OBJECTIVE OF EGYPTIAN RAT SCREW: Collect all the cards in the deck.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2+ players 

NUMBER OF CARDS: Standard 52 card deck + Jokers (optional)

RANK OF CARDS: J (high), Q, K, A, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

TYPE OF GAME: Matching/Collecting



Egyptian Rat Screw (ERS) is a fast-paced card game of many names, such as Egyptian Rat Slap, Egyptian Ratkiller, and Egyptian War. The game has similarities to the British game Beggar my Neighbor, as well as Slapjack, Speed, and Spit, with its slapping mechanism.


Cards are dealt to each player, one at a time, until the whole deck is evenly dispersed. Players cannot look at their cards. After they have received their hand, square the deck so it is neat before gameplay begins.


Play starts to the left of the dealer. Each player takes the top card of their deck and places it face-up in the middle of the table, one at a time. If the card played previous is a number card, the next player puts a card down too. Play continues like this until players play a face card , AKA, Ace, King, Queen, or Jack.

If one of these cards are played, the next player put down an Ace or face card for play to continue on. If they do not place an Ace, King, Queen, or Jack, the player who played one wins the entire pile of cards. This player starts the next round.

This stipulation can be overridden by slapping. The first player to slap the cards wins them.


Below is the slap rule section – when a pile can be slapped and subsequently win the whole pile.

Double: Matching cards are played consecutively. For example, a 6 followed by a 6.

Sandwich: Two cards of equal value are played with one card between them. For example, 10, 6, 10.

Top Bottom: When the same card as the card that started the round is played.

Tens: Two cards played one after the other that total ten. For example, a 6 followed by a 4.

Jokers: Jokers are optional. If they are in play, they may be slapped at any time.

Four in a Row: Four cards in sequence, played consecutively. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Marriage: When a King and Queen are played next to each other. Either Q, K or K, Q.

If you slap the pile by mistake, you must add either 1 or 2 penalty cards to the pile.


You may continue playing if you run out of cards by “slapping in,” that is slapping the pile at the right time before other players. Players should attempt to slap in as long as possible to keep the game going. The game ends once a single player has collected the whole deck.


  • Hovering over the pile, to slap faster, is not permitted.
  • It is legal to drop a card in order to slap the pile.
  • If a player slaps the pile incorrectly more than 5 times they are ejected from the game.
  • Try to keep the pile in order of which the cards were played.


How many players can play Egyptian Rat Screw?

Egyptian Rat Screw can be played with 2 or more players. Additional decks may be needed for more players depending on the size of the group and player preference.

How many cards are dealt to each player?

There is not a set number of cards dealt to each player. Instead the deck is dealt as evenly as possible to all players.

Is Egyptian Rat Screw family friendly?

Despite the name Egyptian Rat Screw is a family friendly game great for all ages! It’s pretty easy to learn and teach as well for younger kids.

How do you win when you play Egyptian Rat Screw?

The game ends when one player has collected the entire deck. This player is the winner.

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