President Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

Have you ever dreamt of becoming a president? This President card game rules guide will show you how you can turn into one, at least for a single evening.

President is a shedding-type card game for four or more players who compete to get rid of all their cards first. It’s popular at parties since it can be modulated into a drinking game.

President is also known as Scum or Capitalism, and it’s a western adaptation of popular games like Big 2 (see Big 2 rules) and 13 (check 13 card game rules) originating in Asia. 

The greatest difference is the role-playing element: After the first round, players are assigned roles based on their previous success and try to climb the ladder to the top.

This President Card Game rules guide will cover the following: 

  • What is President?
  • What you’ll need to play the President card game
  • President card game rules
  • How to play President (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to President (our guides)

Continue reading to find out how to play President.

What is President?

President Card Game Info image

In many regards, President is a typical card-shedding game with simple rules: 

Players take turns playing higher cards than their predecessors, getting rid of as many cards as possible before being forced to pass when they cannot make any more moves.

But the real fun begins when players take on various roles based on their success in the previous round. These roles also gain them points, which they need to win the game.

Number of Players: 4 – 7 

Ages: 7+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 30 – 60 minutes

Category: Shedding-type card game

Similar to: Big 2, Winner, 13, Daifugo

Main Objective: Earn points by becoming a President – the player who gets rid of all their cards first.

Why We Love It: President is a simple but original game that works great with both kids and adults.

What You’ll Need to Play President

President is traditionally played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. 

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Nevertheless, you can also come across a commercialized version of the game in the form of a dedicated President card game set

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President Card Game Rules and Gameplay

President has a few unique features and rules, but in general, it remains one of the simplest shedding-type card games. This makes it ideal for both beginners and younger kids. 

You can come across various versions of the game rules. Some players also like to come up with their own alternations or additional rules – feel free to improvise and have fun with it!

The instructions below represent the game’s most common and easy-to-understand variation, which works as a great starting point.

Starting the Game

Before you begin playing, let’s find out which player takes on the role of the dealer first:

  • Shuffle the entire deck of cards and spread them face down across the table
  • Each player picks one random card
  • The player with the lowest-ranking card becomes the dealer
  • In case of a tie, repeat the process (as many times as needed)

Of course, you must know the ranking of the cards in President first. From the highest to the lowest card, it’s 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3.

The dealer reshuffles the cards and deals all of them among the players (one by one, starting with the player to his left). Now you’re all set and ready to play.

How to Play President Card Game

The player sitting to the dealer’s left (let’s call them Player 1) is the first one to take their turn. This is how they proceed:

  • Player 1 leads with any single card or combination of cards from their hand. 
  • Cards of the same rank can be combined into sets and played together (e.g., two Jacks, three Aces…)
  • The game moves in a clockwise direction. 
  • Player 2 must match the number of cards played by Player 1 (e.g., you must also play two if a previous player played two cards). 
  • Moreover, Player 2 must play cards of greater ranking than Player 1 (i.e., if Player 1 plays King, Player 2 must play either Ace or Two).
  • If a player cannot fulfill the requirements above, they are forced to pass their turn. 
  • The players can also decide to pass despite having a valid card or combination (for example, to avoid spending their strong cards on beating weak ones).

The gameplay continues until all the players pass their turns consecutively. 

The person who played the last card/cards takes the entire trick (but leaves the cards on the table facing down) and leads the next round.

Play until everyone gets rid of all their cards. Those players who are out of cards already are simply skipped.

Roles

After the first round, players acquire roles and sit for the next round accordingly:

  • The player who played all their cards first in the previous round becomes a President and picks the most comfortable seat.
  • The second fastest player is a Vice-president who sits to the President’s left.
  • The third player will now act as a Speaker of the House and sit to the Vice-president’s left. 
  • Based on the number of players, other roles may include Citizen, Congressman, etc. – pick your favorites. The last player becomes a Beggar or Scum.

The Beggar takes on the role of a dealer for the next round (shuffling, dealing, or clearing away cards when necessary). 

After the following dealing, they must also give their highest card to the President in exchange for any of the President’s cards (the choice is up to the President).

President Scoring 

After each round of play, the players get scores based on their role/position:

President 2 points

Vice-president 1 point

Other roles 0 points

The game continues until one of the players collects 11 points, becoming a winner.

How to Play President Card Game – Video Tutorial 

President Card Game Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use jokers in President?

Some players like to include Jokers as wild cards in the game in combination with natural cards. However, such combinations are beaten by equivalent all-natural combinations.

Can two players play President?

No. This card game should be played by four players at a minimum. 

Does the three of clubs card open the game of President? 

There are many variations of President rules. One of them says that the player with three clubs must place this card in the center as the leading card of the first trick.

Other Similar Games to President (Our Guides) 

Do you enjoy playing President? We have guides to a few exciting President alternatives for you:

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