OBJECTIVE: Be the player who collects the most matching pairs.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52
RANK OF CARDS: The rank of the cards is unimportant in this game.
THE DEAL: The dealer, or either player, lays the cards face down in four rows. The four rows should have 13 cards each. Jokers can be included if the players wish; in this case, cards should be dealt in six rows of 9 cards.
TYPE OF GAME: Memory
HOW TO PLAY CONCENTRATION
Players take it in turns to flip two cards over.
If the cards match, then they have a matched pair, which they remove from play and keep next to them. This player then has a second turn for getting a matched pair. If they manage a second matched pair, they keep going until they don’t match.
If the cards don’t match, both cards are returned to a facedown position, and it’s the next player’s turn.
Players continue this trend until all cards have been matched.
The aim is to remember where certain cards are that have already been turned over. This way, when a player flips over a card that hasn’t been seen yet, but the matched card has been seen before, the player should be able to get a matched pair.
HOW TO WIN CONCENTRATION
To be declared the winner of the round, a player must have matched more card pairs than the other player. To calculate this, simply look at how many pairs of cards each player has – each pair is worth one point. The player with the highest number of matched pairs/points is the winner.
Because Concentration is such a simple card game, many variations exist. We’ve listed some below that are great alternatives to the standard game:
One Flip – Players who match a pair of cards do not achieve a second turn and must wait until the other player has had their turn to go again.
Two Decks – For a longer game, players use two decks of cards in place of one. The same rules apply.
Zebra – Card pairs should be the same rank but the opposite color; for example, a 9 of hearts would match a 9 of clubs.
Spaghetti – The same set of standard rules apply, but the cards are randomly set out, rather than being in neat rows.
Fancy – Players may lay out the cards however they wish; in a circle, heart, diamond… Anything is fine.
OTHER NAMES: Memory, Match Up, Pairs, Match Match.
GAMES BASED ON CONCENTRATION
Shinkei Suijaku is a table game that was published by Sega for Android. It was originally released in Japan by its developer through the PuyoSega subscription service, but the mobile game was then released as a standalone version for Android phones. The game is no longer available, but there are many other apps based on Concentration.
In the late 1950s, there was an American television game show called “Concentration” (also known as “Classic Concentration”) which was based on the card game. The show stopped airing in 1991, but it was the longest run of any game show on NBC. A multitude of hosts presented the show, and in the span of its runtime, there were a few different versions. The show used both the Concentration card game and a rebus puzzle to confuse its contestants. The rebus puzzles varied through the show, showing contestants parts of words alongside plus signs, to help them reveal the word needed to complete the game.