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Cambio (game)

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Title: Cambio (game)  
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Subject: Shedding-type card games
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cambio (game)

Cambio (or Blind) is a simple, multiplayer card game that involves memory, manipulation, and speed to win. It is typically played with a standard 52-card deck with 2 jokers included and is designed for two to eight players. However, multiple decks can be used for larger games. It is similar to the commercial games Rat-a-Tat Cat and Cabo.

The objective of the game is for each player to minimize the sum of their cards. The game ends when someone calls 'Cambio,' after which each player gets one last turn and the player with the lowest sum wins. Players must draw and play special cards from the deck to view their own cards, peek at opponents' cards, and swap cards on the table.


  • Gameplay 1
  • Other rules and penalties 2
  • Variations 3
    • High Stakes Cambio 3.1
    • Rummy Cambio 3.2
  • References 4


Each player is dealt 4 cards, face down in a vertical 2 x 2 rectangle. Players then privately look at the two cards closest to them, and put them back face down.

In clockwise order, players do either of three things:

  • pick a card from the draw pile, and either keep the card (placing one of their own cards on the discard pile) or discard it (if the card drawn and discarded is a choice card, the choice card can be used if so desired).
  • pick a card from the discard pile and place one of their own cards on the discard pile
  • call "Cambio"

When a "choice" card is discarded from the draw pile, it has the following effect:

  • 7 or 8: the player may peek at one of their own cards
  • 9 or 10: the player may peek at one of their opponents' cards
  • Jack or Queen: the player may "Blind Switch", swapping any one of their own cards with someone else's without looking at or showing either.
  • Black King: the player may look at one of their own cards and one of another player's and decide whether or not they would like to switch.

If at any point during the game a player sees a card on top of the discard pile that is the same rank as a face-down card on the table, that player is allowed to "stick" the latter card. The stuck card is placed face-up onto the discard pile. If a player sticks a card belonging to another, they then choose one of his or her own and give the player that card.

After a player calls "Cambio" and everyone else has one more turn, every player flips their cards face-up and the player with the fewest points wins. Number cards score their face value, jokers are worth zero, and face cards are worth 10 (except for red kings, which are worth -1). In the event of a tie, the player with the most cards wins. If the player who called "Cambio" ties with another player in points and cards, the player who did not call "Cambio" is the winner. The winner of the game goes first in the next game.

Other rules and penalties

  • If a player sticks an incorrect card, the player is awarded one penalty card, from the deck, face down. However, if player one sticks a card before player two is able to stick his, no penalty card is awarded if the card was the correct number.
  • In some versions of the game, if a player uses two hands to perform any switch, the player is awarded one penalty card.
  • Breaking any other rule, such as peeking at a card when not allowed, is penalized by the reception of one penalty card. Going out of turn is not an offense punishable by a penalty card. Instead, the offender replaces the drawn card randomly into the deck and play resumes correctly.


High Stakes Cambio

High Stakes Cambio is played the same as regular Cambio, except the player with the highest score at the end of the turn this player must complete a dare agreed upon by all players at the beginning of the game.

Rummy Cambio

Rummy Cambio is played as regular Cambio except as in other Rummy card games, after each game, each player sums their scores. Scores are exactly what each player's cards total to except in the case of a player calling "Cambio" and being beaten, in which case the player is awarded 25 points to their score. Whenever a player reaches or breaks 100 points, the player is eliminated, and the games continue until there is one winning player remaining.


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