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Deck of matched pairs

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treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018

My game includes a deck of 50 cards. Each card within the deck is unique and has a companion card such that there are 25 “matched pairs” (like a monkey card and its companion banana card would form a matched pair). I want a way to randomize which matched pairs are used in each game such that in a 2-player game, the deck is comprised of 6 matched pairs, in a 3-player game, the deck will have 8 matched pairs, and a 4-player game includes 10 matched pairs (the remaining cards are set aside and not used for the remainder of the game). Currently, all 50 cards have common backs, and each card has the icon of its matched pair on the face (i.e., the monkey card would have a small banana icon in the corner, and the banana card would have a small monkey icon in the corner).

I have three solutions to accomplish this, and I’m looking for feedback on A) which solution is preferable, and B) other solutions I haven’t considered.

Solution 1: Shuffle All
Shuffle all 50 cards. Flip the deck faceup and set aside the top card. Scroll through the remaining cards until you find the first card’s matching pair. Then set aside the next top card and search the deck for its companion, and so on, until you have 6, 8, or 10 matched pairs (12, 16, or 20 total cards), depending on the number of players in your game. Once you have the matched pairs, shuffle these cards and deal two to each player.

Solution 2: Split Deck – Face Icons
I could have a separate “family” icon printed on the face of each card such that half of the full deck of 50 cards has the “a-icon,” and the other half would have the “b-icon.” Starting out, players would sort all 50 cards into two piles based upon their family icons – an “a” family and a “b” family. Only one family’s pile would need to be shuffled, and the top 6, 8 or 10 cards dealt, depending on the number of players. If the “a” family was shuffled and dealt, the matching pairs for all “a-icon” cards would need to be found in the “b” family pile (and vice versa).

Solution 3: Split Deck – Different Backs
The final solution I’ve considered is to, again, have an “a” and “b” deck, but this time distinguished by different color backs (blue and red for example). Shuffle the blue deck, deal out 6, 8, or 10 cards, then find the matching pairs in the red deck. The problem I have with this solution is that, when the cards selected for the game (12, 16, or 20) are shuffled together, the red/blue backs will give away which “family” the cards belong to such that it will influence whether players draw or discard during the game as they will have some level of foreknowledge they wouldn’t have had under the other two systems. (This limited foreknowledge might not be a bad thing, but I’d have to consider the strategic repercussions. Also, I’m not sure if this would affect printing costs or not, having two different backs. For those reasons, this is my least favorite solution at the moment.)

Hopefully, I’ve detailed the goals well enough to give enough information for constructive feedback. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Tom

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Different Face Colours

Assuming there's no functional difference for the cards that's dependent on the number of players, why not have different face colours for different numbers of players?

For example, the yellow-faced cards (symbols look as intended, but with a yellow background/pattern behind them) are used for a 2-player game. If there's a third player, add the cards with the blue backgrounds. If there's a fourth player, add the cards with a red background. Meanwhile, all card backs look the same, regardless of the background colour on the face of the card.

This way, there's nothing on the backs of the cards to determine what "family" or whatever the cards belong to, and it allows players to quickly sort the cards by glancing at the faces of them while setting up for a game.

Hopefully this makes sense and/or is useful for you. :)

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Interesting, but...

@let-off studios

I like the idea very much, and it may have practical application for another game I'm working on, but for this particular endeavor it's important to allow a chance for all card combinations from the entire deck of 50 to potentially be part of any game - regardless of number of players. But thank you for your consideration!

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
let-off studios

let-off studios wrote:
Assuming there's no functional difference for the cards that's dependent on the number of players, why not have different face colours for different numbers of players?

I was going to say that if that worked, you only needed a 20-card deck in the first place :)

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Store the cards as pairs

If players could started with at that had each card in a pair was next to each other, then they could "deal" the deck into 25 piles and pick the number of pairs that needed for the player count. Then they stack the remaining cads preserving the pairing and put them back in the box. Assuming that the cards somehow get paired during the game, at the end (or throughout) the game players could stack the pairs on top of the cards returned to the box. Repeat the process for the next game.

You could also have each card have a sequential number so that when they are arranged in order from 1-50 the form a deck with pairs next to each other.

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Needs to be random

@Fri
If I understand what your are saying, prearranging all cards into pairs and then selecting from these (especially sequentially) doesn't provide a random sampling from the entire deck for each game. But I do appreciate your thoughts.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
How to randomly select from prearranged pile.

So once the deck is prearranged it is not too difficult to randomly select pairs. All a player would have to do is place the 25 pairs (face down if important) on the table and then randomly select from these piles.

After this if they carefully stack the unused piles, then more than half the deck is already prearranged for the next game.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
There's a spy game whose name

There's a spy game whose name I can't quite recall where you have baggies with like 20 different mini-decks of ~8 cards each. You choose a baggie at random from that pile. In this case, each baggie would be two cards, which of course is not ideal but so be it.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Spyfall
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