Five Crowns Junior: Treasure Hunting in your hands

Recommended Age:5+
Play Time:30 minutes
Awards:Family Choice Award 2013
Warning:Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Contents:5 Large Wild Cards
50 Playing Cards
36 Treasure Chips
48 Robby Chips
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If you like rummy (I love rummy!) and have been trying to figure out how to teach your young children the game than you will LOVE Five Crowns Junior! It is a rummy-style game but unlike rummy you only have to match 5 cards in your hand by either color or number. This is a great for kids 5 years and up but of course (me being me) I am teaching my 3 year old too!

Set Enterprises Inc has done it again. They created a game that helps teach kids strategy, sportsmanship and enhances “thinking”?? Playing this game with my 5 year old is pretty straight forward but I also play with my 3 year old who can’t play exactly the same way. So here is the video from Set Enterprises Inc YouTube channel on how to play normally.

Not sure I can explain it any better than that but I will try to give you the run down and then give you the adjusted version for playing with younger kids. There are small parts though so if you are playing with kids younger than 3-4 make sure they do not put things in their mouth.


To have the most Treasure Chips at the end of 5 rounds or in the case of a tie to have the fewest Robby Chips at the end of 5 rounds.

2014-01-30 15.47.57-1 copySetup:

Shuffle all of the cards of course! Deal 5 to each player, flip one over to start the Discard Pile and then put the rest down as the Draw Pile. Shuffle the large Wild Cards too and then flip the top card over. This card shows what will be Wild throughout the round.

Wild Cards:

There are 5 Large Wild Cards for the game. You will see one each round and it will decide what is wild for that round. Each round you will flip over a new one. All cards that match the Wild Card color AND have the little stars on them are wild for that round.

If you flip over the Blue Wild Card then all Blue cards WITH stars on them are Wild for that round.


Now to the important part! When it’s your turn draw a card from the Draw Pile OR Discard Pile and discard one card. You are trying to get 5 cards in your hand that match either in color or number. So 5 Blue cards would win or 5 #2 cards would win. When you have 5 cards that match you win the round and get 1 Treasure Chip! These will help decide who wins the whole game after 5 rounds.

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The rest of the players have one last turn each to show any matches from their hand but they need at least 3 that match for it to count. If you have only 3 matches then you have 2 that do not match and you get 2 Robby Chips. 1 Robby Chip for each card that isn’t a match.

My 5 year old was able to play this game with no changes to rules or play except one. We went over what a wild card was and how to tell which ones were wild. We haven’t played many games with wild cards and none where the wild card changes each round. That wasn’t the change though, that was just during the explaining how to play process. Wild cards just took a little longer to explain.

What I did adjust was playing with out cards face up instead of in our hands. I had to help him for a few rounds with the wild cards. He very quickly picked up everything else including what he needed to do to win. He understood he needed 5 of the same number or 5 of the same color but would get thrown off with the wild cards. He was even able to identify what I needed and NOT discard a card in order to prevent me from winning. Yeah…he totally did that and while he was doing it he smiled and said I’ll keep this one for now mommy. Clever little brat! I mean angel…yes little angel. Ahem…

2014-01-30 15.48.46-3 copyBecause it is a luck of the draw based game there was no “letting him win” either. I mean you COULD discard certain cards so he could pick them up and win…but I didn’t really do that this time. I DID walk him through “what do wild cards do?” “what are you matches right now?” questions a few times to help “lead” him but that was all.

Playing with an open hand allows us both to see what the other needs and helps him learn strategy. Since it takes 5 rounds to determine a winner of the game there is a lot of suspense, excitement and mystery which is fun for both of us. If your child understands the rest of the game but gets confused on the wild cards I would leave them out for awhile.

If you are playing with a younger child I would recommend the following ways to adjust the normal game.


Leave out the Wild cards!! Well leave the WILD CARD part out of it anyway. Instead start with teaching your child to match colors. Flip over a Large Wild Card and deal out 3 cards to each person playing. Discard and Draw Piles are the same.


First person to get 3 cards to match the Wild Card color wins. You can also have a game where there is no winner and instead everyone finds 3 matches. By keeping it smaller the kids can focus and identify matches easier. If the Large Wild Card is Orange than you would have to find 3 Orange Cards.


You would take turns picking a card and discarding one just like normal. No Wild Cards and the stars don’t matter. Simple finding 3 cards of the same color as the Large Wild Card.

2014-01-30 15.50.59 copyThis is a great way to get younger kids interested and started on Five Crowns Junior AND reinforces colors, matching and taking turns. Once they have the color matching you can slowly work your way to 5 cards instead of 3. Then have them get 5 matches to the color of the Large Wild Card OR 5 of the same number.

Slowly work your way up to the normal way of playing. This gives you a game that grows with your child and is new and fun each time you adjust it. Either way it is never boring and one of the games I can play over and over and over and over…etc.

Now if you have older kids you can start making it more like Rummy. Make them get a straight, 5 of the same color, 5 of the same number but with at least 3 different colors or increase the amount of cards to 7. Come up with your own challenges to keep older kids interested until they are ready for the Original version of Five Crowns.fivecrownsjrcomic2

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”
~ Plato (Greek philosopher)

Author: sandyz