre line).

During a passage of play, a loss of possession or a penalty decision takes precedence over
and will invalidate a simultaneous field goal or try attempt.

Scoring is recorded progressively on the attached score sheet in accordance with the
following table -

 Field goal .....................................
 Penalty conversion .........................
 Try ..............................................
 Try conversion ..............................
 Scoring code  'F'.....
 Scoring code  'P'.....
 Scoring code  'T'.....
 Scoring code  'C'.....
 Value  1  point
 Value  2  points
 Value  4  points
 Value  2  points

                                                                           Copyright P.R.& M.T.Sherwin   

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