Beating Games

Beating games are popular all over the world but are most commonly found in Russia, as well as other parts of Eastern Europe and China. The object of beating games is to have no cards in hand by the end of the game. Most games have special rules on how to shed cards most of which involve beating a previously played card form an opponent. 

It employs the mechanic of ranking cards so that there is a hierarchy for what beats what. In beating games, if you cannot beat the previously played card, you play no cards and pick up the card you could not beat (and sometimes more depending on the game). In these types of games, there is often time not a winner, but instead only a loser. This is the last person holding cards when the game ends.

The types of beating games are often separated into four different types. There also exist games that are not technically beating games but employ similar mechanisms.

Type 1: Single Attack Games

These games typically follow this style of play, where the attacker (the player playing their turn) plays a card which the next player, the defender, either beats or picks up the attacker’s card.

Type 2: Round Games

These games start the same as type one, but if the defender’s card defeats the attacker’s card it becomes the new attack card and must be beaten or picked up by the next player. This continues around the table.

Examples include:

Type 3: Multi-attack Games

These games start with an attacker playing multiple cards and the defender may beat any number of them, any that are not beaten are picked up.

Examples include:

Type 4: Continued Attack Games

These games involve a starting attack consisting of one card, or sometimes a group of equally ranked cards. Then any opponent of the defender may also play cards, called “throwing in”, of the same rank of any cards played during the attack. The defender then has to beat all cards involved in the attack or the defender will have to pick up all the cards involved including those used to beat cards and those beaten.

Games with Similar Mechanisms

These games use the same mechanism that if you cannot play a card you must pick up cards. They also usually have the same objective to get rid of all cards in hand. They also have very different rules, for example, when you play a card you must play the next card up in rank or an equal valued card, and all cards are usually played upside down, meaning players may not follow the rules but if called out successfully must pick up all the cards.

Examples include: