TNB Night Owl – 1000 Blank White Cards

Index cards, photo by Goatid

One of the advantages of traditional playing cards is the number of different games available if a single standard deck is owned. But what if you don’t even have that? What if all you have is a pen and a pack of blank index cards?

You can play 1000 Blank White Cards.

You don’t really need 1000. You really just need 2-6 players (although more are possible) and somewhere around 60 to 150 cards. Every person gets five cards and the remainder of the cards get shuffled into the deck, which is placed in the center. Play goes clockwise, at least at first, and each player gets to play one card on their turn.

Each card played has a title, a piece of art, and something else… usually a point value from -1000 to +1000 in increments of 100. “Usually” is the key here, because any rule may be placed on the card instead. All point values are doubled for the next six turns. Four rules currently in play (cardplayers’ choice) are revoked. +50 points for everyone who can sing the entire Star Spangled Banner in falsetto. Eat a dorito. Any rule can be found on the card.

And how do those cards get made? The player makes them, of course. They get to show off their creativity and their art skills – or lack of either or both – and participate in a strange but eminently playable party game which is equally adaptable to adult and children’s games.

Typically, after the first few games, the players will figure out how many blank cards they want to include in each deck. It’s up to the players, because the rules are just that lax.

The game was created in 1995 by Nathan McQuillen of Madison, Wisconsin. The players then brought it elsewhere, spreading by word of mouth.

There’s usually a winner, but it doesn’t really matter. The goal in this game is the journey, not the destination. The fact that it’s free helps quite a bit.

So, here’s someone explaining the game and showing off some sample cards.

Question of the night: What would be a card you’d make for this game?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.