I Want Candy!

Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
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Setup Time: 
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by Jonathan Leistiko


Form specific combinations of cards by selecting them from a common pool of face-down cards.

You Need

  • A Poker deck.
  • A countdown timer with an audible alarm.

Setting Up

Scatter a Poker deck face-down on your playing surface.


Set a timer for one minute. Start the timer.

There are no turns; all players act simultaneously. Your goal is to search for the cards that you need while abiding by the rules of the game.

  • You may only use one hand. You must use the same hand the entire game.
  • You may not hold more than one card at a time.
  • If you have a card you want, you may place it in your stash, face down. Your stash may not contain more than six cards.
  • If there’s a card in your stash that you don’t want, you may move it back to the common pool.
  • You may not touch the other players while playing. If you do, then you and the player you touched must put any cards you’re holding down in the common pool, put both hands palm-down on the table, and say, “Oops, sorry.” in unison.

All play stops when the timer rings. If you have a card in your hand when the timer rings, you’re stuck with it whether you want it or not.


Once play has stopped, reveal your stash. Compare your stash to the Combinations and Penalties chart below. If you have the highest score, you win.


  • Four of a kind = 90 points
  • Jack of Diamonds + Queen of Spades = 100 points
  • Both Red Kings = 100 points
  • All cards flush; more than 4 cards = 50 points
  • Three of a kind = 30 points
  • A pair = 10 points
  • Two cards that add to 10 = 10 points
  • All cards one color = 5 points per card


  • Holding only one Red King = -50 points
  • Holding just the Jack of Diamonds or the Queen of Spades = -40 points
  • More than 6 cards or less than 5 cards = -20 points
  • All four suits in your stash = -10 points
  • Each card that doesn’t contribute to a combination = -5 points

If a card counts toward more than one Combination or Penalty, it only counts for the one with the greatest absolute value. If you end the game with the Jack of Diamonds and all four Queens, you must use the Queen of Spades in the Jack of Diamonds + Queen of Spades combo. You get 100 points for the Jack + Queen and 30 points for the three remaining Queens, less 10 points for having all four suits. Your total is 120 points


With most Invisible City Games, I recommend using only one variant at a time. This game is an exception to that recommendation. I think that several specific combinations of the following variants could be a lot of fun, like Flipper + Roshambo or I Will Rock You (or) Snitch + I Can See For Miles….

I Will Rock You

You may take a card from another player’s stash. Before you do so, you must thump your hands on the table twice, clap once, thump your hands on the table twice, and clap once again.

You may place both of your hands palm-down on the table and stop searching. This protects you from having a card stolen from your stash.


You need a medium-sized token, like a fist-sized rock. This token is the Blocker. The Blocker starts with a randomly-selected player. If you possess the Blocker, you may not touch any cards. You may pass the Blocker to any other player. You may not pass the Blocker to the player who passed it to you.


The Snitch is just like the Blocker, except when you pass the Snitch to a player, you must take a card from that player’s stash.

You may place both of your hands palm-down on the table and stop searching. This protects you from receiving the Snitch or having a card stolen from your stash.


If another player takes a card that you want from the common pool, you may challenge him/her to Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you win, you get the card.


Once the timer has rung and play has stopped, do not reveal your stash. Pick it up so only you can see it. You may trade cards with other players. Trades may be blind or open. When a majority of players are done trading, trading ends and scoring starts as normal.

Wall Street, Restricted

You may switch which hand you’re using during the game.

Wall Street, Laissez Faire

You may use two hands instead of one.

How Rude!

You may touch other players’ arms while playing. Grabbing, poking, shoving and obstructing vision is expressly prohibited.


When you put a card back in the common pool, put it back face-up.

I Can See For Miles…

All players must keep their card stashes face-up.

Origin and Credits

On September 18th, 2004, our neighborhood association had a picnic at a local park. They had a pinata at the picnic for the kids to whack at. When the pinata finally gave up its booty, the kids went nuts, scrabbling and grabbing for little bits of candy scattered on the ground.

That’s when I thought of this game. It doesn’t really require any more explanation than that.

Thanks to Brandon, Chris, Jackson, and the rest of the Monday Night Games Night crew for playtesting this with me.

I was going to title the game, “Virtual Pinata.” I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I blame Bow Wow Wow for the current title.