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Egyptian Ratscrew (ERS)

Quick Guide

Proficiency Grade


Young Children & 
Elderly Adults

# of Players



Ideal # of Players




Strategy Needed


Amount of Luck


Ability to Learn


How to Play Egyptian Ratscrew (ERS)

Egyptian Ratscrew (also known as Egyptian War, ERS, or Slap) is a fast-paced and slap-based card game for 2 or more players.

The objective of the game is to win all the cards. 


To play Egyptian Ratscrew, you need at least one standard deck of 52 playing cards. The cards are shuffled and then dealt clockwise to the players, with each player receiving an equal number of cards. Players keep their cards in a face-down stack in front of them.


In each turn, the player on the left of the dealer plays the top card from their stack onto a face-up pile in the center of the playing area. The next player then plays a card, and so on, until a Face Card or Slap occurs.


A Face Card (Jack, Queen, King, or Ace) is played: The next player must play a face card in a certain number of tries based on the face card. Jack = 1, Queen = 2, King = 3, Ace = 4. If the player does not satisfy the face card with another face card, the player that played the original face card wins the pile, and starts the next round. For example, if a player plays a King, the next player has up to three cards to flip to get another face card. All Slaps still apply, and can be slapped by any player.



The first player to slap the pile when one of the below scenarios is played, wins all the cards in the pile. The slap must be on the card that completes the slap, if another card is played on top, the slap no longer applies. If multiple people slap, only the first (the hand at the bottom of the pile), wins it. After a successful slap, the player takes all the cards and puts them on the bottom of their deck, then starts the next round with their top card.

Pair/Double: two of cards with the same rank is played consecutively (2-2, or J-J).


Sandwich: when two cards of the same rank have a different card between them (4-7-4, K-5-K)

Run/Straight: three or more cards numerical order (can be out of order: 3-5-4, or in order 3-4-5).

Other Slap Rules

Slapping Back In: If a player ran out of cards, or a new player wants to join the game, they may "Slap Back In." They will watch the players flip cards and if there is a slap-able sequence played, they can slap in and if won, take all the cards and now be a normal player in the game.

Mis-Slapping: If a player slaps and there is not a viable slap (either not a slap at all, or another card has been played on top of a slap sequence), they must take their top two cards from their pile and put it on the bottom of the played pile face up (so that everyone can see). The winner of that pile receives those cards.

No "Slapping On the Draw": Players are not allowed to slap the pile when a card is still in their hand. They must let the card go before slapping.

Flip out: Cards must be flipped away from the flipper so that they cannot see the card before everyone else. This makes slapping equal opportunity for everyone.

Game Ending

The game ends when one player has all of the cards, that player wins!

Alternatively, as this game can go on for quite some time, whoever has the most cards when everyone is ready to end the game, that person wins!

*Note: the game is intended to be fast-paced, with cards flipping rapidly.

Variations / House Rules

Number of Players

Egyptian Ratscrew can be played with any number of players, and can include multiple decks of cards. To start each game, just deal out the cards as evenly as possible. The player to the left of the dealer will flip first to start the game.

Mis-Slap Double Penalty

Double penalty: If a player slaps the pile incorrectly twice in a row, they must give one card from their stack to each player.

House Rules

This is one of those games where there are plenty of variations and house rules. Let me know if you have any to include!


A perfect camp game, or cousin game in my case as well!

Growing up around 15 first cousins, we were always looking for games to play with a lot of people that could end at any time (food is ready!). This game is a lot more dynamic than slapjack, and has an earn-in (Slap In) potential if you ran out of cards or were not there when it started.

Very fun with family and friends, unless your cousin wears her class ring on the inside of her hand intentionally, then it's a bit painful too. But again, my family is pretty competitive.

Where to Buy


Coming Soon

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