As is so often the case with Canada’s most popular card games, there are multiple variations that can be applied to the Standard Rules of Creights (aka Crates). While the traditional rules are most commonly followed, changing things up can make the game more interesting, and give more experienced players a greater, or lesser, advantage.
Common Creights Rule Variations
In this segment, you’ll learn how to mix up the rules for different numbers of players, applying partnerships to even-number groups, and administering variable card rules for odd-number groups. We also cover adjusting the penalties for “pressures”, adding jokers to the deck, and a few other known variations of the game.
Partnership Creights w/ Even Players
If you have an even number of players, you might want to try playing with partnerships. The game should consist of two teams of 2 players each (4 player game), 3 players each (6 player game), or 4 players each (8 player game). Note that games of 6 or more players should apply two standard 52-card decks.
Partners will take alternating seats. The rules of the game do not change, except that score is taken collectively per team, not as individuals.
Also note that playing a 7 will result in your partner being forced to take an extra card. In these games, it’s considered a privilege. The player who places the 7 should say “Card for my partner!”, and the one drawing should respond, “Thank you , partner!”
3, 5 and 7 Player Creights
Partnerships are not possible in odd-number groups of players. Therefore, when a group that would normally play with partners has an odd number of players, the rules applied to the 7 and Jack can be altered, making things a bit more interesting.
Sevens: Normally, a 7 causes the player opposite to draw a card. In this version, the 7 will force the next player to take a card before playing.
Jack: This card normally does nothing, but in this variation, a Jack will force the previous player to take a card before the next player acts.
2 Players, No Faces
Playing with just two players isn’t normally as exciting, but if you remove all Face Cards from the deck, it will increase the rate of pressures, and thereby the luck-factor in who wins the game. (See Alternate Pressure Penalties below for more options.)
Playing with Jokers
In some crowds, Creights rules allow for both Jokers to be included in the deck. A Joker can be played upon any other card, and has two special effects—rewind and transparency.
When played, the player who played the previous card must play again, but without changing the direction of play. Being transparent, the next card played must follow the previous card played. If two Jokers are played consecutively, play reverts again the the previous player.
For instance, Player-2 plays King of Spades. Player-3 plays a Joker. Play rewinds, and Player-2 also plays a Joker. Now it’s Player-1’s turn, who must play to the King of Spades, followed by Player-2, then Player-3.
Jokers are worth 40 points, and can be covered by a 3.
Alternate Pressure Penalties
One of the biggest gripes about playing Creights is how high the penalty points can climb for pressures, often producing exorbitant scores. An alternative method caps the doubling of pressure penalties at 20. In this way, the penalty continues to rise throughout the game, but at a much lower rate.
Instead of scoring 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 310, etc…
Consecutive pressures would be scored as 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, etc…
Another way to alter the pressure system—especially preferred in 2 and 3 player games, where pressures are more rare—is to apply a 2-card-draw rule to the Queen. Whenever a Queen is played, the next player must draw two cards, and then play.
If you found these Creights rule variations interesting, you may also enjoy some of our other materials on the game:
History of Creights
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