Playing Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot shuffling

This card game called “Hand and Foot” is really popular in Florida.  You work on teams and play cards to make books.  The game duration varies in length, so there is time for talking and snacking.  We have a lot of fun in big groups playing this game.  Apparently, there are different versions of this game, depending on where you play.  Here’s the version that the Schell family uses.

Hand and Foot Rules

  1. Use one more deck of cards than the number of people playing.  For example, if there are 4 people, you will need 5 decks.  We bought a multi-card pack at Sam’s Club.
  2. Card point value: 4-7s are worth 5 points each, 8-10 and Face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 10 points each, Ace and 2s are worth 20 points each (2 is a wild card), Joker is another wild worth 50 points, Red 3s are negative 300 points, Black 3s are worth 0 points.
  3. There are four rounds, with specific points required to begin laying down cards.  Round 1: 50 points, Round 2: 90 points, Round 3: 120 points, Round 4: 150 points.
  4. A completed book is 7 cards.  Red books have no wilds and are worth 300 points at the end of the round; Black books have wild cards and are worth 100 points.  We usually play that you have two Red books and 3 Black books before you can end the round.
  5. Black books must have one less wild card than non-wild cards.

How to Play Hand and Foot

  1. Assemble teams.  We usually play with 2-3 people on each team.  There can be 2-3 teams.  You cannot sit next to the person(s) who is/are on your team.
  2. Shuffle the cards really well.
  3. Hand and Foot starting outMake two piles of cards face down.  Each player turns over a card(s) from anywhere in the stack of cards, revealing its value.  The highest value goes first. Hand and Foot
  4. Each player tries to grab 22 cards.  If you do, your team gets 100 points.  Make two piles of 11 cards each, face down.  Just for the record, while I was laying cards out to snap a picture for this post, I got 22!  Woot woot.  Too bad it didn’t count. Hand and Foot starting out
  5. Keep one pile as yours to play.  You may look at these cards – this is called your hand.
  6. Pass the other pile to the person on your left.  They may not look at these cards yet – this is their foot.
  7. Organize your cards by grouping like cards together. Hand and Foot starting out
  8. When it is your turn, draw two cards and discard one card.  Plays move clockwise. Make sure to discard Red 3s!  Hand and Foot main pile
  9. One person from each team needs to have enough cards to lay out based on the points above.  You must have 3 cards of a kind.  You cannot make a book of 3s or wilds.
  10. Once one person from your team has laid out cards, other players can lay down their cards.  They may play off of cards already laid out or start new books. Hand and Foot starting out
  11. When you play all the cards in your hand, you go into your foot.  This can all happen in the same turn, meaning you can play right into your foot.
  12. Once you have the correct number of books (see above), you can get rid of all of your cards, called “going out.”  The team who goes out receives 100 points. Hand and Foot laid out
  13. Count the points of your books first, then your cards that you played, making sure to take out any cards that count against each player.
  14. Record points of teams, then shuffle and repeat.

 Just try it!

I know there are a lot of rules and things to remember!  When I started playing Hand and Foot, I remember feeling so overwhelmed. As with anything, the more that you play, the easier it will get.  We have played this game for years and really enjoy it.  So, give it a try!




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Believer, wife, mother, teacher, crafter, natural living enthusiast