OBJECT OF 4-PLAYER XERI: The object of 4-player Xeri is to have the most points at the end of the game.


MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52-cards, a way to keeps score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Fishing Card Game

AUDIENCE: Teens, Adults


4-player Xeri is a fishing card game for 4 players. The goal of the game is to score more points than your opponent by matching card ranks.

To play, there will be two teams where partners sit across from each other.

The number of rounds that will be played should be discussed and agreed upon before the game.


The first dealer is chosen at random and passes clockwise around the table. It is worse odds to be the dealer, so it should be chosen randomly who will start as the dealer.

The deck will be shuffled, and the player to the dealer’s right will cut the deck. The dealer will deal each player a 6-card hand. 4 additional cards are placed face up between the players in a pile and the remaining cards form a stockpile to the side.

The 4 cards dealt to the center of the table will form the play pile. If any two cards of the play pile rank the same, and/or the top card is a jack, the pile is reshuffled into the stock and a new play pile is dealt.

Card Ranking

There is not a card ranking used for the game.


The game starts with the player left of the dealer and passes clockwise. On a player’s turn, they must play one card from hand to the play pile. This can result in any of the following occurrences. A player may capture the play pile, add to it, or create a new play pile. 

To capture the play pile a player must either play a card of the same rank as the top card of the play pile or play a jack to a non-empty play pile. These both result in the player capturing the entire pile and taking it into their team’s scoring pile. Captured cards are kept face down in a scoring pile and cannot be viewed again till the end of the game.

If the cards played does not capture the pile, it simply remains and becomes the new top card of the play pile.

If there is not a current play pile a player may play any card to start a new one. This also creates the possibility of a Xeri.

A Xeri occurs when there is a single card in the play pile and the player whose turn is after the pile is created captures it with a card of the same rank. This card when captured is kept face up and perpendicular in the scoring pile of a player so they will not forget it is a Xeri. Xeris score extra points for the players who capture them.

The game continues until the player’s hands are empty, then the dealer deals each player another hand of six cards. This continues until all cards from the stock and players’ hands are empty.

The last player to capture a card from the layout scores any remaining cards in the layout at the end of the round.


After the round is over teams will score their score piles. A team receives 3 points for capturing the most cards. A team receives 1 point for each Ace, King, Queen, Jack, or 10 they captured. The team who captures the 2 of clubs receives 1 point, and the team who captures the 10 of diamonds receives 1 point.

Each Xeri captured is worth 10 points to that player. If you capture a jack as a Xeri it is instead worth 20 points.

If there is a tie for most cards captured the 3 points are not scored by either team.

The team to score the most points win this round.


The game ends after the decided number of rounds is reached. The team with the most round wins, wins the game.


Several variations can be used in both 4-player and traditional Xeri.

The first variation deals with the cut of the deck. Some playgroups play that when the deck is cut the cutter shows all players the bottom card of the deck. If the cutter sees this is a jack, they will look at the next card until a jack is not found and this will be the new bottom card.

The second variation is for the initial play pile set up. This variation allows for the top two cards of the play pile to have the same rank or for a jack to be the top play pile card.

The third variation changes the Xeri rules slightly. This rule would make it so that the last card played by the dealer can never be a Xeri, even if it captures a lone card.

The fourth variation is for scoring Xeris. If a Xeri is a jack, then it is scored as 25 points instead of 20.

The final variation has to do with scoring. This variation has players keep a cumulative score through the entire game, and the first player or team to reach 151 or more points wins. If both teams or players reach this total in the same round then the game is extended to 251 points, and so on until a winner is reached.

Amber Crook
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