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Wednesday, April 19, 2017



When we were kids, we used to play a card game.  It was called “Knuckles”, or just "Knucks," and sometimes “Bloody Knucks.” 

Anyone remember this game?  I’ll bet some do.

I forgot how it was played, but I do remember how it ended.  I Googled it, and for most people it is pretty much the same, they remember the end, but are fuzzy on the rules.  It may have followed “Double Solitaire,” but I also think it may have followed the rules of “Go fish.”

The ending was what counted.  The winner got to rap the other guys knuckles the number of times of the points he won by.  

The manner of the rap was chosen by drawing a card.  Red meant you hit hard, black was soft. 

Then there was the method of the rap which was chosen by the rapee. There was the scrape where you scraped the knuckles with the cards of the deck held lengthwise against the knuckle.  You got one scrape per point.  There was the smack, a blow to the knuckles with the width of the deck.  One smack was worth five points.  Finally, there was the bomb, basically a smack but with a greater and thus harder length of downward stroke allowed.  The bomb was a ten pointer.

There was a strategy.  If you lost but drew soft, you chose a smack or bomb as the rap method because the scrape, even if soft, would loosen up the knuckle and make bleeding easier later.  If you drew hard, the smack or the bomb hurt more, but the scrape was very effective.

The winner was the first to draw blood.  I remember it was kind of a badge of courage to be the loser and have the bloody knuckle.

What did we play after a game of Knucks?

What you only have one knuckle?

I don’t know where this game came from or why it was so popular, but I’ll bet kids from other ages and in other areas of the country all played some variation of the same game.

What did you guys call it?


  1. Nver played that one. Which isn't to say we weren't awful and somewhat violent towards each other. We simply never thought of it.

  2. This is one I've never heard of and I'm rather glad about that. I don't recall seeing any boys at school with bloodied knuckles. It doesn't look like much fun to me.

  3. Never heard of it. 52-card pickup was the card game we played that had the greatest chance of injury. You could pull a muscle bending over, you know!

  4. I have never heard of this game; sounds a bit violent though!


  5. Never heard of the game but I do remember kids being violent to each other. I'm glad I was a sissy girl!!!

  6. Never heard of that one..probably only something boys would do I guess. Girls aren't too keen on having their knuckles rapped.

  7. I don't recall playing this game, or seeing it played. Sounds painful.

  8. never heard about it but played so many games in childhood though.
    your photo for post reminded me my own hands when i was addicted to one spy series who was tough in fighting i used to kick on clayee wall or in a sack full of rice to make my punch strong lol

  9. Gosh! Never heard of this. Sounds horrible...

  10. Never heard of this game either. Sounds rather painful.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  11. I vaguely remember this game, don't recall how to play but do remember the bloody knuckles.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Olga suggested I might have made this up. I did not, it is also on Google. Olga's comment was accidentally deleted...I'm not sure how, but I shouldn't access this blog on my phone. Sorry Olga, it was an accident.

  13. Sounds like a game the nuns thought up. Never played it and for that I am a bit glad. I'm really not into giving or receiving pain.

  14. Never heard of it, although for my brothers it was playing tackle football on the cement and coming home with school uniforms torn and bloody that was the badge of honor.

  15. It seems like Jimmy is the only one who's ever heard of it!!


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