Kemps is a party game that involves developing a secret nonverbal signal and getting your partner to yell out the word “Kemps!” when you get four of a kind! It’s action packed and hilarious.
Setup for the Kemps Game
All you need to play Kemps is a good table and a standard deck of playing cards (52 cards). It’s ideal to have three to five pairs of players (6-10 total people) for this game to work best. You must have an even number of players to play.
First, you will need to form pairs. You can form pairs by dealing matching cards randomly or by having people choose their partner. Once everyone has paired up, have everyone sit around a table, with partners sitting across from each other.
Each pair must develop a secret non-verbal signal. Some good signals might include something like a wink, an ear scratch, furrowing an eyebrow, licking one’s lips twice, or anything else that is not too obvious.
Playing a Round
Have someone shuffle the cards and deal four cards to each player. Each player may hold only up to four cards in his or her hand at a time. Next, deal four cards to the middle of the table, face up. When everyone is ready to begin, have a player say, “3, 2, 1, go!” and begin the round.
Each player can discard a card from their hand and then grab any card from the center of the table. Remember that no one can have more than 4 cards in their hand at any time.
The goal is for you (or your partner) to get four of the same rank (e.g., four 8’s, or four Queens, etc.). If you get four of a kind, such as the four Aces below, then you need to try to get your partner to yell “Kemps!” by doing your secret signal.
If someone from another team calls “Kemps!” on a player, that player must reveal their cards. If that person has four of a kind, then they lose that round. If they don’t have four of a kind, then the person who challenged incorrectly loses a point.
Play continues (people can discard a card and pick up a new one) until someone yells “Kemps!” If no players want any of the four cards that are in the center, the dealer can remove the four cards and deal out four new cards and the process continues.
If you are able to get your partner to yell “Kemps!” when you have four of a kind (or if you call “Kemps!” when your partner has four of a kind, your team gets a point.
How to Win Kemps
The first team to five points wins (or to any other number of points of your choice).