Published on March 27, 2020Updated on June 19, 2023
Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is famous for its casinos and green-felt gaming tables. Blackjack, Punto Banco and Craps all have something in common: they can be played with accessories we all have at home! You just need cards and dice to get your strategic brain working… How about taking the time to play some fun and simple games with the family? Here, we explain the rules of Yahtzee and Kemps! These traditional games will improve your memory and concentration.
Kemps: make a winning team!
Aim of the game:
Be the team that scores the most points by putting together the most 4-of-a-kind card sets and preventing other teams from doing the same. Players on the same team agree a secret signal to let their teammate know they have 4 cards of a kind (e.g. rubbing their nose, scratching their head, saying a particular word, going cross-eyed, etc.). The dealer gives everyone 4 cards, 1 by 1. After the cards are dealt, if a player has 3 or 4 of a kind, they need to signal this at the start of the game, then take new cards.
How to play
“The hunt is on”: the game begins. Players sit in pairs opposite each other. They can swap one or more cards with the cards on the table until they swap their entire hand, but first need to put down their cards before taking the corresponding number of new cards. You can have no more than 4 cards in your hand. Once a round is over, it’s another player who turns over cards. If a player gets 4 of the same card, they should secretly signal to their partner to make them say “Kemps” and win the team 1 point. If their partner also has 4 of the same card, they say “Double Kemps” and the pairing wins 2 points. Discretion is key. If a competing team guesses the secret signal before your partner does, they can say “Counter Kemps” and win 1 point. If a competing player thinks they have seen the secret signal, they can say “Counter Kemps” before the other team says “Kemps” and, if they’re right, their team wins 1 point. When you reach the end of the pile, shuffle the discarded cards, and they become the new pile.
Yahtzee: a game of pure chance.
Just like with the game Craps, dice are your main tool here! You need 5 of them, plus a scorecard which you can print here.
Aim of the game:
Fill in your scorecard, achieving all the scores listed, and totting up the biggest number of points.
How to play The first player throws the 5 dice. The player keeps the dice showing faces they like, and re-throws the other dice. The player can also re-throw all the dice. You can only throw 3 times per turn. The player must fill in a box on the scorecard. Strategically, you can choose to put “0” in a box if you don’t like what you have thrown. Then it's the next person’s turn to throw the 5 dice.
The game ends when all players have filled in their scorecard. Points are then added up.
3 of a kind: 3 of the same dice face. Score the total of the 3 dice.
4 of a kind: 4 of the same dice face. Score the total of the 4 dice.
First Yahtzee: 5 of the same dice face. Score the total of the 5 dice.
Full House: 3 of a kind + 2 of a kind. e.g. 2, 2, 2, + 5, 5.
Small Straight: 4 consecutive faces e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 or 3, 4, 5, 6.
Large Straight: 5 consecutive faces e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
There are so many games you can play to spend time as a family and get off your devices. Old Maid, Cheat, traditional Battle, Hearts, etc. all provide a backdrop for a special time full of laughter and excitement where parents and children can come together, enjoy some fun and see if Lady Luck is smiling on them. These games are the perfect way to rediscover your inner child.