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Irish Switch

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Irish Switch is a card shedding game where multiple cards are usually played during a turn. Irish Switch is commonly played in Ireland. Irish Switch has many variations such as Switch, Take Two, "Jacks, Twos and Eights", Macao, and Switch Black Jack.

Similar games that share the same rating and rooms: Switch, Take Two, Jacks, Twos and Eights, Macao, and Switch Black Jack.

For additional information about Irish Switch visit Pagat.com.

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Irish Switch is a card shedding game for 4 players. The object of the game is to score the least points. The winner of each hand is the first player to play all of their cards.

To Deal:

At the beginning of the game, the dealer is randomly selected and during the game, the deal continues around the table clockwise.

Irish Switch uses two standard 52 card decks and 9 cards are randomly dealt to each player (a different amounts of cards may be dealt for a different number of players). The remaining cards are placed face down on the table to form the draw from pile (DFP). The top card of the DFP is placed, face up, right next to the draw from pile, to start the discard pile (DP).

Game Play:

The player to the immediate left of the dealer always plays first and the play proceeds clockwise until it is changed by the game:

  1. Any player, whose turn it is, may play an Ace at any time, and the player of the Ace must choose the suit desired.
  2. A card which matches the value or suit of the card on top of the DP, is considered a good play (for example if the top card on the DP is the 10 of spades then a 10, any spade, or an 8 are all allowable plays).
  3. Any number of cards can be played in a single turn as long as the card after the first card played matches the suit of the card currently on top of the discard pile, or is a power card that does not require rank and/or suit to be followed. When finished playing clicking pass to signal the end of the turn.
  4. Each player either plays an allowable card face up on top of the discard pile, or draws a card from the DFP.
  5. A player my draw one card from the draw from pile. If a playable card is drawn the player has the option to play it. If no playable cards are drawn or the player chooses not to play they may pass.
  6. The first player to discard their last card wins the hand and play stops. All other players score for the cards remaining in their hands.
  7. However, if no player can discard their last card and there are no cards available in the DFP the play continues without drawing. A player who cannot or does not want to play a card simply passes.
  8. If all players pass, the game is considered blocked. Play stops and all players score for the cards remaining in their hands.

Power Cards:

  • Aces are wild cards and can be played anytime. The player that plays the Ace dictates the suit required to be followed from that point on. An ace also removes any force draws. Worth 60 points.
  • If a 8 is played then the next player must skip a turn, or play another queen to counter. Worth 30 points.
  • Jacks cause the direction of play to reverse. Worth 30 points.
  • When a player plays a 2 then the next player is required to draw 2 cards or play another 2. After drawling the cards, play resumes as normal for the current player. Worth 20 points.
  • Playing a King of Hearts is a draw 5. Worth 50 points.
  • Playing any other King passes any force draws onto the next player. Worth 50 points.
  • Playing a 7 removes all skips. Worth 30 points.
  • All other cards are worth: face cards are scored at 10 points and the rest at face value (for example a 5 = 5 points, a 9 = 9 points, and so on)


  • The total value of all the cards in the hands of the non-winning players is added up for each hand.
  • The game continues until 1 player reaches 250 points (point value may be different for different number of players).
  • Once one player reaches 250 points the person with the lowest score wins.

Modified on 9/2/2017 from Wikipedia

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