How to Play the Card Game President

Card games are played, first and foremost, for fun. But some card games can take on an amusing social component, such as the game known as President--also known as "Rich Man, Poor Man," "President and Scum," and far more vulgar names. Ideal for large groups, the rules can be learned fairly quickly. The real fun of President lies not in the rules, however, but the hierarchy.

Things You'll Need
4+ players
Deck of cards
Deal the cards counter-clockwise around the table, and place any extra cards in a pile out of play. The person who has the three of clubs will begin the game. Players are well-advised to sort their cards in numerical order before play. At the moment, all players are considered equal.

Place the three of clubs in the center of the table. Going counter-clockwise around the table, players must play cards that are equal or higher to the previous card. Players can play pairs, and three- or four-of-a-kind. Players may also pass--and if all players pass, the pile is cleared, and the last player who played must play another card to start a new pile.

Continue around the table until all players dispose of their cards. If a player plays the same number card as the previous player, the next player is skipped--pairs and three-of-a-kind skip two or three players, and four-of-a-kind reverses the direction of play. Twos clear the pile, and allow the same player to play another card. Fours can be played at any time, and the following player must beat the card played before it.

Keep track of the order of which players get rid of their cards first, second, third, etc. Upon completion of the first round, designate each player with a "social status," based on how quick they were to get rid of all of their cards. The fastest player becomes the President, the second-fastest player becomes Vice President, and so on--names for each role can vary. At the very bottom of the ladder is the slowest player, who is designated as Scum, Beggar or Whipping Boy (while the second slowest player would be, of course, Vice Scum).

Rearrange the players around the table, according to their rank. The Vice President will sit to the left of the President, the Governor will sit to the left of the Vice President, the Mayor to the left of the Governor, all the way to the Scum. The seating arrangements can, of course, be modified to represent each person's role--the President can sit on a velvet chair, and the Scum on the floor.

Make the Scum responsible for shuffling, dealing and clearing the pile for the next round. When dealing counter-clockwise, any extra cards will be dealt first to the players of lowest rank. After dealing, the President is allowed to exchange his two worst cards for the Scum's two best cards. The Vice President does the same with the Vice Scum, for only one card.

Continue play, reassigning ranks with each round. Play can continue with no point system at all, with no definite winner. Alternatively, points can be earned with your rank--for example, three points for being President, two points for being Vice President, one point for Governor.

Tips & Warnings

Games require four players or more. Large groups may need two full decks, although there should be only one three of clubs to start.
President can also work as a drinking game, with various rules. Exercise appropriate caution.