Mongoose - An Indian Card Game

 Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Not all card games are hard games"


Card games are a popular pastime worldwide, and there are numerous games and variations like poker, rummy and others. With the Coronavirus pandemic, people often have some time to kill. In this post, I wanted to share an old card game that I used to play during my childhood - The game is called 'Mongoose'


Mongoose is a good game for 3-4 players but can be played by any number of people. The objective in Mongoose is to ensure that you are not left with any cards by the end of the game. No jokers are used in the game. A single deck is used in the game.


To start off with, the deck is shuffled and a random card is picked from the lot. Then, pick other cards of the same type. For example, if the first card is 2 of hearts, also pick 2s of spade, club and diamond. These four cards have to placed next to one another on the table. The remaining cards are to be distributed among the players. None of the cards is to be seen.


The players play clockwise in a round-robin fashion. The first player draws one card from their set and checks if it is one greater than the centrally placed cards. In this case, the central cards are 2s and the player checks if the drawn card is a 3. If the card is a 3, the player places it above the matching symbol - For instance, 3 of hearts is placed on 2 of hearts. If the drawn card is anything else - say an 8, the player places the card in front of them.


Now the next player draws a card. This time, the player should check if the drawn card can be placed on the centrally placed cards or on the other players' cards. For example, if the player has drawn a 9, that card should be placed on the other player's card (which was an 8 in our example). In this case, the symbol doesn't matter. This is not optional - If the player fails to detect that the drawn card could have been placed on another card, there's a penalty - All other players should give this player a random card from their deck, yelling "Mongoose!"


The game continues until one player is left holding some cards - That person loses the game.


If a player has drawn a card that can be placed either on the centrally placed cards or on another player, it is up to that player to decide - Although placing it on the other player's deck makes it more intriguing.


If the last player is able to finish their deck in the last round without a break, the game ends in a draw.


The player who has cards remaining is called the "Mongoose" having as many legs as the cards they hold (a 6 legged mongoose for instance)


Mongoose is a fun game for all ages! Go ahead, get a deck and try it out!

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