Circle Search
Designed by David L. Van Slyke
Players 2
Length short
Extra Material two tokens

a Decktet memory game for two children


Separate the aces and place them face up in the middle of the table. Shuffle the rest of the deck (either basic or extended) and deal out eight cards face-down in a square (a 3 by 3 grid with the middle card missing). Place two tokens on opposite corners of the square, one for each player.

Game play

On your turn, declare "I am searching for…" and name the suit from one of the unclaimed aces. Then move your token one card clockwise and turn over the card your token lands on, revealing it for everyone to see. If that card has the suit you were searching for, claim the ace of that suit—unless it was a Crown, which causes you to put back in the middle of the table the claimed ace of the Crown's suit if you have currently claimed it. The excuse does nothing when one of the face-down cards.

The younger player goes first, unless the game was just played and someone won, in which case the previous game's loser goes first. Players take turns until all six aces are claimed. The player who claims the most aces wins. If both players claim three aces the game is a draw.

The Extended Deck

(The Extended Deck is normally used.)


To play with more than two players make the path of face-down cards larger (always a rectangle with four times as many cards as players) and keep starting positions equally spaced apart. To make the excuse meaningful, the first player to reveal it keeps it as a "tie-breaker" and replaces it with a new face-down card that is first revealed to all players. For children who enjoy counting more than balance, use the remaining cards as a "draw pile" that determines movement around the circle by card rank.

Note: Feel free to add a plot to the game, such as exploring a haunted house or a beach (in which, respectively, the Crowns could be ghosts or crabs that surprise you so you drop a treasure when running away).


Thanks to Nathan Brown for help play-testing.




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