Chase the Ace is a great card game for a large group of children and works well with mixed ages and at family gatherings too. Don't get caught with the lowest card - and hold onto your counters if you can! Younger children may not enjoy having to "drop out" of the game and watch the play continue without them.
Number of players: 5+
Cards: A standard deck, minus the jokers
Additional equipment: 3 counters (or similar) per player
Distribute 3 counters to each player.
Choose a dealer. The dealer places one card (face down) in front of each player. Players look at their cards without revealing them to other players. Aces are low and Kings are high.
In each round, the player with the lowest card loses. If you have been lucky enough to be dealt a King, you are safe. If you have been dealt an Ace, you will need a bit of luck!
The player to the left of the dealer (Player 1) decides whether he wants to keep his card, in which case he says "Pass", or try to get rid of it (swap). This will depend on his card, of course. If he has a high card, he will want to keep it and pass. If he has a low card, he will want to try to swap it and hope to get a higher card in exchange. If he has a middling card, he has a hard decision to make!
If Player 1 decides to swap, he slides the card (face down) to the player on his left (Player 2). Player 2 must take it and swap it for her own card - unless she has a King. If she has a King, she turns her card face up and refuses to swap. Player 1 then tries to swap with the next player, Player 3, and so on.
After a pass or a swap, play passes to the next player on the left, who makes the same decision: pass or swap.
When it is the dealer's turn, he can pass or swap too. But to swap he will place his card on the bottom of the deck and take the top card instead.
When the dealer has had his turn, all players turn over their cards. The lowest card loses a counter and a "life". If there is a tie for lowest card, both players (or all tied players) lose a counter and a "life".
The deal passes to the next player on the left, and another round is played.
When a player loses all their counters, they drop out and watch the rest of the game. The winner is the last remaining player.