Gawp Game Rules


A grid of cards is laid out on the table. Everyone plays at once, trying to spot pairs of cards according to the Circular Combat rule set out below.


A dealer is chosen for the first game (for subsequent games the deal passes to the right). The dealer normally plays, however if all players have mastered the game he is at a disadvantage and may chose not to play that game.

The dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly and lays out a grid of 15 cards (3 X 5) face up so that they can be seen by all players. Players look at the grid and try to spot Pairs of cards.

Each card has 3 rectangles: Outer, Middle & Inner. In a Pair, ALL the rectangles on ONE card must beat the equivalent rectangles on the OTHER - See Circular Combat Rule.

Example Gawp card

Everyone plays at once. As soon as a player spots a Pair he shouts out, "GAWP" and takes the two cards from the grid. The other players check the Pair. If it is correct, the player keeps the cards and the dealer replaces them with two from the deck.


A player MUST shout, "GAWP" before picking up a Pair. After a player has called GAWP, no other player can pick up cards until that player has picked up ONE pair. He can only pick up ONE pair and must do so immediately after calling GAWP.

If a player calls GAWP and does not immediately pick up a Pair, AND / OR the Pair he picks up is wrong, he must give a card from his collected pairs to the dealer, who puts it randomly into the deck. If a player has not collected any pairs there is no penalty.

If all players agree that there are no pairs in the 15 cards showing, three more cards (making a total of 18) are laid face-up. These cards are not replaced when the next pair is picked up.


Play continues until the deck is all used up and no more pairs can be found from the remaining cards laid out. At this stage the game is over and each player counts the number of cards he has collected. The player with the highest number of cards wins.


This card shows three arrows in a circle: A red arrow points to a yellow arrow, which points to a blue arrow. These arrows show:-
BLUE beats RED

The two cards below are an example of a correct Pair.


Initially all this might seem a bit tricky but rest assured it is not. When you have played GAWP a couple of times you won't even need to refer to the Circular Combat Rule help card! Two big hints are:

1. CORRECT PAIRS WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE SAME PATTERN: - ie. in cards A & B above, the Outer rectangle is one colour, the Middle and Inner rectangles are another.



When players have mastered the basic game, spotting Pairs easily, they are ready to move on to the Advanced Game.

The advanced game is the same as the basic, except that rather than spotting Pairs players must spot Threes. In a Three, card A beats card B (as in the basic game), AND card B beats card C - which, because of the Circular nature of the Combat rule, beats card A!!... SIMPLE

The following example shows how the previous example of a Pair becomes a Three.

As you can see, card C has the same pattern as cards A and B.


The rules for playing the advanced game are basically the same as for the basic game except for the following changes:

1. The dealer lays out 20 cards (4 X5) face up on the table.

2. If a player calls GAWP and does not have a correct Three, the player must give TWO cards to the dealer.

3. If all players agree that there are no Threes in the 20 cards showing, FOUR more cards ( making a total of 24) are laid faced up. These cards are not replaced when the next Three is picked up.


Play continues until the deck is used up and no more Threes can be found from the remaining cards laid out. The player with the highest number of cards wins.

SUDDEN DEATH GAWP - 2-6 players.

The dealer shuffles the pack thoroughly and deals the entire deck out to the players. If some players have one card more than others it doesn't matter.

Players hold their cards face down and take it in turn to lay a card face up in front of them on the table. With every round each player takes it in turn to put a card on top of their last card, building a pile of face-up cards in front of them.

Every time a player puts down a card everybody, including the player, checks to see if it makes a Pair with the top card on any other player's pile. The first player to shout GAWP gets to pick up the pile of cards topped by the card that matches their top card and add it to his own pile. If a player spots a Pair on top of two other players' piles he calls Gawp and picks up BOTH piles to add to his own. As soon as a player puts another card on their pile, the card below can't be used in a Pair.

The player with the most cards when all cards have been turned over wins.

To extend the game, once all hand-held cards have been placed on the table in piles, players pick up their piles, shuffle them and continue play - in this variant the player who ends up with ALL THE CARDS wins. This is most exciting!


This can be played two ways:

1) First, just like the BASIC or ADVANCED games, looking for pairs or threes in a grid of cards on the table, or...

2) Second, hold the whole pack face down and deal four cards face up in a row. Now deal out four more on top of the first four in a slow steady rhythm, you must spot the pairs before you cover them up. Every time you spot a pair, pick up the two cards and place them to the side. You can always win in time, but it's the time that counts. The faster you can PAIR out the whole deck