Kings in the Corner

GravatarHappy Tuesday everyone. I would like to share a cool card game that I was introduced to this past weekend, Kings in the Corner. I played it with my children and was quite surprised how interested and engaged they were the entire time. In fact, they insisted we play again and again. I didn’t dare tell them how much they were learning at the same time (shhh, our secret).

Warning: Don’t be overwhelmed by all the instructions and rules. Once mastered, it is a relatively simple game to play. What’s more, it builds and reinforces many valuable concepts and skills including: focus and concentration, strategic thinking, numerical concepts (counting backwards, patterning), following rules, building social skills, turn-taking and having fun!

Kings in the Corner has definitely been added to my repertoire of family-time games, and will soon be added to my classroom collection as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. As always, your comments and questions are welcome. Please feel free to share some great games you’ve discovered as well.

Have a fabulous week and get those Kings in the corners everyone.



Number of Players: 2-5 (3 players is ideal as it reduces the wait time between turns – especially helpful for younger players)

Goal of the Game: To win, be the first player to get rid of all your cards

Required: 52-card deck, eager players

How to get started:


  • A dealer is chosen and he/she deals each player seven cards
  • Turn 4 cards face up (start cards) to form the shape of a Plus Sign. Place the remaining cards face down in the center as a draw pile.
  • The player left of the dealer goes first and play continues in that direction.

How to play:

  • At your turn, draw one card from the draw pile to begin your turn. You may make any number of moves of the following types, in any order:play
    1. Play a card from your hand on one of the piles. The card must be the next lower in rank and opposite in color – for example you can play a red Ten on a black Jack. Overlap the cards in each pile slightly so that all the cards can be seen. Since aces are the lowest cards, nothing can be played on a foundation pile that has an ace on top. Image shows what a pile looks like when cards have been added.
    2. Place a king from your hand to start a new foundation pile in an empty space inred king in corner 2 one of the four diagonal corners (in between foundation cards). It will then be possible to build on this King in the same way as on the original foundations, adding a queen of the opposite colour, then a jack of the same colour as the king, and so on. Image shows a King being played in the corner.
    3. Move an entire foundation pile onto another foundation pile if the bottom card of the moving pile is one rank lower and opposite in colour to the top card of the pile you are moving it onto. Example: a pile consisting of red 4 – black 3 may be moved on top of a pile consisting of black 7 – red 6 – black 5.two empty spaces
    4. Play any card from your hand to any of the original foundation piles that has become empty (because the card(s) that were originally in it have been moved to another pile). Image shows two empty starting positions that will require new starting cards.
  • If you manage to play all the cards in your hand, you have won, and play ceases. Otherwise, after you have played all cards you can or wish to, you knock on the table and your turn ends.
  • If in the original deal of the four starting cards, a King is dealt in any of the original foundation piles, it canKing in the deal be moved to a corner position. The player to the left of dealer will have the benefit of making this move and playing a card from hand to replace the moved king. Imagine shows a King being dealt at the beginning of the game. First player gets to move that King into a corner and replace the empty space with a card from their hand.
  • It may also happen that one of the dealt foundation cards will immediately fit on another, being one rank lower and of opposite color. In this case the player to the left of dealer will be able to move this card and replace it with a card from hand.
  • If the draw pile runs out, play continues without drawing.
  • The play ends when someone manages to get rid of all the cards from their hand, or when an impasse is reached where the stock has run out and everyone is unable or unwilling to play any further cards.

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