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In episode 5 of Ro-Kyu-Bu!, Subaru is trying to build teamwork by playing cards with the team members.

The first shot shown is of cards sequentially placed on the floor. There are some hearts missing.

Missing the 5 of hearts, and 8+ of hearts...

Then, each player goes around in the circle (they all have one card left except one). In this case, they each passed on their turn, until a fight broke out, and one player was holding two cards: the 5 and 8 of hearts, and was accused of "holding up" the game.

There's the missing hearts!

What is this game they're playing (and is it American, Japanese, or otherwise)? And, how was the player with the 5 and 8 of hearts holding it up?

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The card game is Sevens.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevens_(card_game)

Basically the object of the game is to get rid of all your cards. You can get rid of a card by putting it above a lower valued card of the same suit, or above a higher valued card.

To start, a seven must be played. The next person can then play another seven (creating a new row) or place an eight or a six on the existing seven. You must pass if you cannot do anything.

The "Holding up a game" that they're blaming one of the characters for, is when you decide to not play certain card(s) because you know you can block someone else off. For example, if he doesn't play the 5 or 8 of hearts, noone can play a four or lower, or a 9 or higher.

A common tactic is holding the lowest/highest of a suit that you have, because you don't need to put down any cards below/above that.

This video might be better for explaining

I've played it myself with relatives at home in Ireland, but I'm not sure where it originates.

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  • Does this mean you are allowed to pass even if you have cards you can play? – Killua Apr 28 '13 at 17:55
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    In the vanilla game you aren't allowed, but there's a Japanese variant called Shichi Narabe where you're allowed pass up to three times regardless of it you can play a card or not – Toshinou Kyouko Apr 29 '13 at 8:37
  • That's probably the variant they're playing, then. :) – Killua Apr 29 '13 at 15:38

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