Variations for Five Crowns
Five Crowns has a challenging solitaire version. It is played by dealing out the cards into 11 piles the first pile to have 3 cards, the second to have 4 cards and so on up to 13 cards. Each pile is arranged to have the optimal Five Crowns hand. Wild cards are different for each hand. In the 3 card pile it is 3, in the four card pile it is 4 and so on. The remaining cards are turned over one at a time and added to the hand that it will most benefit (discarding one of the cards in that particular hand). Play until all the cards are turned over. Try to get the lowest score possible.
When there are just two players, half the cards or "one deck" may be used. Conversely when there are more than four players, the stack, even with the double deck can run out. If this should happen, the discard pile should be shuffled and returned to the stack.
The essence of Five Crowns is its progressive nature, however, play can be adjusted so that every hand is one of seven cards. Players can then play to a predetermined score rather than a predetermined number of hands. In this case the designated wild cards can be left out and even the natural wild cards. This has a tendency to make the hands last longer and players are more frequently stuck with points.
Another variation commonly played allows players to pick up the discard pile to a depth where the bottom card can be played. Books and runs are played as they are made. Points are counted at the end of the hand when those on the board are counted for and those remaining in the hand are counted against. In this case, the highest score wins after reaching a predetermined amount.
No matter how you play it, Five Crowns is fun. Having the extra suit enlivens the game and gives it a novelty unattainable from the standard card deck. Also, the Five Crown cards are quite attractive. Giving a feel of quality to play.
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