What is the Game of Authors?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Authors is similar to Go Fish but requires more skill. The goal of Authors is to collect the most “books” of cards—all four cards of a rank, when playing with a standard deck, and all four cards showing works of an Author, when playing with a specialized Authors card deck. The abilities required are counting, identifying the names of cards, pairing based on criteria, and memory of what players have already asked.

Woman posing
Woman posing

How to Play the Card Game Authors
Authors is best played with three to five players. A single deck of card, with jokers removed, is shuffled and dealt to the players, one at a time in a face down stack, so that each has as close as possible to an even number of cards. After the cards are dealt, each player discards any “books” of four cards of the same rank that are found in his or her hand into a pile.

The player to the dealer’s left goes first by asking for a card by rank from another specific player, for example, “Tanya, give me your fives.” If the player named has any cards of that rank he or she must turn them over to the player who asked. If the new card(s) creates a book, the player places it in his or her stack and is permitted to ask again. The player’s turn continues as long as his or her requests are granted. When he or she asks for a card which the designated player does not have, play passes to the left. Play continues until all cards have been made into books.

Specialized Decks for Authors
There are a variety of specialized decks available for playing authors. Typical is a deck that has thirteen American authors, rather than the card ranks, and features four different books of each, rather than suits. So, for example, you would find four works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, four of Mark Twain, four of Henry David Thoreau, four of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, etc. Another variation for a prolific author, such as William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, would be to have each work represent a rank, and the four cards be four major characters in that particular work.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?