Jamaa - an Amino Acid card game
Had this idea of Jamaa while reading Matt Ridley's Genome.
This is a game like rummy. Can be played between 2 or 3 people using a single
deck of cards (or more with more).
Restrictions on triplets:
- Deal 15 cards each.
- Leave the remaining face down in a stack and turn the top one face up.
- Using the following alphabetically ordered representation (Club==Adenine,
Heart==Guanine and Spade==Urasil) each player tries to make 5 amino acids
from his/her set of 15 cards subject to the restrictions given below.
Tables by bases as well as by Amino Acids.
- If neither player has five amino acids, they take turns
picking up either the topmost faceup card or the topmost face down
card and discarding one of his/her cards on the stack of already faceup cards
(if any) until one person finishes at which point he she simply announces
- Count points at the end of the game with rarer Amino Acids (as determined
by how many triplets code them) getting more points. Thus the one to finish
first could in principle get less points than some one else. Thus, Met and Trp
would score 90 (because a single triplet codes for each), Phe, Tyr etc. would
fetch 80 (because two triplets each code them), whil ethe least i.e. 40 will go
to Arg, Leu, Ser as six different triplets code them.
Jay and I tried with fewer consecutive and same-suite restrictions, but that
turned out to be too easy. The game got over in a round or two.
- Each triplet should have the numerical part of its cards in ascending order
and be consecutive (e.g. C5-D6-C7). J is 11, Q is 12 and K is 13. A can be one or 14.
- In addition, one of the sequences should be pure i.e. of the same suite
- A player should use all aces to represent either one or 14 (i.e. can not
use it as A-5-7 and 9-K-A in different AA).
- We do not treat AUG (Met) as punctuation and is a valid Amino Acid.
But STOP is not allowed.
To make the game less nerdy and more educational, specially designed cards may
(though that will mean we lose the advantage of playing with a standard deck).
- A set of 60 cards, 15 each for A C G U numbered 1 through 15 each (clearly
the concept of Ace being either first of last vanishes).
- The respective bases (i.e. A on 15, C on another 15 etc.) shown in bold
with completing (on left and right) sequences of triplets spanning its height
in smaller font and corresponding Amino Acids spelled out on the right (but
thats 37 of those!).
- Each of the 20 Amino Acids mentioned on three of the 60 cards (any
interesting way of choosing which 3?) in slighly bolder, bigger font with its
chemical formula/structure and possibly other data depicted.
Examples to come soon.
Feedback and suggestions
Last Outdated: Aug 26 2007