The game of Pass the Clam! was developed for the Molluscan Diversity Playing Cards from the card game “Pigs”, for an outreach event for elementary and middle school groups at a university Marine Science Open House.
Players:up to 13 (more if two or more decks are used)
Deck: four cards, all of same rank, for each player in the game. For example, three players would need 12 cards: perhaps the four cephalopods (Aces), four hard clams (Kings) and four scallops (Queens).
Deal: Any player is chosen to shuffle the cards then the player to their left deals four cards, one at a time, in rotation, to each player.
Play:After the deal, all players look at their hands. Every player then selects one card and simultaneously passes it, face down, to the left. Picking up the card passed from the right, play is repeated until any player gets four cards of one rank. When a player does get four of one rank they silently stop passing or picking up cards and places their index finger to the side of their nose and leaves it there. As soon as any player sees another player’s finger beside his nose, she can also touch her finger to the side of her nose and leave it, without having to have four cards of the same rank. The last player to place his finger to his nose loses the hand. Each player gets one “life” for each letter in the name of the mollusc, so for Pass the Clams it would be 5 lives. Pass the Abalone would be 7 lives, etc. Score can be kept by assigning the letters of the animal’s name to each loss. So in Pass the Clam if a player loses a hand he gets a ‘C’. If he loses another hand he gets an ‘L’, etc. Once a player has lost all his lives, he become the Clam and drop out of the game. When a player drops out of the game his set of four cards (all of same rank) is removed from play. For a shorter game, each player only has one life and drops out upon losing her first hand. Players who have been knocked out of play can talk to remaining players or otherwise distract them to try and force them to out. The winner is the last player left surviving.
Thanks: Maria, Dane, Evan, Melissa and Roni, Johann, Tammy and all the students who helped play test this game with the Mollusc cards.