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Kalvin Ball

Back when we lived in the house on Comstock we grew tired of the usual activities of time wasting so we collected all the cards we could and invented Kalvin Ball, based on the idea from the comic “Calvin and Hobbes” where they took turns making up rules for the game they were currently playing. The most interest rule I recall was if you had two Queens face-up in front of you this represented two lesbians, meaning you were a confident heterosexual. I now also recall that Knaus created a rule where if you have 3 Jacks (referred to as “Staltworthly Hooligans”) you could beat-up someones 2 lesbians (sending them to the discard pile, assuming someone created a discard pile). I was just reviewing the contents of my hard drive and found the rules of “Kalvin Ball”.


PRE-GAME: Get as many different decks as you can, you should play with all the cards you can find, no matter if they are playing cards or not.

VICTORY CONDITIONS: You need to setup 4 victory conditions before starting play.

A – 4 Queens and lion rules
B – 12 card straight 4/deck of different suit
C – 4 Aces from different decks, “Hey Bingo”, throw cards in air
D – 9 7s, 2 aces, 3 lions, and 10 bent deck cards

PLAY OF THE GAME: Each turn the next player follows all the rules, in order, and then makes his own rule up, and then follows it. There should be a limit on the number of rules used. Any rules past this limit replaces the rule at the top of the list. ie; If you have a limit of 20 rules, then the 21st rule creates replaces rule #1, and the 22nd rule replaces rule #2…

  1. The bent deck is the discard pile. You may draw up to 10 from the regular deck but most discard down to 5 of them.
  2. All human cards may be considered aces.
  3. All odd-numbered animal cards must be placed face up.
  4. Any pair you have must be placed in front of you and a “get out of jail free” cards.
  5. You may draw replacements for up to 4 cards from the bottom of the discard pile.
  6. Every 3 turns, the discard pile and the regular pile switch, starting now.
  7. “Get out of jail free” cards may be placed at the top of the discard pile, entitling you to take any 3 face up cards from the board into your hand. you may use 1/turn.
  8. Put your highest numbered card in Dan’s pile face up. (obviously Mooney made this one)
  9. You may selectively ignore my rule 1-7, but must repeat a different one from 1-7 twice.
  10. You may not look at the cards in your hand, except when doing the rules.
  11. You may say to another player “I would like to see your Binky”, and then name a card. He has to give you 1 of his cards if he has it.
  12. You may discard any even number of cards, half into Dan’s pile and half into the discard pile (3/player limit).
  13. Draw 1 card from the discard pile, regular deck, Dan’s pile, and each other player’s hand.
  14. Any time another player takes one from you in any fashion you may cancel this by saying “I think Mooney is a decent human being”. This must be said with a straight face.
  15. You may cut an reshuffle any deck.
  16. You may cut either discard or normal pile, and may choose to take the card or put it in Dan’s pile face down.

4 Responses

  1. There were additional rules. For example your new rule could not negate the rule of the person directly before you. In fact, I think we once played that you could not negate a rule until it had gone around the table 1 full time.

    You also had the option of changing one of the victory conditions in at least one case, but that change could not make you win immediately. I do not remember what the restrictions were on this but it was probably dropped later.

  2. While I am here in Buffalo I went through one of my old drawers. What should I find but a handwritten sheet of basic rules for Kalvin Ball; this set has a completely different rule base than Aaron has described above. I will type them up and post soon.

  3. I can’t say that this comes as a huge surprise. While both Aaron and I post stories riddled with inaccuracies, mine are at least intentional in nature.

  4. I’m pretty sure the rules were written down and changed a few times. The rule set I am looking at is more boring and reflects the fact that the first few times we played, there was no way to declare victory at all. I like Aaron’s better but will scan or type up this one just for completeness.

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