Presidents Card Game: How to Play and What You Need to Know

Presidents, otherwise known as “Presidents and A-holes” is a game that anyone can play with nothing more than a standard set of cards.

Usually played in small groups of four to eight people, this game was originally developed in Japan, where it was called Diafugo, or Grand Millionaire.

Whether you’re playing with the traditional Japanese rules, or you opt for the modern American game, the object is to remove every card from your hand before anyone else.

Each player in the game gets a special title dealt to them depending on their performance throughout the game.

For instance, if you’re leading the way when it comes to points, then you’ll be the President.

On the other hand, if you’re losing, then you’re the “A-hole.”

Let’s take a closer look at the President card game, shall we?

How to Play Presidents Card Game

How to Play the Presidents Card Game

What you need:

  • A standard deck of cards (or two for more players)

One of the things that makes the Presidents card game so compelling, is that you don’t need much to play it – just a standard deck of cards.

The aim of the game is simple too, so you won’t have to spend a long time explaining the rules to anyone.

You could even play with kids if you got rid of the “A-holes” part of the game.

Starting on the dealer’s left, you deal out one card at a time to everyone who’s playing the game, until all the cards are dealt.

After that, the player on the left of the dealer starts by turning either a single card face up, or a series of cards if they have the same value (for instance, 4 aces).

Each player after this needs to either play a face up set of cards that beats the previous play or pass on their turn.

The rules are simple; any higher single card will beat a single card – for instance, four beats three, and so on.

A set of cards, such as three 4’s, can only be beaten by a set that contains the same number of cards, and a higher value.

For instance, if a previous player plays two 6’s, you could beat them by playing two 10’s.

You don’t necessarily have to beat the previous player but passing means that you won’t empty your hand as quickly.

At the end of every round, the cards played are turned face down and moved to one side, and the player that played the highest card last starts a new series with a leading card.

The first player to get rid of all their cards gets the highest rank and becomes the winner.

The last player to have any cards is known as the A-hole, scum, or any other word you like.

Also check out: King’s Cup Rules

The Presidents Card Game: Understanding the Terminology

Probably the toughest thing about playing the Presidents card game is figuring out all the new terminology included in it.

Some of the most common titles used are:

  • President or Millionaire: The winner of the previous round
  • Vice president: The person who came second place
  • Secretary: The person who came third
  • Average Joe: The person in the middle
  • Vice A-hole, or Vice Scum: Second to last place
  • A-hole, or Scum: Last place

If you want to make your game as child-friendly as possible, then it might be a good idea to consider a different range of terms too, which you can make up yourself.

You can also add new titles depending on how many people you have playing in a single game.

Other terminology to keep in mind when playing Presidents include:

  • Single: When one card is being played by itself
  • Double: When a pair of cards of the same value is played
  • Triple: When three cards of the same value are played
  • Quadruple: When four of a kind are played
  • Bomb: When a single card clears the deck and lets the player win the hand
  • Laser: When you have all four cards with a value of 2
  • Quick Clear Play: When a player plays out a turn and clears the deck
  • Clear: When someone plays a hand and every other player passes
  • Collo Card: When someone makes a mistake or plays out of turn – at this point, they need to pick up a discarded card and miss a turn

A Joker card is the most common card to act as both a Clear and a Bomb.

Turning Presidents into a Drinking Game

So far, we’ve discussed the basic rules of the Presidents card game, and even how you can make this title more child-friendly. But what if you want to play with adults only?

Well, a lot of people love playing Presidents as a drinking game.

The additional rules available to add to this game if you want to drink don’t necessarily interfere with the main rules, they typically just act as extra punishments to dole out throughout the game.

The drinking rules are also flexible and change depending on who you learn the game from. Some common rules include:

  • At the beginning of each round, the president can tell any player to drink
  • When a player ends up with a Collo card they need to drink
  • When a player passes on a play, they need to take a drink

Ultimately, you can come up with all kinds of drinking rules with your friends.

Is the Presidents Card Game Fun?

Presidents is the most fun when it’s played in groups of around 4 to 6 people.

 If you play with too many people, then you’re going to need an extra deck of cards – and that’s just exhausting to keep track of. 

While this game isn’t exactly the most creative option out there, it’s an easy card game to play with friends of virtually any age – provided you’re happy to get creative with the names that you use.

Pros:

  • Great for customization
  • Fast-paced and fun
  • Easy to learn and play
  • Make up your own rules for a different game each time
  • Drinking rules available

Cons:

  • Standard names not suitable for children
  • Not the most thought-provoking game
  • Best for 4-6 people only