A Sicilian Card Game

Excerpt from the book Sicilian Card Games – An Easy-to-Follow Guide

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Buona Sera Signorina

This is a past-paced and hilarious game which requires speedy reactions rather than judgement. It is a great favourite with children… and adults who have not grown out of laughing!

The cards

A Sicilian deck of 40 cards is used. Suits are ignored.

The players

Two or more. All players must be able to reach a single pile of cards at the centre of the table, which may place some limitations on the number of players.

The play

All the cards are dealt.

Working anticlockwise around the table, each player turns up one card; each card is placed on top of the previous one at the centre of the table.

The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards.

All players must perform specific actions when certain cards are turned up:

  • If the card is a lady, everyone must say “Buona sera Signorina” (“Good evening, Miss”);

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  • If the card is a cavalier, everyone must say “Buona sera Signore” (“Good evening, Sir”);

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  • If the card a king, everyone must stand up, whistle and salute at the same time (anyone unable to whistle is permitted to blow a raspberry instead);

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  • If the card is an ace, everyone must slap their hand down on top of the pile of cards…. or on the hands of the previous players.

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The last person to perform the right action, or the person whose hand is uppermost when an ace is turned over, must take all the cards. If anyone performs the wrong action, he must take all the cards. If two players both happen to make the wrong action, they must divide the heap of cards between them and take half each.

The first player to eliminate all his cards is the winner. Play continues and, one by one, players are eliminated. The game continues until one loser – who has the entire pack of cards – is found.

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