NERTZ! A Fun Family Game

Looking for a new FUN game for the summer ahead?
Nertz is the most fun game and is addicting! It has taken me years to get SOMEONE to actually show me how to play and then was taught two different ways. The other way is with partners.  This way is the easiest, most fun and allows for many people to play. Also this is the endorsed way by the National Nertz Association. (Don’t laugh, seriously!)  The best way to explain this game is Extreme solitaire that you don’t play by yourself!
  • 2 or more players, ages 8 & up. You can have as many people as your table will hold. We have played with 6. Or you can have a tournament of sorts going on with different tables.
  • If you know the rules of solitaire you can play Nertz. It is fast paced so keep up!
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Each person playing needs their own deck of cards.
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Each deck needs to be a different backing, color/pattern.
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Each person sets up their own deck of cards like this.
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  • 11 cards are stacked face down, top one turned up. This becomes your Nertz pile. (Can go on right or left, which ever is comfortable)
  • It is the most important pile of cards on the table and when it’s gone you yell “NERTZ!” The first one to do this is the winner of that round!
  • The next thing is your River. Four cards face up. These cards are played just like in solitaire. Red, Black, Red, Black, of any suit, and vice versa…etc. The only difference is unlike solitaire you CAN place a higher card behind the top card, from either your Nertz pile or your Stream.
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{I have also seen it set up where the Nertz pile is on the right of the river and the Stream goes on the Left…if you have a smaller table or many players.}
  • The center of the table becomes the community Lake, where everyone plays.
  • You start with Aces and have to yell “Ace Out” which lets everyone know a new Ace is available for play. Then anyone can play 2 through the King of the SAME suit on that pile. If it reaches King, it gets flipped over and is “done”.
  • To begin play everyone draws 3 cards from your Stream (not looking, at them) and waits until someone says, “GO!”.
  • Everyone lays the 3 down and begins playing. You play out of the Nertz pile first if you can, and then your Stream (solitaire rules apply here, with no shuffling and you can only use the card on top). When a space comes open in your River, you move the card from your Stream in it’s place, not only a King like in solitaire. The more cards you get out in the Lake, the better because those count for positive points. You can play cards in the Lake that come from your Nertz pile, your Stream or your River (as long as they are on the bottom).
  • ~~~~ When someone yells, “NERTZ!” Play stops immediately! The person who yelled Nertz starts flipping all the cards in the Lake over onto their backs.
  • The other players count the cards left in their Nertz piles. Each card counts for MINUS 2 points. So, if you end up with 4 cards left, that’s -8 points.
  • Then the Lake cards are sorted by backs. Those are you positive points. 20 Cards of your color/pattern = 20 points.
  • +20 minus 8= 12 total points for you this round.
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Scoring- each persons score it tallied and the player to reach 100 first wins the whole game. (For a faster game the Nertz winner for each hand can get a 10 point Bonus for Nertz-ing…or only play to 50!)
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At the end of each round you shuffle your deck 5- 7 times and pass it clockwise.
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There are official Nertz gaming cards out there {also Dutch Blitz is just like it too}, but we prefer to use regular decks. Let me know if you try it!

Tracy Jackson is first and foremost a Christian, a military wife and mother. She grew up as a military brat all over the USA and is married to her Air Force, pastor husband of 16 years. They have 2 beautiful teenage children that they home school. She is photographer, and owns Shots From the Heart Photography and loves to do what she calls “Capturing the Fingerprints of God!” in her images. Tracy also created a workshop called Mommytography, where she teaches Mom’s how to use their cameras and to take better pictures. You can visit her at her blog: Work of HeART and Soul.

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