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How to Play Kemps: Instructions and Winning Tips

Instructions on How to Play Kemps
If we are talking about kemps, we are talking about a hassle-free and easy-to-learn 4-card game, that would force you into playing it more and more. Go ahead and quickly check out the kemps card game rules, and instructions to play the game, as given by Plentifun.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Kemps Card Game Strategy
  • Be vigilant at all times
  • Strive to complete your sequence
  • Devise unique and barely noticeable signals
This interesting 4-card game requires any even number of people, a pack of 52 playing cards, and an open space to play. The objective of the game is to acquire 4 cards of the same rank; for instance, 4 Queens or 4 Aces, and use a signal to notify your partner to call out 'kemps!'. A lot of variations of this game are played all over the world.

A single game in kemps can also be won by a 'counter-kemps'; this would be clarified further in the instructions. It's best to pay full attention to the opponent team's player and your partner while trying to complete your sequence of 4 cards. The game is great for any age group, and can be enjoyed almost anywhere.
How to Set Up the Kemps Card Game
family playing cards
  • Ensure that there are even number of players, and split into teams of 2
  • Decide a unique signal in unison with your partner, this signal would be used either by you or your partner to notify the other of a completed card sequence
  • Shuffle the pack of 52 cards, and deal 4 cards to each player
  • Jokers could be included to make the gameplay easier, as they would substitute any missing card in a sequence
  • Place the remaining cards of the deck in the center
Instructions to Play
  • Once every player is ready with his/her cards, it's okay to begin
  • Let the player on the dealer's left start by picking a card from the deck
  • If they find a matching card in their hand, they keep the new card and discard another one from their hand
  • If they don't find a match, they would put the card down
  • Play continues in this manner until a team finishes a sequence and yells kemps
  • Once a player completes the four-of-a-kind sequence, he/she would use a unique signal to notify his/her teammate, after which the teammate would yell kemps
Winning at Kemps
  • If a player thinks that the opponent is going to yell kemps, he/she can yell counter-kemps; if the player's suspicion was right, their team earns a point, if not, they lose a point
  • If both the players finish the four-of-a-kind sequence together, they can yell 'double-kemps', and receive two points instead of one for their team. It would be ideal to decide a separate, unique signal for double-kemps
  • A kemps series is of five separate games complementing the letters in K-E-M-P-S. Winning the first game would earn a 'K', the second would earn an 'E', and so on. The first team to complete the word K-E-M-P-S, wins
Good Signals for the Kemps Card Game
  • Switch from holding the cards in one hand to two hands
  • A slight nod with eye contact
  • Winking
  • Slightly elevating a card in your hand
  • A casual yawn
  • Clearing the throat
  • Decide a word, for instance 'bad', and use it in a casual sentence (I am really bad at this game.)
  • Asking the time to one of the opponents, provided you aren't wearing a watch. (Once he is engaged in the process, yell kemps. Always works!)
  • Making a click sound on the table with your fingernails (just one click or a pattern)
Enjoy this game with your buddies, and do tell us about more unique and awesome signals that could be used, in the comments section below.
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