object of the game is simple: be the first player to play all ten cards
from your "Stockpile." You do this by, whenever possible, playing a
in numerical order onto a "Play Pile" in the center of the table.
also hold a hand of cards and you’ll form several "Reserve Piles"
the game to store cards from your hand until they are playable.
cards will eventually help you to play your Stockpile cards.
equipment consists of 3 identical decks, totaling 135 cards.
these cards make up nine "series," each numbered from
1 through 15.
NOTE: remove the 9 FLINCH Wild cards from each
deck before beginning
play. They are used only in the new "FLINCH
2000" variation (those rules
appear on the flip-side of these rules).
number from 2 to 8 may play. When more than four people play,
need to combine two games’ worth of cards.
is a game where cards are laid out in several different piles
Illustration) and are referred to in the rules as follows:
STOCKPILES consist of the first 10 cards dealt face down to
You place your Stockpile cards in a pile directly in front
of you and
turn the top card of the pile face up, keeping it atop your
HANDS are the next five cards dealt to each player. Pick up
and hold it so that you can see the cards, but no one else can.
STACK is made up of all the cards remaining after the
Stockpiles and the
Hands have been dealt. These are divided into
groups of five cards each
and are not exposed. If you wish, you can
use the tray in the package to
arrange the five card groups in criss-cross fashion,
so that each group
lies crosswise on top of the group
immediately beneath it (see E, in the
Illustration). If not, just form a
Draw Pile. The Dealer will give the 5
cards on top to each player
when a new hand is needed.
RESERVE PILES are formed after play has started.
Whenever you pass or
complete your play, you must place one card in
front of your Stockpile.
You place these cards alongside each other
until you have started 5
Reserve Piles. From then on, you may play on
top of any of the five
Reserve Piles you desire. If, during the course of
the play, you exhaust
one or more of your Reserve Piles, you must
start them again before you
can play on top of any of your remaining
PLAY PILES are formed after play has started. See THE
PLAY and THE PLAY
PILES, below, for more information about the
player to be Dealer. The Dealer shuffles all the cards in play
thoroughly and deals them as described above, forming the Stockpiles,
the Hands, and the Stack.
player to the left of the Dealer plays first. Let’s assume that’s you.
If you have a 1 card exposed on your Stockpile, play it to the center of
the table. This is the first card of the first Play Pile. Turn up the
card in your Stockpile. If that card is also a 1 card, you must
play it to
the center of the table alongside the first card, starting
the second Play
Pile. When the card exposed on your Stockpile is not a
1, look in your
hand and play in a similar manner any 1 card that you
may be holding.
If you’ve been able to play a 1 card and hold in your
hand (or have
exposed on your Stockpile) a 2 card, you may play it on
top of any 1
card that has already been played. You may continue to play
as long as
you can build up in sequence on top of any of the Play Piles.
cards in your hand must be played, but other cards may be held and
played as desired. NEW HAND: If during your turn you exhaust your
you draw a group of five cards from the Stack to form a new
continue your turn. When you cannot play any cards or do
not wish to
play any more cards, you select a card from your hand and
place it on
the table face up to start a Reserve Pile. If, as occasionally
no player has a 1 card to start the game, each player lays
down all five
cards from his/her hand and starts five Reserve Piles.
Each player, in
turn, draws a new hand from the Stack. If there is still
no player able
to play a 1 card, players again place their entire hands in
Reserve Piles; since all five Reserve Piles have now been started,
may distribute them as they wish. All five cards may go onto one
Pile if a player thinks it is advantageous to do so. After the
card has been played, each player must end his/her turn by
card from his/her hand to one of his/her Reserve Piles.
Reserve Pile has been established, you may play from it to the
the table if you have the proper card on top. You may do so
at any time
during your turn after you have played all of your 1 cards.
1 cards may
never be played to a Reserve Pile. You are not required
to play from
your Reserve Pile, but should do so if it will help you to
your Stockpile, or hinder your opponents from doing so. You
may not look
underneath the top card of any of your Reserve Piles but
should try to
remember what is there. It is usually wise to try to build
in reverse sequence for ease in remembering and in
order to make
possible the play of more cards on a single turn. When
a Reserve Pile is
exhausted it must be restarted by placing the next
discard in the open
space to bring the number of Reserve Piles back to
five as quickly as
possible. Cards, once played, cannot be moved from
one Reserve Pile to
another. Reserve Piles may be exhausted and
re- established several times
during the course of a game.
Piles go up from 1 to 15. Once a 15 is played, the entire Play
removed from the table. When several Play Piles have been
all of the cards have been used from the Stack, shuffle
these used cards
and deal out again to continue the game.
turn players must first play from the Stockpile if possible.
fail to do so, any opponent may call "Flinch!" Any player so
must stop playing immediately, draw the top card from the
the opponent who issued the challenge, and place it at the
his/her own Stockpile. You may also challenge an opponent
if you believe
the opponent is holding a 1 card in his/her hand after it
been played. If you are correct, the player challenged is
above; if not, the challenger draws the penalty. A player
challenged and penalized ends his/her turn and does not discard
his/her Reserve Piles on that turn. If two players issue a challenge
the same time, the challenger nearest to the left of the challenged
player receives the credit or penalty for the challenge.
player who first succeeds in playing all of the cards from his/her
Stockpile wins the game!
card in your hand is exposed, it must be played. If it cannot be
you must take it back into your hand, your turn ends, and you
discard to a Reserve Pile. If you expose a card when it is not
turn, you must play that card first on your next turn. If you cannot,
you must pass that turn. If the game becomes blocked (the Stack is
exhausted and no player is able to play except one who refuses to
the player holding the releasing card must play it. If there is
than one player holding a releasing card, the first player with a
releasing card, beginning with the player on the Dealer’s left, must
first and greatest of all stockpile card games, FLINCH has
millions of people since it was first published in 1905.
rare photo of an early play session. Note the man on the
George Parker, the founder of Parker Brothers.
became an instant success because of its novelty and
novelty included the idea of playing onto several building
storing cards not yet playable in reserve piles. The simplicity
the winning. You win by being first to play the mere ten cards in
stockpile. The goal sounds so easy, until you’re in the heat of the
against two or more opponents!
cards are versatile, so more ways to play were created over
now we’re very happy to include the rules for FLINCH
2000–the same great
classic game, but with newly introduced
FLINCH Wild cards. Enjoy!
interesting variation is to start the Play Piles with either the 1’s
the 15’s, building up on the 1’s and down on the 15’s. Another
is to start with 8’s, building both up and down. The 9, 10, etc.
built up from one end of each 8. The 7, 6, etc. are built down from
other. All other rules apply in both of these variations.
rules apply, except that if you’re in a Partnership Game
you may also
play from your partner’s Stockpile and Reserve Piles.
If you have an
opportunity to play from both your own and your
partner’s Stockpile at
the same time, you must play from your own
first. Otherwise, you play
from your partner’s Stockpile exactly as you
would from your own. After
one Stockpile is exhausted, both partners
continue playing from the
remaining Stockpile until it is exhausted, after
which the game ends.
You may be challenged for failing to play from
your own or your
partner’s Stockpile, for giving your partner
information regarding the
best way to play, for looking at a card
underneath the Reserve or
Stockpiles, for playing out of turn, or for
failing to play a 1 card.