OBJECT OF PELMANISM: The object of Pelmanism is to score the most points. 


MATERIALS: One or more 52-card standard decks, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Memory Card Game



Pelmanism is a memory game playable by two or more people. It’s similar in concept and play to the game Concentration. In Pelmanism players compete against each other to score the most points by the end of the game. Players can score points by matching cards during gameplay to remove them from the layout. 


The dealer is chosen at random and will shuffle all the cards that will be used for the game. Then they will lay out all cards into a grid, facedown so no player may see which cards are which. Cards should not overlap. 

Card Rankings 

There is no ranking order for Pelmanism and all suits are ignored. All that matters is matching pairs of cards. Each set has 4 cards of the same face value. Cards match when they share the same notation on them. So, Jacks pair with Jacks, 7s with 7s, and 3s with 3s, Etc.


In Pelmanism players take turns starting with the player to the dealer’s left and continuing clockwise. On their turn, a player will flip over two cards. If they match, then they are collected and are placed in a pile near that player for scoring later. If they do not match, then they are returned to their facedown layout and play passes to the next player. 

Players that successfully match cards get to take another turn and try to match two more cards. This continues until that player unsuccessfully matches a pair. 

Scoring begins once all pairs on the table have been matched and taken into score piles. 


Each Player will count their matching pairs and score a point for each pair made. These scores can be kept cumulatively over several rounds or used as a single end score for the game. 


The game ends either after the first round or after a number of rounds determined by the players. The game is won by the player who has scored the most points. If multiple players share the same high score, then those players tie the game or more rounds can be played to determine a final winner. 


Other packs that are non-standard 52-card packs can be used. These can lengthen or shorten a game. 

Some packs only have single pairs of cards, meaning there will only be two of the cards in the pack. This makes matching at the beginning of the game more difficult if you are looking for a more challenging version of the game. 

To make the game even more challenging using a standard 52-card standard deck, a rule can be put in place that matches must match in notation and color. So a valid pair would be two red queens but it would be non-valid to have a pair of a red queen and a black queen. 

Nakoa Davis