How to play ezelen

Let us explain you how to play one of the most funniest and easiest Dutch card games: Ezelen.

Ezelen is a fun game where you have to respond quickly. You can play Ezelen with four to eight players with the aim of getting four identical cards in your hands. At the Amsterdam office, this game is often played during Friday afternoon drinks. We can promise you that you will laugh a lot with this game. Plus, it is very easy to learn. All you need is a pack of cards (for example the cards you got during your check-in) and some friends. Let's get to the basics!

The start of the game

First, you have to make sets of four identical cards. You can make as many sets as players who join the game. For example, if you play with five players, you need five sets of four identical cards. Next, shuffle the deck and give four cards to each player. 

Before you start, you need to agree on a gesture that every player should make. My personal favorite is to place a hand in the middle of the table. Another popular gesture is to put the tip of your thumb on the table - the funniest is to do this very secretly. You can also grab your earlobe with your hand or put your elbow on the table. Use your creativity!

The play

During the game, you need to pass a card (face down) to your neighbor on the left in each round. You always play clockwise. The game is most fun when you play it fast: count down from 3 and pass your card all at once.

The goal of the game is to get a set of cards, for example four Queens. If you have a set of four identical cards, you have to make the gesture that you agreed upon in advance. When one player makes the gesture, all other players need to make the gesture as well, as quickly as possible. The player who makes the gesture last, loses the game.

The end

You can keep score on a piece of paper. When you loose a game, write done one letter of the word 'EZEL'. When a player has all four letters behind his name, this player is the ‘ezel’ (donkey). The other players can come up with a funny task for the 'donkey'.

Have fun playing!


written by Quinty

A real dutchy, born and raised in Amsterdam. I love to hang out with my friends and family with some lovely food and drinks. Besides that, I also love to work out (to get rid of all the food calories :-)).