Fifth Thirds Bank is a fun card game I invented. It has elements of rummy and poker, and combines luck, strategy, teamwork and timing into a quick but entertaining gameplay loop.

You need 2 normal decks of cards, with jokers included. One deck of Uno cards or Phase 10 cards will also work.


The game is for 2 – 4 players. 4 players can play free-for-all or in cooperative teams of 2. In 2v2 coop, teammates should sit opposite each other.


Most cards are normal cards, counted as their face value, from Ace (1) low to Queen (12) high, with 8 of each number in the deck. There are two special cards: the eight Kings are wild cards, the four Jokers are Steal cards.

If you have a Phase 10 deck, all numbers are normal and you have the appropriate number of Wild cards and Skip cards.


Your goal in the game is to complete three banks of 5 cards, one each of a run, set and suit.

A Run is a straight of any 5 cards in a row.

A Set is 5 of the same card

A Suit is 5 cards of the same suit.

Once you have completed one each of these three, you win.

In 2v2 coop play, both players must complete all 3 banks for the team to win.


To begin, shuffle the deck and deal 10 cards to each player. Place the deck face down in the center, and turn a single card face up next to it. This is the discard pile.

The first player starts his turn by drawing one card, from his choice of either the deck or the discard pile. If the player has a bank, he may choose to play it by dropping the cards face up on his side the table. A player may also use any number of Steal cards in their hand during their turn. Otherwise, if the player has more than 10 cards in his hand, he must discard one face up into the discard pile before ending his turn.


When a player drops a bank onto the table, he gets two rewards – first, he can look at his opponent’s hand, and then steal one card from his opponents’ banks. If the opponent has no banks in play, he instead steals from the opponent’s hand. In 3 or 4 person play, you can choose which opponent to view and steal from.


Kings are wild cards, and can count for any number or suit. When dropping wild cards as part of a bank, you must declare what card you want them to be.

Once a wild card is played on the table, it stays as its declared number and suit permanently. When a wild card is stolen, it ‘resets’ and can be played again as any card.


Steal cards work like dropping a bank, and let you view the opponent’s hand and take one card from their banks or hand. When a Steal card is played, it goes into the discard pile but cannot be picked up again by another player.

In 2v2 coop mode, a steal card can instead be used to swap one card with your partner.


When a bank on the table loses a card from being stolen, it is broken and cannot be used to win the game until it is fortified back to completion.


At any time during his turn, a player can fortify his banks on the table by adding cards from his hand to them. Fortifying is adding extra cards that fit the goal of the bank.

For example, if you have a Suit of Hearts on the table, you can add any heart card to it. If you have a Run of 3-4-5-6-7, you can fortify by adding a 2 or a 8.

Fortifying your banks protects them from having cards stolen – as long as you have at least 5 cards (all in a row for Runs) then it counts towards winning the game.

If a card is stolen in the middle of your Run, you must fortify with that number to re-complete it or fortify either end until you have five cards in a row again.

In 2v2 coop, you can fortify your own and your teammate’s banks.


Choosing when to play your banks has a big impact on winning the game. Dropping one early usually gains you a stolen wild card and frees up your hand. But saving one until later makes spying on your opponent’s hand more valuable, since you want to learn what they’re building towards and avoid discarding what they want to pick up.

Use of wild cards is another strategic choice. The first one you play on the table is likely to get stolen, but keeping others in your hand will prevent them from being taken. Saving your wild cards for harder banks is a good idea – it’s easier to get a run or a suit naturally and save the wilds for a set.

In 2v2 coop, you can force your opponent to take cards he doesn’t want by discarding cards your partner needs. Of course, bluffing also works well here.