Also commonly referred to as Asshole, Capitalism, or Scum, President is a westernized variant of daifugō or daihinmin, which is an originally Japanese card game.
It involves 3 or more players, and in the game, the players will race to eliminate all the cards in their hands to emerge as “president” in the next round.
Also, people play President as a drinking game. There’s a commercial variation of the game that’s called The Great Dalmuti and has a non-standard deck.
The President card game has recently got popular in the West, particularly among young people. However, its roots are probably in China. Let’s look at the rules of the game.
Object of the Game
In President, the aim is to eliminate all of your cards as soon as you can, and the last player left with cards is referred to as the asshole, scum, or any other term of derision that’s locally used in your area.
How to Deal
Around 4–7 people can play with a standard 52-card pack. The suits are not relevant, while the cards are ranked 2 A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 from high to low.
It’s played clockwise, with all of the cards dealt out. Some players could hold one more than others.
President Card Game Rules and How to Play
The player by the dealer’s left will start the game by leading any single card (face up) or any group of cards with equal rank (three 5s, for instance). Each player will now take turns to either pass (by not playing any cards) or play a card or set of cards (face up) that defeats the previous play.
Any single card of a higher rank will defeat a single card.
Furthermore, a collection of cards can only get defeated by a higher set that contains the same number of cards. For instance, if the previous person played two 6s, to defeat this, you need two kings or two 7s, but you can’t do so with a single king and three 7s (although you might play 2 of them and hold onto the third one).
There’s no need to defeat the previous play simply because you can since you can always pass. Passing doesn’t also stop you from playing when it gets to your turn next.
The play will go on around the table for as many times as required until one of the players makes a play that everyone else will pass. After that, all of the played cards are turned face down and set aside.
The person that played last (and highest) to the previous “trick” (much like bridge or spades) will begin again by leading any single card or set of cards of equal rank.
The 1st player to run out of cards gets awarded President — the highest social rank — and the last player left with any cards is called the Scum.
Understanding the Social Status
The 1st player that uses up their cards earns the highest social status, which is President for Americans, followed by Vice-President for the next player, then Citizen, and it goes on in that order.
The last player that’s left with any cards is called the Scum, Beggar, Asshole or by different terms of abuse. For European players, the ranks are Boss, Foreman, Worker, …, Bum, or King, Minister, …, Peasant.
If the game involves keeping score, the players will be awarded points according to their position. For instance, 2 points for the President, 1 for the Vice President, and 0 for the others.
Interestingly, players with higher status are allowed to enjoy and generally abuse their power over those with lower ranks.
The players will move seats for the next hand. The President takes the most comfortable seat, with the Vice President sitting by the President’s left, and the arrangement goes on in that order until it gets to the Asshole that sits by the President’s right, maybe on a packing case or a crate.
It’s the duty of the Asshole to shuffle, deal, and clear away the cards when necessary. Since the players are now seated clockwise according to their rank, the 1st card gets dealt to the President, the second one to the Vice President, and it continues in that order.
Once the deal is complete, the Scum or Asshole has to give their highest card to the President, while in exchange, the President hands the Scum any card they don’t like.
Then, the President leads any card or set of cards, with the game proceeding as before.
Ending the Game
If you want to score, you can set a target, so the game can come to an end when a player gets 11 points, for instance.
Some Variations in Playing the President Card Game
In this version, while on the 1st deal, it’s the player with a specific card of the lowest rank that leads. Generally, such a card will be a 3. However, in some variants where 3s are wild, this will be a 4.
On subsequent deals, the Asshole from the previous hand will lead, instead of the President.
In some variations, game-changing revolutions are allowed. If a player is leading out with 4 of a kind, the ranking of all the cards is reversed.
For instance, if 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A 2 is the normal ranking of power (from left to right), after 4 of a kind has been played, that order is reversed to give 2 A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3.
Also, if another 4 of a kind is played, the hierarchy changes back.
Revolutions are usually used for creating better balance in the game and for preventing having the same player stay in 1st position permanently.
With the rules outlined above, you can learn how to play the President card game. It’s fun to play with friends and can take between 4 and 7 players. Other interesting card games to check out; Games for two people, Gin rummy, Apples to Apples.