Melding Games

Bum - How to Play Card Game Bum

 
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Bum

There are many variations of the card game known as Bum. It can be played by a wide number of players, but the best games are those with only four. The game requires a standard deck of 52 cards, plus the two jokers.

Each game is played as a series of hands, and the first is the only one played by different rules than the rest. Most enthusiasts recommend a longer game, which means that all players should agree to a high point total in order to take the win.

Boss, Foreman, Worker and Bum

After the first hand of the game, the players will receive a title – Boss, Foreman, Worker and Bum. These are based on the results of the first hand, but will continually switch throughout play. The rules of the game favor the player in the Boss position.

The object of each hand played is to end up without any cards. The player to get rid of their cards first will win the hand, and the remaining players will have points added to their scores based on the cards they are still holding.

Ranking Cards in Bum

The rank of the cards in a game of Bum is as follows: Jokers, Twos, Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and ten through three.

How to Play Bum

To begin play, the dealer gives each player a card until no more remain; this means two players get 14 cards and two get 13 cards. For the first round the players with 14 are viewed as the Boss and the Foreman, and those with 13 as the Worker and the Bum.

Should a Worker or Bum hold both Jokers, a revolution occurs and they become the Boss for the remainder of that hand. This change takes place by the players switching cards and the new Boss gets to keep the Jokers as well.

The Boss takes the two lowest cards in their hand and passes them face down to the Bum. The Bum next passes their two highest cards face down to the Boss. The Foreman passes their lowest card to the Worker and the Worker passes their highest non-Joker to the Foreman.

Laying Downs Sets and Sequences

Because the object of the game is to get rid of the hand of cards quickly, Bum allows for each hand of play to have a huge range of sets that can be played. For example, once all of the card swapping is complete, the Boss will make their play. This requires them to lay down a set or sequence of cards. The next player must then play a higher combination of the same type or pass. This means that the Boss has set the combination for the trick, and the passing can continue until three players pass, which makes the fourth player (the Boss) the winner.

The next trick begins with the Boss and uses the remaining cards in all of the players’ hands. Play continues in this way until only one player has cards remaining. Winning a game brings one point to the player’s tally, and this is the reason that so many players opt for higher point limits.