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Princely States of British India - Card Game

How to play

These cards can be used for playing in several different ways, covering various subjects. Over and over, we have experimented with these games and new ideas keep coming.

 Know your cards & General Rules

  •  On top of the card, you have the name of the Princely State, as spelled during the British Raj.
  •  The royal emblem/insignia is the last symbol that royalty used. Flag may not be available for all states.
  •  The black band contains the number of years, that the last dynasty ruled over this kingdom. This figure acts as the tiebreaker in most of the games.
  •  Important Whenever you throw/present the card during gameplay, announce the name of the Princely State (from top of card) and the current region that it falls in (from the bottom of the card).

Game Playing Ideas

Game Idea
#PSBI01
Difficulty Level
Easiest
Age Group
2+ yrs.
Duration
5 - 30 mins.
Players
2+

The Color Matcher - शाही रंग

How to play
  1. Divide cards equally amongst the players
  2. First player throws the card, announcing the name of the Princely State and the Indian state it is now part of.
  3. For example, if you throw the Benaras (now Banaras or Varanasi), say: Banaras, from Uttar Pradesh. In clockwise order, the next person throws a random card from his/her deck, announcing the name of state.
  4. If the color matches, the last person to throw the card picks up all the cards thrown till now, and throws a fresh card.
  5. The game continues until only 1 person is left with cards, and is declared a winner.

Game Idea
#PSBI02
Difficulty Level
Easy
Age Group
4 - 15 yrs.
Duration
2 - 30 mins.
Players
2 - 4

The Gun Salutes - तोपों की सलामी

How to play
  1. Divide cards equally amongst the players
  2. First player throws the card, announcing the name of the Princely State and the Indian state it is now part of.
  3. For example, if you throw the Benaras (now Banaras or Varanasi), say: Banaras, from Uttar Pradesh.
  4. In clockwise order, all the players throw the top card from his/her deck, announcing the name of state.
  5. After each player has thrown 1 card, compare the Gun Salutes of cards thrown till now.
  6. The card with largest number (Gun Salutes) wins the round.
  7. If there is a clash, compare the number of years ruled by the dynasty (from black band).
  8. The game continues until only 1 person is left with cards, and is declared a winner.

Game Idea
#PSBI03
Difficulty Level
Moderate
Age Group
6 - 40 yrs.
Duration
3 - 5 mins.
Players
2 - 4

The Word-Builder

How to play
  1. Distribute 5 cards to each player
  2. Each player holds the card vertically, revealing only the name of the Princely State
  3. Objective is to form a 3 to 5 letter word from English dictionary 
  4. Each player can use either the first, or last letter from each State's name. For example, in case of Benaras, you can use either 'B' or 'S'. 
  5. Each game must involve 3 rounds. In each round, every player has the opportunity to replace one card from the idle stack, is s/he wishes to
  6. At the end of 3 rounds, each player presents the word she/he has made. Points are awarded basis the length of the word. For a 3 letter word, award 3 points, for a 4 letter word, award 4 points and so on. 
  7. Players can pre-decide the number of games to play, to decide the winner. At the end, the person with highest score wins
  8. Complexity and duration can be changed by increasing or decreasing the number of cards distributed at the start of game
  9. Further complexity can be altered by introducing a white-list or a black-list of words, that can be, or cannot be used in game

* In case of Jodhpur or Udaipur, where two names are mentioned on the cards (Marwar in case of Jodhpur and Mewar in case of Udaipur), the player has the option to use J, R, and M to be used in case of Jodhpur/Marwar and an option to use U, M, and R in case of Udaipur/Mewar

Example

  • You have 5 cards - Gwalior, Manipur, Kangra, Mysore and Jind. Using first four cards, you can make the word "GAME" (Using first letters of Gwalior Manipur and last letters of Kangra and Mysore). This will earn you 4 points. 
  • You have 5 cards - Tonk, Baoni, Travancore, Bhopal and Bundi. Baoni and Bundi may not help as they both offer same letters (unless you have a word where some letter is to be repeated). In first round, you throw the Bundi card, and you get Mysore. Now you have letters to form the word 'TITLE'. This earns you 5 points.
  • After 2 games, your total score is 9 points. If your opponent(s) have less than 9, you win. If it is a tie, have a tie-breaker match with 6 or 7 cards and making a longer word. 

Cheat Sheet

Following is the Alphabet set and the names of states, which you can use to obtain the required letter. 

AAjaigarh, Alirajpur, Alwar, Banswara, Baroda, Chamba, Datia, Dhrangadhra, Janjira, Jaora, Jhabua, Kangra, Kapurthala, Kota, Malerkotla, Nabha, Orchha, Panna, Patiala, Rajpipla, Rewa, Sailana, Tripura
BBanswara, Baoni, Baroda, Barwani, Benaras, Bhavnagar, Bharatpur, Bhopal, Bijawar, Bilaspur, Bikaner, Bundi
CCambay, Chamba, Charkhari, Chhatarpur, Cohin, Cooch Behar, Cutch
DDatia, Dewas Junior, Dewas Senior, Dhar, Dholpur, Dhrangadhra, Dungarpur, Jind, Hyderabad
EIndore, Mysore, Travancore
FFaridkot
GGarhwal, Gondal, Gwalior
HAjaigarh, Cutch, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Kishangarh, Narsinghgarh, Pratapgarh, Rajgarh
IBaoni, Barwani, Bundi, Charkhari, Idar, Indore, Karauli, Mandi, Morvi, Pudukkottai, Sirohi
JJaipur, Jaisalmer, Jammu & Kashmir, Jaora, Janjira, Jodhpur, Jhabua, Jhalawar, Jind, Junagadh
KKangra, Kapurthala, Karauli, Kishangarh, Kolhapur, Kota, Tonk
LBhopal, Garhwal, Gondal
MJodhpur (Marwar), Malerkotla, Mandi, Manipur, Morvi, Mysore, Ratlam, Sikkim, Udaipur (Mewar)
NCochin, Nabha, Narsinghgarh, Nawanagar
OOrchha
PPalanpur, Panna, Patiala, Porbandar, Pratapgarh, Pudukkottai
Q - NONE - 
RAlirajpur, Alwar, Bharatpur, Bhavnagar, Bijawar, Bikaner, Bilaspur, Chhatarpur, Cooch Behar, Dewas Junior, Dewas Senior, Dhar, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Gwalior, Idar, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jammu & Kashmir, Jhalawar, Jodhpur (Marwar), Kolhapur, Manipur, Nawanagar, Palanpur, Porbandar, Radhanpur, Radhanpur, Rajgarh, Rajpipla, Rampur, Rampur, Ratlam, Rewa, Samthar, Samthar, Sirmur, Udaipur (Mewar), Wankaner
SBenaras, Sailana, Samthar, Samthar, Sikkim, Sirmur, Sirohi, Sitamau, Suket
TFaridkot, Suket, Tonk, Travancore, Tripura
USitamau, Udaipur (Mewar)
V - NONE - 
WWankaner
X - NONE - 
YCambay
Z - NONE - 

Game Idea
#PSBI04
Difficulty Level
Easy
Age Group
3 - 7 yrs.
Duration
5 - 15 mins.
Players
1+

Sort the Stack

How to play

This game can be played with Single player, or more
It can be used to teach young children alphabet order

  1. Hand a deck of cards to the player
  2. Ask him/her to sort the cards alphabetically
  3. Record the time of sorting during each round and encourage the child to improve his/her timing
  4. You can also ask the child to sort within a color, or the entire deck

Game Idea
#PSBI05
Difficulty Level
Hard
Age Group
10 - 30 yrs.
Duration
5 - 15 mins.
Players
2 - 6

The Mathematical Genius

How to play

This game is designed to help students practice their Algebra Skills. 

  1. Mutually decide a formula, where 2 or more values are to be substituted to get the answer. Write the formula on a piece of paper and place in middle
  2. Decide the parameter on card, that you wish to play on. For example, players can use Gun Salutes, or Population or Area for the game
  3. Shuffle and distribute 3 cards to each player
  4. Each game goes for 3 rounds. Each player has an option to replace 1 card from his/her stack during each round
  5. Using the decided parameters and formula, do the calculation mentally and come up with the answer
  6. At the end of game, show your cards and declare the calculated result
  7. Player with highest answer (or lowest, as decided at the start of game) wins
  8. Complexity/Difficulty can be controlled by having a complex equation to solve, or use the Population/Area parameters, which are fractional numbers

EXAMPLE

  • Game starts and you decide on a simple formula: a + b + c = ?
  • Parameter decided is Gun Salutes
  • As the cards are distributed, you get Ajaigarh, Alirajpur and Wankaner. Each has 11 Gun Salutes
  • In the first round, you have an opportunity to replace 1 card from the deck
  • Luckily, you land on Udaipur, which has 19 Gun Salutes. You replace Alirajpur with Udaipur
  • Now you have Ajaigarh (11 Gun Salutes), Udaipur (19 Gun Salutes) and Wankaner (11 Gun Salutes)
  • In second round, you find Gwalior from top of the stack and replace it with Ajaigarh. 
  • Now you have Gwalior (21 Gun Salute), Udaipur (19 Gun Salute) and Wankaner (11 Gun Salute)
  • Plot the values in formula: a = 21 (Gwalior), b = 19 (Udaipur) and c = 11 (Wankaner). So the answer is 21+19+11 = 51
  • At the end, the player with highest answer wins (If there is a tie, have a tie-breaker round)


Sample Formulae

  • a + b + c = ?

  • a2 + b2 + c2 = ?

  • (a + b) X c = ?

  • (a/b) X c = ?


Game Idea
#PSBI06
Difficulty Level
Hard
Age Group
12 - 30 yrs.
Duration
10 - 30 mins.
Players
2 - 3

Guess the State

How to play
  1. Shuffle the cards well
  2. One person picks the cards and keeps it to himself/herself
  3. Other players are allowed to ask 5 questions to him/her (1 question at a time)
  4. These questions can include information from the card, other the name of the Princely State
  5. The first player has to answer each question honestly
  6. Based on the answers, the princely state has to be guessed


Restrictions:

  • Players guessing the state cannot ask for the name of State directly
  • Players can ask for any value from the card, but cannot ask to read out the description completely. However, some information can be verified
  • Players can ask for the state of India, into which the princely state was integrated