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In Authors you race to collect a book of cards of equal rank containing one card from each suit. It was originally played with a specialty deck that had pictures of famous authors and their book titles on each card.

The game has been adapted to use a standard deck of playing cards. This is a game is best when played with four to six players.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to collect as many books as possible. A book consists of four cards of the same letter or number, one from each suit.

What You'll Need

A standard deck of playing cards with the jokers removed.

A playing surface with enough room for four to six player to sit facing each other in a circle.

Setting Up the Game

Decide on which player is going to be the dealer.

The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them out one at a time face down to the players and the game of Authors begins.
Players each look at their cards and arrange them so the cards of the same number or letter are next to each other in their hand.

Playing Authors

The player to the left of the dealer goes first. They look at the cards in their hand and decide which cards they need to make a book. For example if the player was holding a 10 of hearts and a 10 of spades they 

would be looking for a 10 of diamonds and a 10 of clubs to complete the book of tens. They then ask one of the other players for one of the needed cards. The player asking must ask for the exact card they are looking for like the ten of clubs not just for a ten card.

A player cannot call for a card of a set that they are not holding.

If you are the one being asked and you have the card asked for you must pass it to the player who asked for it. If you do not have the specific card asked for simply say "No". In either case play is passed to the next player to the left.

Be aware. If you say you don't have a card when in fact you do hold it you'll end up paying a penalty when the other players find out and will have to give each player one of your cards.

Playing continues around the table to the left with each player taking a turn asking for a desired card.

When a player has successfully collected a book of four matching cards they show it to the other players and then place it face down in front of them.

In the event a player runs out of cards they sit out until the game is finished.

Winning the Game

After all books have been collected and all players are out of cards. The player with the most books is declared the winner.


Pay close attention to what other players are asking for. One of the other players may be trying to build the same book you are. Use this to your advantage and when it gets to be your turn ask them for one of the cards from the book both of you are trying to collect.

There are many variations of the Authors game now in print. They include Explorers, Scientists, Composers and Inventors just to name a few. Try using these variations to help children familiarize themselves with important figures in history.

To Card Games from Authors

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