Why I love donkey, the best card game

Fun comes in all ways. For me, the simpler the better. As I grow older, I do not like things which take a lot of time to plan, are complex or are simply too expensive. I have learned to appreciate the small things in life and as many others before me realized, it is the simplest things in life that bring us the most joy. For me, one of them is playing cards. But of course, not playing them alone. Whenever I host, we do a lot of activities but playing cards is usually one of them. I have lots of great memories playing cards with friends and family. So how exactly do we do this?

Game instructions

For starters, the game I like to play is called donkey. It is also called old maid although donkey sounds better for me. The name of the game is a little crazy but it makes the game very competitive. The loser in the game is the donkey. The game is best played with many people roughly 5-8 but it can be slightly more. A deck of cards has 52 cards. To make the game competitive, entertaining, nervy and fun, we remove one joker from the deck. That way, all the cards will pair but the joker will not since there will only be 1.

Once the cards are shuffled, they are all given out to the players, who are best seated in a circular formation. After that, the players have to match them and pair them. For example, 3 with another 3, Q with another Q or A with another A. The color does not matter although I am aware there are those who like to play it with only single colored cards except the joker.

Everyone then goes ahead and arranges their own cards while making sure no one can see their cards. Thereafter, they pair them and put them down on the table. Once everyone has done this, all the remaining cards are unpaired since the card you have in your hand has a pair which is in someone else’s hand. Now in a bid to pair them, you have to pick it from someone else. This can be either clockwise or anticlockwise, however you choose. You will pick a random card from whoever is next to you and they will pick it from someone else and so on until the person on the other side of you will pick a card from you.

If you pick a card and it matches the one in your hand, then you pair them and put them down. If there is no matching card with the ones you have, you keep them and wait for your next turn to try. This happens until everyone has paired and placed down their cards and one person remains with the joker and that person is the donkey. They lose and are not eligible for the next round. This goes on until we have the ultimate winner who was never a donkey.

Game qualities

It is a really simple game but it is very interesting because sometimes someone picks a card from you and when your turn comes, you pick one that would have matched with what was picked from you. It is very disappointing! But the funniest of all is when the joker keeps going around and no one is supposed to make a face or make an expression to let others know that they have the joker. Often times this does not happen and people get stressed when they have it or get relieved that someone took it from them that they give the secret away. It gets even more intense as the players keep reducing since the remaining players know that the joker is between them. This is especially so when there are like 2 or 3 players remaining. So, one has to make educated guesses as to which one the joker might be and try his or her best to avoid it.

The beauty with this game is that you cannot really call yourself an expert. It is all about luck so it equalizes all the players as long as they can hold their emotions and not reveal when they have the joker. The one drawback of this game is that it can get boring and repetitive if there are too many players. The object of the game is to get the ultimate player who did not become a donkey, but this can take long if there are many players. And since donkeys don’t play subsequent games, it can make others bored while waiting. However, from my experience, the desire to not want to be the donkey makes it very competitive and keeps players on edge. Those who are left out after being donkeys laugh at the players and create a fun environment as they invite others to join them in being donkeys.

One thing to remember with this game is that it calls for honesty and vigilance. If someone lies and puts down unmatching cards, the game will not end since no one will get those pairs. Each player has to be honest but at the same time, the players have to be vigilant so that some over competitive player does not do it. This is also where the donkeys come in. They can easily check on the cards being placed down on the table and callout those trying to cheat.

Give it a try

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your friends or family that is engaging, fun, competitive, and will keep everyone on the edge and does not take too much or too little time, give donkey a try and you will love it.

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