Kemps is an easy-to-play card game that can be enjoyed by 4, 6 or 8 players.  Don’t get your signals crossed if you want to win this game!  The video tutorial and explanation are below.

Kemps Tutorial:


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Needed: 4, 6, or 8 players; standard 52 card deck, pen and paper for scorekeeping

Deal: 4 cards to each player, 1 card at a time.

Objective: The object of the game is to have one teammate announce “Kemps” once the other teammate has 4 of a kind.  Before the cards are dealt, teammates should secretly discuss a signal to use when a 4 of a kind is obtained.  This signal needs to be a non verbal signal such as a wink or an hand movement. 

Game Play: The round begins with the dealer flipping up 4 cards from the deck into the middle.  Once the last card is on the table, all the players can swap cards between their hands and the cards on the table.  Players can swap as many, or as few, cards as they want.  Players can only swap 1 card at a time.  

Players continue to swap cards with the goal of getting 4 of a kind in their hand.  Once all the players are done making swaps, the 4 cards in the middle are thrown out, and the dealer will flip up 4 new cards from the deck.  

Again, once the fourth card hits the table, all the players begin exchanging for any cards they want.  Players do not take turns and swap out their cards as fast as they want.  It can be a good idea to make a few swaps for cards you are not going for in order to throw off the opposing team.

The process of throwing out the middle cards and flipping up new cards is repeated until “Kemps” or “Cut” is announced.  

Kemps: When one teammate gets a 4 of a kind, the signal should be given to the other teammate to announce “Kemps.”  If “Kemps” is announced, and the teammate has 4 of a kind, that team is awarded 1 point.  If “Kemps” is announced when the teammate does not have a 4 of a kind, the team loses 1 point.

Cut:  If a player feels one of the opposing players has a 4 of a kind, he/she can announce “Cut.”  When “Cut” is announced, the opposing players will reveal their cards.  If either one has a 4 of a kind, the team of the player that announced “Cut” is awarded 1 point.  If neither opponent had a 4 of a kind when “Cut” was announced, the announcing team loses 1 point. 

Winning: The first team to an agreed upon amount, such as 5 points, is the winner of the game.

Signals: Fake signals can be used throughout the round to trick the opposing team.  New signals can be made in between rounds.