5 Card Games To Play During Your Shift

Peter Strom - 04/25/19

As we’ve all seen recently, nurses made headlines when Senator Maureen Walsh came out claiming that nurses spend most of their time at work playing cards. Now as we all know this is 10000% true as nurses are fighting to save lives every day. You may have your own favorite card games, but I decided to list out some of my favorites. You can try some of these out during your next shift!

There are a few rules to keep in mind with all these games. First cards are more important than patients, you’ll always get more patients, but a good hand is a rarity! Second, try not to play cards on your many breaks. Cards are meant to be played in your other downtime, your breaks are your time. Lastly, make sure you bring your own deck. Senator Walsh has said that Nurses can “speak out of both sides of their mouth.” You simply can not trust a deck that any of your co-workers have brought in.

1. War
War is an excellent game because its simple, straightforward, and quick. You can quickly get a game in during one of your many breaks. Should you get interrupted, maybe by a patient crashing, delivering bad news to the family of a patient, or offering someone comfort in what may be the scariest moments of someone’s lives, it’s easy to remember where you left off! The rules are simple. Each player turns up a card at the same time, and the player with the higher card takes both cards and puts them, face down, on the bottom of his stack. If the cards are the same, it is War. Each player puts three facedown card and flips a card. Whoever has the higher card get all 8 cards.

2. BS
This is a game all about lying. Senator Walsh has claimed that nurses are lying about what they actually do at work so this game should be easy for you to pick up quickly! The deck is dealt out amongst the players, the goal is to get rid of your cards. Each turn you take cards out of your hand, place them in a pile in the middle face down and announce what cards you have just put down. Keep in mind you are allowed to place down multiple cards if they have the same value. If you believe a player is lying about the card they just placed down, you call BS and flip over the card. If they were lying they have to pick up all the cards in the middle, if they were telling the truth, you have to pick up the cards.

3. F*ck the Dealer
One of my favorite card games. You need to assign a small punishment for the group. The punishment could be time off one of your many breaks! People get two guesses to guess the value of the top card on the deck. After the first guess, the dealer tells them if the card is higher or lower than their first guess. If the player guesses correctly on the first guess, the dealer has twice the decided punishment. If a player guessed right on the second guess, the dealer is only punished once. If the guesser is wrong on their second guess, they get punished. Cards are then laid out on the table for people to see what’s left in the deck. Once the players guess incorrectly three times in a row the dealer hands the cards to the next player. Pray you’re not the dealer at the end, you don’t want to lose too many of your breaks.

4. Old Maid
A classic game, take out all but one queen, pick cards out of your opponent's hands, whenever you get a pair you discard the cards, and whoever is left with the queen loses. For this game, we suggest a few modifications. Instead of calling the queen “The Old Maid” you can call it “The Walsh” because no nurse would want that card.

5. Slapjack
This game is excellent for nurses because it involves some physical activity. We know that most of your day is spent sitting around shuffling a deck and this game can get the blood flowing a bit! Divide up the deck evenly among the players. Each player takes a turn flipping a card from their pile. When a jack appears the first person to slap it gets all of the cards in the pile. Whoever has all the cards at the end wins. This game also acts as a way to practice quickly dressing wounds (since you probably haven't had to do that since nursing school).

I hope you guys use some of our suggestions and try some of these instead of your regular card games. It is important to try new things, and we don’t want you to get too bored at work!