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brown sugar 2

I've been trying to remember this game also. Please If anyone remember the rules I need them before the Labor Day weekend when I go away with a group of 78 people mostly men who I would love to scrap up their knuckles


OK, I'm a little late, but here goes:

The way we played here in L.A., the object was to get rid of all of your cards. Last person holding cards lost and got scraped/knocked on the knuckles as many times as he/she had cards left over. Everyone who played got to join in.

Everyone discarded a card, but it had to match the suit or the number-- if you couldn't discard you had to "eat" from the stock pile until the right card came up. This would result in someone having way too many cards sometimes, which would usually mean they were the ones going to get knocked.

If I can remember anything else, I will let you know.


I'm Googling around for this too. We used to play in New Haven at about the same time, 1978 or so. I remember that there were some simple rules, but can't recall them. I DO remember that the way we played is that the winner shuffled the cards, ribbon spread them on the table and the loser had to pick a card. If it was a black card, he was off the hook, and the next hand was dealt. If it was a red card, that number of blows was administered with the carefully beveled deck by the winner. You didn't want to be drawing the King of Hearts. I'll let you know if I dig up the rules. Maybe my brother remembers ...

Johan von Schlitzenberg

we played a game similar to poker whereby the players would gamble with the number of smacks they were willing to endure. It relied on the honor of people being willing to take hits because there was no real incentive to bet high numbers.

russell mueller

I've been trying to find the rules to knuckles for a while now we used to play this game back in the 40's in Chicago.I belive brown sugar 2 is on the right track. If any one can remenber anything else I would like know.

russell mueller

I've been trying to find the rules to knuckles for a while now we used to play this game back in the 40's in Chicago.I belive brown sugar 2 is on the right track. If any one can remenber anything else I would like know.


My son reminded me of this game that I told him many years ago. It was in the Bronx and we played it just like James said--many times, I would have to pick up the whole deck and then get rid of the cards (no one else had the suits) and end up with the lowest score. The points scored were 1-5-10 and 50 I think. The (oners) were hit against the opponents knuckles with the flat part of the deck. The (fivers) were hit with the deck in an upright position coming straight down. The (tenners) started in an upright position from the top of the arm and scraped down to the knuckles where they were then hit similiar to the (fivers). I do not remember what the 50's were. I am really stretching my memory as it was back in the 1940's. It was fun though--really.


Sorry, it wasn't James but Brown Sugar's comments that I was alluding too.


Wow! I learned it in Detroit in the mid-70s. How cool that the game goes back to the 40s and I'm sure even further. Like jumprope rhymes!


We played Bloody Knuckles in Canada too, in the early 70's. Basically it was Crazy Eights (similar to Brown Sugar2 above). At the end of the game the looser had to cut the deck to determine the # of whacks with the deck of cards they would get across their knuckles from the winner. The colour of the cut card didn't matter, an ace = 1 whack, a two = two whacks, etc,..a king, queen, jack, or ten = ten whacks. At the beginning of the game we would sometimes agree if the whacks on the knuckles could be divided equally between hands. I recall this being a painful game when playing with siblings!


Here's a group of people who play Professioanl League Bloody Knuckles...



in england we play bloody knuckles with a 50p coin (but u can use any). one person spins a coin and the other has to pick it up from above if they pick it up they spin for the other person if they dont and knock it over they have to put there knuckles down on there table like in a fist shape as if u had punched the table the other person puts there middle and index finger in front of ur knuckles and puts a coin under there thumb. they bring the thumb back and slide the coin thru there fingers at the other players knuckles u can play first blood or until one gives up


First of all, I know it's a little late to respond to this post. However, after searching everywhere, this is the one site that knows the game I'm talking about. Here's how we used to play 'Knuckles'.
Every player is dealt 5 cards with the remainder of the deck set on the table. If you have all black or all red cards off the deal, you're out. The remaining players turn over the top card of the deck and proceed to actually "play" the game. Now, in a clockwise motion, players must match up their cards inhand with what's now on the board. (Think Uno!) Cars in the same suit can be place don top of each other, as well as identical cards from different suits. If you can't match, you then draw from the deck until you are able to make a play.(Again, think Uno). The game was over when only one person was left with cards in their hand. The loser was rapped on the knuckles the number of time equivalent to the number of red cards left in his or her hand. If the loser has no red cards, one hit is given for the sole reason of "you lost". Hits are administered by the last person at the table besides the loser. I hope other people get to read this, I know looking for this game brought back many childhood memories.

John Smith

Rules of the card game "bloody knuckles"
Info: Ace=1, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=5, 6=6, 7=0, 8=8, 9=9, 10=10, J=0, Q=.5, K=13
Goal: Try to have the lowest number of cards. When you do you knock on the table and the other players have one turn to try to beat your hand.
The winner gets to strike the loser (the player with the highest hand).
The loser has to pick a random card from the deck and is hit the # of times its number value is.
He is either hit on the knuckles by the deck if its black or is scraped by the deck if its red.
1.) Dealer deals 3 cards to each player
2.) The person to the left of the dealer picks up a card from the deck and either discards that card or trades it for one of his cards.
3.) Every player must have 3 cards at all times.
4.) If a player get a score of 0
i.e.: JJJ, 777, JJ7, or 77J
He gets to hit/ scrape all of the players.
5.) If you get three kings. You get to hit/ scrape all of the players.

Kevin G.

I used to play this game in Upstate NY in the mid 70's with my older brothers and cousins. I remember it being a brutal game. Here are the rules as I remember them.

Each player is dealt 4 cards. The deck is placed down on the table and the top card turned over. The player to the left of the dealer goes first. If he has a card that matches the up card in either suit or value he can put that card down on the pile, and his turn is over. If he can't play, he must pick one card at a time until he can play. Once he has played a card, the turn goes to the next player to the left. Play continues until a player discards all his card and wins the hand. The winner got to dole out the punishment to the losers. Punishment was determined by the cards left in the other players hands. If a player had 10 cards left, he would received ten whacks on his knuckles from the winner. The color of the cards would determine if the whacks were hard on soft. I think it was red cards were soft hits, and black were hard, but it could have been the other way. The winner could also arrange the deck for maximum pain by stair-stepping the edge of the deck to provide multiple edges.

One extra rule we used, was that if you were dealt one of each suit (heart, diamond, club & spade), you won automatically and got to hit the others knuckles base on the 4 cards they were holding.

Another rule we had was that if you flinched or pulled your hand away while receiving the whacks, you got 52 hard whacks on top of your others.

L Jackson

Slimelayer's response is version is the exact same version my cousins, sisters and I played back in the 70's/'80's. It was crazy eights, and the loser got the hand scraped by the winner with the deck of cards. I too am from Canada. All I remember is I kept losing. :/ It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that there was 5-13 years age difference. :roll:


I remember this game all too well. I tried to spare my friends, but they sure didn't spare me!

Christian Hudson

John Smith's version is the version we played, except that the Queen kept her value (12pts). We played this in college as a drinking game.

Rules of "Bloody Knuckles"
Info: Ace=1, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=5, 6=6, 7=0, 8=8, 9=9, 10=10, J=0, Q=12, K=13
Goal: Try to have the lowest number of cards. When you believe you do, you declare "Bloody Knuckles!" and if you have the lowest hand, you win. If you're wrong, you lose and drink double.

In the drinking game version, there was no (physical) brutality, no hitting, no scraping, no blood. When you think you have the lowest score, you say "bloody knuckles," and if indeed you have the lowest hand you win; if someone else has a lower hand, s/he wins and you're punished double. The loser draws a card from the (reshuffled) deck, and drinks the count of that card's score. The winner does the counting aloud as the loser drinks. A red card is a "slow" count and a black card is a "fast" count; thus drawing a red king is the worst card in terms of drinking.

Also, we played with four cards. When a large number of people play (greater than eight), the deck may be cycled through before someone declares "bloody knuckles," so in this case the person to the dealer's left, who gets the benefit of the first card turned over from the deck (effectively a fifth card in his/her hand), is forced to declare bloody knuckles. Thus being to the dealer's left is an advantage in a small game of four or fewer players, but a disadvantage in larger games.

As John Smith says above, on a score of zero everyone drinks. I believe we also played that on a score of one, everyone drinks. And on a score of zero everyone drinks a "long" count.

Great game! I passed many an hour and many a beer this way.

jim d.

my brothers and i have been playing this since we were kids in the 70's and have taught it to our children
james and oscar are both correct with one occlusion:
the whacker gets one chance to secure the cards before whacking. he must whack the entire count WITHOUT resecuring the cards, and if he loses any of the cards before he is done, he becomes the whackee.

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