King = Queen = Jack

     Playing Cards

"Playing Cards" by Simone Bianchetti is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

I was explaining to my grandson how to play the game WAR with playing cards. He understood Ace beats everything. He understood higher numbers beat lower numbers, and that Jack beats all the number cards. He understood King and Queen beat Jack and the faceless cards.

After that, King and Queen became a problem. How does one royalty beat another when ruling the same kingdom? Suit and color don’t matter in this simple children’s game. A young child would naturally see the face cards as representing family. So, how does a daddy beat a mommy? Does a mommy and daddy beat a child (Jack)?

The card family is a hierarchy. Am I teaching my grandson that Queen’s femaleness is why she’s of less value than King? Femaleness is her only difference. And King beats Queen expresses that royalty closest in value to Jack makes him of even lesser value.

I’m toying with the idea of taking turns with King, Queen, and Jack’s values. Sometimes Queen will beat King and sometimes King will beat Queen. Sometimes Jack will beat both.

Since Ace (as a child I saw Ace as God) beats every card, to add fun to the game, I suggest letting Ace decide what the hierarchal value is at the beginning of each game. By flipping the remaining cards alternately on top of the piles of king cards, queen cards, and jack cards, Ace decides who is of greatest, greater and least value. Re-shuffle the number and Ace cards when you run out of cards to flip. If the first series of flips shows Ace, that doesn’t count. In case of a tie, the players default to a pre-game WAR.

This alteration adds a little more complexity to the game. I call it my fun family version.

I won’t see my grandson for a while to try this out. If you have a child of elementary school age in your home, could you try it with them and let me know how it worked out?         



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