Chinese snap

From Teflpedia

Chinese snap is a card game for two or more players, which is similar to snap and can be used to practice the names of playing cards, the alphabet, cardinal and ordinal numbers. It is also an effective energizer as it demands quick reaction time, and it can also be used as a detailed reading task with higher level groups, by giving them the printed rules and letting them teach themselves the game.


Each pair/group of students will need a deck of cards.

How to play[edit]

  • First of all, take a pack of playing cards and sit in a circle around a small table.
  • Next players should nominate a dealer; the dealer should deal all the cards evenly to all players.
  • Now each player should take their cards and hold them face-down in one hand.
  • Then the game can begin; the dealer should begin the game.
  • The dealer takes the card at the top of their block, places it face-up in the middle of the table and says “ace”.
  • Next, the player to the dealer’s left takes their top card and puts it in the middle of the table and says “two”.
  • The player to the left then places their top card in the centre of the table and says “three’
  • The player to the left does the same and says “four”, and so on: “five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen...” ; when a player reaches “king”, the next player goes back to “ace” and the game continues as normal.
  • The game continues in this way until:
    • The name/number a player says corresponds to that which is on the card they lay down. When this happens every one must say “snap” as quickly as possible. The last person to say “snap” must pay by collecting all of the cards from the pile in the centre of the table. After doing so, the player must place the cards at the bottom of their pile and resume play with them, starting with “ace”.
  • The game continues until only one player possesses cards in their hand; this player is the loser.


  • Only the word “snap” is allowed; no other words are permitted.
  • Players must not look at their own cards before they reach the centre of the table.
  • When a player has played their last card they remain in the game until one player loses and has to collect the cards.

Variation: alphabet[edit]

To practise the alphabet cards from the game "Lexcicon" (which is a card game similar to Scrabble), or make your own...

Variation: numbers[edit]

To practice numbers, students can be instructed to rename the name cards, calling ace one, jack eleven, queen twelve and king thirteen. Ordinal numbers can also be practised, which is very useful for pronunciation practice of the sound /θ/ in fifth, sixth, seventh, etc.

Variation: slam[edit]

In this version, instead of saysing "snap", players slam their hands down on the pile of cards in the centre og the table. The player whose hand ends up on top has to take the stack.