OBJECTIVE OF LIGHTS ON: Be the first team to earn 3 Plugs 


CONTENTS: 5 bulbs from each color, 5 bubble bulb cards, 5 plug cards, 5 broken bulb cards  

TYPE OF GAME: Set Collection Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 6+ 


Lights On is a partnership set collection card game that uses the Christmas Lights card game contents.  It is based on the classic game Kemps, and it was adapted by Teun Ham. 

In this game, partners will decide on a secret signal.  Once they have collected a set of four matching lights, they signal to their partner who must call out “Lights On”.  However, if an opponent suspects that they are trying to signal, they may say “Lights Off” to block.  Be careful when blocking because if the player is wrong, they earn a broken bulb card.  Collect three broken bulbs and that team automatically loses.  


 From the Christmas Lights Card Game box, pull five bulb cards of each color, five bubble bulb cards, 5 plug cards, and 5 broken bulb cards. 

Shuffle the color bulbs and bubble bulbs together to form the deck.  Place the plugs and broken bulbs to the side.  They are used for scoring. 

Deal 4 cards face down to each player.  Players should not look at the cards.  Deal four cards face up in a row to the center of the table.  All players should be able to reach these cards.  The rest of the deck is placed face down to form a draw pile.   

Lights On is a partnership game, and partners should sit across from each other.  Before beginning the game, each team should go off on their own and choose a secret signal that will be used when they have a set of four matching cards.  The signal cannot be spoken words or noises.  It must be a body movement or gesture of some sort. 


The dealer counts down from three to begin the round.  At that point, players may begin freely swapping cards from their hand with the four cards face up in the center of the table.  Players may only swap cards one at a time.  If a point comes where the swapping stops, the dealer asks if the table would like new lights.  If everyone says yes, the four cards in the center of the table are discarded.  Four new cards are dealt to the center face up.  The dealer counts down again, and play continues. 


When a player has four matching bulbs in their hand, they may signal to their partner.  When their partner sees the signal, they say “Lights on!” to end the round.  The player with four of a kind then shows their hand to the table.  If they do have four of a kind, the round ends and they earn a plug card.  If “Lights on” was said, and the player does not have four of a kind,  the round still ends.  That team earns a broken bulb card. 


If a player believes their opponent has four of a kind or is signaling, they may say “Lights off!” to end the round.  They point at the player they suspect has four of a kind.  That player reveals their hand.  If the player has four of a kind, they earn a broken bulb card.  If they do not  have four of a kind, the accuser earns a broken bulb card.  Either way, the round ends.  

When a round ends, the cards are collected and shuffled back together for the next round.  Deal always passes left.  Once a team has earned three broken bulbs or three plugs, the game ends. 


The first team to earn three plugs wins the game.  If a team earns three broken bulbs, they automatically lose the game. 

Mark Ball
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