New Card Game: Bank!

 Once upon a long time ago, my brothers and I sat down and tried to make up a game. We called it “Joker’s World,” and it was a neat start. You had a joker, and moved it around on face down cards which, when revealed, had different effects on the player. I honestly don’t remember how you WON, but I do think the goal was “don’t die” and now that I think about it, it was more like solitaire than anything else.

This morning, I sat with a deck of cards. They’re really sick cards: highish quality, plastic, pixel art cards. One of the cooler features of the deck was the art: the face cards were lovely and intricately detailed, and the jokers were both coloured: one red and blue for the hearts and diamonds, one green and black for clubs/clovers and spades. It’s at this point that a memory of Joker’s World kicked in: I got to work trying to remake it.

My two housemates sat down, and started offering input. After the span of 2 hours we had a workable game with rules and everything. So far, it’s legit: some skill, lots of chance. 

Here are the rules for V. 1.0.

Game Name: Bank Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 2 per deck used. Playing Time: 3-5 minutes/round for 2 players.
Rules Version: 1.0 Date: 2015/10/28

Game Object:

The purpose of the game is to get more points than your opponent. You do this by moving your game piece on a playing field made of aces and face cards. The cards you land on allow you to exchange, discard, draw, and bank cards for points. The game ends either when the last space is revealed, or when the draw pile & discard pile have no cards left.

Game Contents/Materials:

  • 1 complete deck of playing cards
  • 2 game pieces (Anything will do, the Jokers from the card deck are great)

Game Setup:

  1. Separate the face cards and Aces from the deck.
  2. Shuffle the face cards and Aces together.
  3. Place the Face cards and Aces face down in a 4/4 grid on the table in front of the players.
  4. Shuffle the other pile of cards (This pile should contain all the cards from 2-10).
  5. Deal each player 5 cards face down. These cards will be the player’s hands.
  6. Place the remaining cards in a pile within reach of the players.

Define Terms:

  • Draw Pile: The deck of cards from 2 – 10.
  • Discard Pile: The pile of face up cards resulting from landing on Kings and Jacks.
  • The Stage: The 4×4 grid of Face Cards and Aces.
  • A Space: A card that makes up a stage. 1 card = 1 space.
  • Game Piece/Joker: What represents players on the stage.
  • The Bank: The face down pile that you put cards into when you land on an Ace. Each player has their own Bank.

Game Play:

  1. Decide who goes first (Loser goes first if playing multiple games). Turn order continues to the left.
  2. The first player places their Joker on one of the 4 spaces on the row closest to them. They follow the effects of the space’s card as if it were a normal turn.
  3. The second player places their Joker on one of the 4 spaces in the row opposite the row of the first player. They follow the effects of the space’s card as if it were a normal turn.
  4. After their first turn, during their turn, players move their Joker to another adjacent space.
  5. The game continues until 1 of 2 end conditions are met.
    1. All the spaces are revealed. In this case, if the player who revealed the last space was before the last player in the turn order, the other player(s) after them in the turn order take another turn before the game ends. If the last player in the turn order reveals the last space, the game ends after their turn ends.
    2. The draw pile and discard pile are empty. If this happens, the game ends immediately after the current player finishes their turn.

Turn Sequence:

  1. Move your Joker.
  2. Reveal the card your Joker landed on. Follow the effects of the card.

Important Rules:

  1. There are 5 rules to movement.
    1. You CANNOT move to a space you were on last turn.
    2. You CANNOT move into a space occupied by another Joker.
    3. You CAN move into a space if it has been revealed, so long as it doesn’t conflict with a. and b.
    4. You MUST move your Joker to a different, adjacent space on your turn so long as you don’t break a. or b.
    5. If you CANNOT make a legal move, then you MISS YOUR TURN.
  1. The effect of the card spaces are as follows:
    1. Ace: Take the 2 highest cards in your hand, and put them in your “Bank.” Draw 2 new cards from the draw pile.
    2. King: Discard the highest card in your hand. Draw a new card from the draw pile.
    3. Queen: Pick a card at random from an opponent’s hand. Then give them one of yours.
    4. Jack: Discard 3 cards of your choice from your hand. Draw 3 new cards from the draw pile.
  2. You MAY NOT look at the cards in your Bank, or your opponent’s.
    1. You MAY count the number of cards in your Bank, however.
  3. You MAY count the cards left in the discard and draw piles.


  1. Winning is determined by the sum of the numbers on cards that players banked. The one with the highest point total wins.
    1. E.G: Player 1 has three 10s and a 9 banked, for a total of 39 points. Player 2 has one 10, two 9s, and three 7s for a total of 49 points. Player 2 would win in this case.
  2. Ties might occur. If this is the case, have a beer and relax. It’s not a big deal.

Game Variations:

  1. More Players: You can add more players. For every two players you add to the game, add another deck of cards.
    1. 4 players = 2 decks, 6 players = 3 decks, 8 players = 4 decks, etc.
    2. All face cards and Aces are used, and create a bigger Stage.
    3. When the game starts, players can place their Joker starting anywhere on the Stage.
      1. Jokers are placed in reverse turn order. P4 places first, P3 places second, P2 places second last, and P1 places last. P1 then goes first, and turns follow turn order as normal.
  2. Teams
    1. Play is same as with More Players, but team mates share a bank together.
      1. E.G: P1 is on the same team as P4. Any cards banked by P1 or P4 go to a shared Bank.
  3. Go Fish
    1. Players don’t aim for point totals, but try to create pairs. Players bank a pair when they land on an Ace.
    2. The game is won by the player with the most pairs.
  4. Flush-A-GoGo
    1. Players try to not exceed 40 points. If you exceed 40 points, you lose.
    2. When you would discard a card, place it in the bank instead.
    3. If you Bank a 7 using an Ace, take all the other cards in your Bank and shuffle them back into the draw pile. Remove the 7 from play.
  5. PokerJoker
  6. Liar
    1. Play as normal, but players may break rules.
      1. E.G: banking 3 cards instead of 2, not discarding their highest card to a King, drawing more cards than allowed for a Jack, etc.
    2. If a player breaks a rule and the opponent moves their Joker before noticing, then play continues as normal.
    3. If a player is caught breaking the rules, they must move a random card from their bank into the bank of the player who caught them.
  7. Pitfall
    1. Play is as normal, with the following additions.
      1. When a player moves from a revealed space, remove the space card from the game. That area is now a “pit” and cannot be crossed.
      2. Once a player is stuck (can’t move at all), they miss a turn. They may then place their joker on another revealed space on the stage.
    2. In addition to above end conditions, include the following.
      1. Play ends when there aren’t any legal moves for either play to make.


My awesome brothers

Development, Testing
Lauren Ellacott, Kaytee Raiger, Phillip Budd

Thanks for reading! If you try the game and like it, let me know, and try the variants. Make your own!


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