OBJECTIVE OF AGURK: The objective of Agurk is to not win the last trick of each round and to be the last player not eliminated.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-7 Players
MATERIALS: A standard 52 card deck, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF AGURK
Agurk is the Danish word for Cucumber. Cucumber is a game played all over the world, though different versions exist for each region. Agurk is the Danish version. Also sometimes called 21, because if you reach 21 points you will lose the game.
To set up a player will be the dealer for the round. They will shuffle the deck and deal each player 7 cards facedown. The remaining cards are placed in a facedown pile near all players. The cards are ranked with Ace being the highest and 2 being the lowest rank of card. The full ranking is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. The suit of the cards doesn’t matter in this game.
Agurk is played over a series of rounds and in these rounds, you will play 7 tricks. To start the game the player to the dealers left will play the first card of the trick. From then on, the winner of the trick will start the next one.
When playing a trick in Agurk the player who starts the trick may play any card they would like. The remaining players must then play a card that is the same or higher rank or they must play their lowest ranking card. The player with the highest-ranked card or the highest-ranked card played last.
The cards played by players will remain in front of them. Anyone can look through other players’ cards when deciding what cards to play for their turn.
When the last trick of the round is won, the player who won the trick is penalized. They receive a score equal to the rank of the card the trick was won with. Ace is worth 14 points, king 13, queen 12, jack 11, and remaining cards are worth face value.
When a player receives a score of 21 or more, they lose a life and to signify this a cucumber is drawn under their score. They receive a new score matching the highest score at the table. When a score of 21 or more is reached the second time the player is eliminated from the game.
If a player plays the same rank as the card as the player who won the last trick, they receive a bonus meaning the score of the card is subtracted from their score. Scores cannot go below zero or for those who have a cucumber they cannot go below the number they started the second life with. Penalties are always applied before bonuses.
New rounds are started the player to the left of the dealer (if not eliminated) becomes the new dealer until a winner is determined.
There are a few variants for this version of the game. Some games use three jokers making the deck 55-cards. Jacks are ranked above Aces and are worth 15 points as a penalty or bonus.
In some games, after the cards are dealt the player to the dealer’s left can decide to discard any number of cards from their hand to draw new cards from the facedown pile. Players following this have the option to discard the same number and pull cards to replace them or not discard at all. If there are not enough cards in the draw pile the player may discard the number of cards remaining to pull the rest of the cards. If there a no cards left players may not discard to pull. If the player to the dealer’s left decides not to discard and draw no player may do it.
Some games are played by keeping score with the winning card of the last trick. The card remains in front of the player penalized and no bonuses are awarded in this variant. There is also no second life.
There is also a variant where any cards of the same rank tied for highest in the last trick all lose the points.
There are games played where the first player to reach 21 points loses the game and the game ends.
Another variant allows players who reach 21 exactly to start over with zero points without losing a life.
The final variant would instead of 7 cards after the first-round players would receive a hand the same size as the card used to win the last trick of the previous round. This also means there would be a matching number of tricks played that round.
END OF GAME
The game ends once there is only one player who is not eliminated.