Authors is a card game designed especially for children. There are total 44 cards containing the picture of famous authors. It is divided into 11 sets of four cards each.

It was discovered in 1861 in Massachusetts by A. Smith and G.M Whipple. At that time Authors was played with 52 cards consisting of 13 (Thirteen Authors who have done great work) sets of four cards each. The second version was published in 1897 by Parker Brothers.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Longfellow, Charles Dickens, Louise May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Sir Walter Scott, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Alfred Tennyson, William Thackeray and Washington Irving are some of the famous Authors who earn their place in this game.

diffrent personalities of card game authors

It has numerous variations and still some are made frequently. It also features famous sportsperson, composers, explorers and inventors.

Authors(Card Games)

Single Deck(52 Cards) or Special Deck with pictures(48 Cards)
Counting, Memory

Set Up

Deal each player equally after shuffling. If there are even number of players, cards would be dealt evenly while odd number players have 1 card less than others.

How to Play Authors

One player is made the dealer. Dealer deals the cards and the game commences by the player to the dealer’s left.
A player can ask anyone for a specific rank or author on his turn. If the asked one has that rank he has to give to the asked one.

famous author card game
Player cannot ask for a rank if he does not hold at least one card of that rank.

Game proceeds clockwise according to the rules but the order can be changed.

If a player is having 7 of spades and 7 of clubs he is seeking for 7 of diamonds and hearts to make a set.

They then ask one of the other players for one of the needed cards. The player asking must ask for the exact card they are looking for like the ten of clubs not just for a ten card.

If you are the one being asked and you have the card asked for you must pass it to the player who asked for it. If you do not have the specific card asked for simply say “No”. In either case play is passed to the next player to the left.

Be aware. If you say you don’t have a card when in fact you do hold it you’ll end up paying a penalty when the other players find out and will have to give each player one of your cards.

Playing continues around the table to the left with each player taking a turn asking for a desired card.
When a player has successfully collected a book of four matching cards they show it to the other players and then place it face down in front of them.

In the event a player runs out of cards they sit out until the game is finished.

Acquiring Sets

As soon as players get for of a kind (Four Authors, Four Aces, Four 9s), he would proclaim that to other players and keep them face down.

Running Out of Cards

If a player is out of cards, he is out of the game. Others continue till someone acquires all the cards. If the game is played within time limit, player with maximum set wins.


Player having the maximum or all the sets wins the game.

author card game pictures

Derivative games
Some versions of this game include the same rules but different picture of the following:

  1. Scientists
  2. Explorers
  3. Cartoon Characters
  4. Famous War
  5. Leaders from history
  6. Composers


Players have to look for what they are asking for. Asking someone will let them know you have specific set of cards and they might be building the same book as you are. Some will ask you for the rank you are building just to reduce your chance of winning.

Watch closely what others are asking for, and be sure you get what you asked and again you will have another chance.

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