OBJECT OF ELEWENJEWE: The object of Elewenjewe is to be the first player to score 5 points.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players

MATERIALS: One standard 52-card deck with 2 optional jokers, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Fishing Card Game



Elewenjewe is a fishing game for 2 to 5 players. It has different rule sets for different types of play. There are rules for professional and casual play. There are also rules for certain aspects of the game to be stricter which are called the Yoruba rules. 

The game is played over either 3 or 4 rounds. The goal of the game is to score the most points to win the games. Players can win points by capturing cards throughout the rounds. 


Before the deck is shuffled the king, queen, jack, and 9 of diamonds should be removed from the deck and placed centrally on the playing surface. 

The dealer is chosen at random and passes clockwise for each new round. The deck is shuffled and the player to the right should cut the deck. Then each player will receive a hand of 4 cards. players will then play their 4 cards and there will be another deal of 4 cards. This continues until it is impossible to deal 4 more cards to each player. In the last deal, the remaining cards can either be unused or can be placed in the center for capturing. In certain instances, there will be enough cards for each player to receive one card, in this case, it is also possible to play so that there is a final hand where each player receives 1 card. 

Card Values 

In this game ranking and suits do not matter. All that matters are the cards’ values. For aces their value is 1. 2s-10s have their numerical value, and jacks, queens, and kings do not have a value. These values are used to capture cards. the jacks, queens, and kings can only be captured by cards with the same face as them. So, kings can capture kings, queens can capture queens, and jacks can capture jacks. 

If jokers are used they can capture all cards when played, and if they are in the capture area they are captured with the next valid capture made. 


The game begins with the player left of the dealer and proceeds clockwise from them. A player’s turn consists of them playing a single card from hand to capture cards from the table or adding more cards to be captured from the table. 

If the card matches a card on the table it can capture it, or if any of the cards can be added together to sum your played cards value you can capture all those as well. Cards can only be captured once and cannot be used twice to capture more cards. For example, if you play a 9 and there is a 6, two 3s, a 7, a 9, and two aces on the table, you can capture the 6 and one 3, the 7 and the two aces, and the 9. You cannot capture the other 3 though as you do not have another 6 to sum the needed value of 9 to capture. 

Capturing cards is not mandatory and you can choose not to capture cards to have your card remain on the table to be captured later. 

In the chance you cannot capture any cards from the table the card played remains on the table to be captured later.

When cards are captured, they and the card played will all be kept in front of that player in a facedown pile. 

It can be played that the last player to play the final card of the round captures all remaining cards, but this is optional. 

There are special Yoruba rules that change the above gameplay slightly to make the game more challenging. In these rules, all cards that are captured must be different from each other and the played card. For example, in the above scenario, only the 6 and one three could be captured. As the two aces cannot be captured together and the 9 cannot be captured either. 

There are two additional rules called Esun and Isiwo. These need to be agreed upon before starting the game. 

In Esun cards can be formed into protected piles. This means a player can play a card and combine it with other cards from the table that all could be captured with a card that the player has in hand. This pile cannot be broken and must be captured together before the next hand is dealt or the player who formed it receives a penalty. An example would be playing a 9 to the table and adding to the pile an ace, a 2, an 8, two 5s. This means you hold and intend to play a 10 to capture the pile. Other players may also capture the pile, but it must be with a that can validly capture all the cards together. If playing with Yoruba rules no cards in the pile may match the card played or each other. So, in the above example, the two 5s would not be permitted. 

The other rule is Isiwo. This allows players to look through their cards that have been captured. Without this rule, it is illegal to do so. You may never look through your opponents’ captured cards. 


There are rules set in place to discourage cheating and carelessness, but any penalties should be agreed upon before the game. Things players may get penalized for include: Cheating, looking though yours or opponents’ cards illegally, mis-capturing, calling someone out for mis-capturing and being wrong, etc. 


After a round is over stacks of capture cards are counted. Each card has a value of one point. This is kept as a cumulative score over the rounds of the game. 


The game ends when the number of rounds is completed. The winner is the player with the most points.  

Amber Crook
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