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Happy Families

Card Game
1914 - 1920 (published)
Place of origin

Design: named illustrations, printed card; blue patterned backs
No. of cards: 36

Object details

Object type
TitleHappy Families (manufacturer's title)
Brief description
Pack of 36 cards, Happy Families, printed in England by Roberts Brothers between 1914 and 1920
Physical description
Design: named illustrations, printed card; blue patterned backs
No. of cards: 36
DimensionsSize: 3 3/4in x 2 5/8in
Historical context
Rewards: n/a
Forfeits: n/a
No. of Players: any
Equipment required: 36 cards arranged in 9 sets of 4 named illustrations


Three or more can play and special cards are normally used, each showing four members of a family, mother, father, son and daughter, However, variations have been developed to use groups of 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to a set. Also subject variations occur and some are educational, for example The Counties of England.

The object of the game is for each player to collect as many complete 'families' as possible.
One of the players deals out all the cards. If more than one round is played, the players take it in turn to deal. It does not matter if some players have one card more than others.
Each player looks at his cards and sorts them into families.
It is important that players keep their cards hidden from each other. With young children it is a good idea if they can lay their cards out of view of the other players.
When all the players are ready, the person to the dealer's left asks any player, by name, for a particular card (eg Master Baker). He must already possess at least one of member of the same family, ie Mrs. Baker. If the person asked has the card, he must give it to the first player, who may again ask anybody for a card of any family as long as he already has one card belonging to that family.
He continues to do this until he fails to obtain a card. If the person asked does not have the card requested, it is his turn to ask for cards.
When a player collects all the cards of the same family, he puts them into a pile face down in front of him.
Play continues until all the families have been completed
The winner is the person who collects the most families.
Accession number

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Record createdMarch 4, 2000
Record URL
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