Asshole is a simple Game, which uses an ordinary deck of 52 playing cards. The dealer (who can be determined by any means for the first round) begins by dealing all the cards in the deck to the players, in standard poker fashion, starting with the player to his left. Each player is dealt a card in turn until all cards are dealt. Some players may have an extra card. This has little impact on the game.
Cards are played as singles, pairs, triples, or four of a kind. During a round, a player may play only singles on singles, pairs on pairs, et-c. The player with the Three of Clubs begins the round. That player must play the Three of Clubs in the middle of the table (the play area). The Three of Clubs may be played by itself, or with any number of other threes (if he plays more than four, check the deck, and the player's sleeve!).
The next player (in clockwise fashion) has an opportunity to either play on the three(s), or pass. If the player can, and chooses to play, he must have a single card which is equal to, or higher than the card on top of the play area. If the play to beat is a pair, the player must match or beat that pair, and so on. Remember, you can only play pairs (or more) on another pair. A pair of threes, for example, does not beat a single four.
Play progresses clockwise in this manner until the turn gets back to a player who has played the last card(s) on the play area (this happens when everyone else passes on a play). When a play returns to the player who played the card(s), he has won the round, and starts fresh with any play he chooses. He may play a single card, a pair, triples, or four of a kind. And play continues as above from there.
Once a player has played all his cards, he is "out," and the remaining players continue to play, vying for second place, and so on, until only one player has cards in his hand. The last player with cards is the "Asshole." The first player to go out becomes the "President," followed by Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, General, Chief Asshole, and then Asshole. If playing with more than seven, make up additional ranks as needed between General and Asshole. The last one out is always the Asshole, and the First is always the President.
There is one "wild" card in the game, the Two. Any single Two can be played on any number of other cards. For example, one Two beats three Aces (or four for that matter). Once a two is played, that player immediately wins the round, clears the cards, and plays again, starting a new round.
After all cards are played, and the Asshole is determined, all players assume their new ranks. It is a hierarchical system with descending levels of authority from the President Down. The President is the supreme ruler of all players. The vice president may give orders to any of lower rank than himself, The Secretary may issue orders to any player except the President and Vice President (who out rank him), and so on. The asshole has no authority over anyone, and must follow the orders of all the other players.
The Asshole deals the next hand, and the President has the privilege of choosing who will be dealt to first.
Once the next hand is played out, everyone will have new ranks (some may retain their previous rank). Power changes happen only after the Asshole is determined for that hand. A particularly malevolent President may suddenly find himself the Asshole, and revenge will surely be swift and brutal.
Play continues in the same manner, with people assuming
different ranks until everyone gets bored with the game, and quits.
The basic game structure allows for infinite possibilities in player participation. Played to extremes, the President has absolute power over all players in all matters. He may instruct someone to take a drink of his beer, finish a drink, remove an article of clothing (or all clothing), give the president (or another player) a neck rub, fetch the President's smokes, open his beer, bow to him, sing, dance, whatever. Each other player also has these powers, but only over players who are below them in rank. The Asshole has no such powers over anyone, though a benign President may grant the Asshole Power of President for a set number of turns, during which time, the President becomes the Asshole.
In most circles, the game isn't played to this extreme, and it serves primarily as a drinking game, in which powers of the various ranks are pretty much limited to giving drinks. Other demands may be made, but players may refuse, and the penalty for refusing an order is to drink a number of gulps assigned by the offended authority. In a willing group, having laid down the guidelines of the game, giving drinks can be supplemented with removing clothes. For example, The Vice President orders the General to kiss the Asshole's butt. The General refuses, so as punishment, the Vice President orders the General to remove an article of clothing (or take a drink in more conservative / boring groups).
Socials: If through the course of play, all four cards of a given number are played on each other subsequently, a "Social" is declared. When a Social occurs in a drinking version of the game, all players must clink their glasses, and drink.
It is best to establish before hand what style of play the game will be. If there will be nudity involved, make sure everyone playing knows and is comfortable
If playing with socials, it's generally a bad idea not to clink the President's glass.
Strategy tip: Don't be careless with your twos. A well played two can make you President. Be mindful of the order of play. If you let someone win the hand who plays immediately before you, this is often as good as winning the hand yourself. If, however not playing to win the hand will allow the person who plays immediately after you to win the hand, that can be very bad, and it may be time to play your two (or ace, or whatever it will take to win the hand).