Blink Rules

blink card gameBlink is a two player card game by Mattel, advertised as the fastest game in the world. It was originally invented by Reinhard Staupe in the 1990s, who later sold the game rights to Mattel. Now it’s one of the more popular card games in Mattel’s stable.

Blink basically tests and probably improves your hand-eye coordination and visual-mental dexterity. You may find it similar to Uno in that you need to get rid of all your cards before your opponent does, by matching the cards that you have in hand with the ones in the Center Piles.

Incidentally, the Center Piles can also be regarded as similar to the Discard Pile in Uno. The main difference between Blink and Uno is that Blink is not turn-based, and both players can play as fast they are able to. This results in the game going very fast and everything may well be over within 2 minutes or less.

The sole objective in Blink is to match and discard off all the cards you have, either by shape, color, or count. Although Blink is mainly a two player game, three or four players can also play it, as we shall see later on.

blink cardsStarting the Game

In each box of Blink there are 60 cards with 6 types of shapes. These shapes are crescents, stars, triangles, lightning bolts, liquid drops, and irregular polygons shaped like vegetation. The shapes are further grouped into different counts and colors.

Shuffle the cards thoroughly, and deal them evenly between both players. The cards must be faced down. Each player should receive 30 cards each; this forms their Draw Pile respectively.

Now take the top card from both Draw Piles and place them in the center, face down, next to each other. These are the Center Piles, and they will be turned over shortly. Both players now take out the top 3 cards from their Draw Piles and they may look at them and turn them face up. This is their “hand”.

blink game card layout


To begin the game, both the players will simultaneously turn over the Center Pile cards, and then start matching their 3 cards in hand to those Center Piles; any Center Pile will do. Once a card is matched and placed down onto the Center Piles, the player can must keep drawing/refilling their hand from their own Draw Pile. Remember though, that 3 cards in hand are the most that any player is allowed to have at any given time, and each player can only put down just one card at a time. Cards are matched based on:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Count

blink game card matching

There are no turns, so both players are free to keep matching and drawing from their Draw Piles, as fast as they are able to. NB: This is just a suggestion, but it may be a good idea to have a third person acting as a referee, because when both players are scrambling to match the cards as fast as they can, mismatches may occur, and that is when a referee can call out the error, and temporarily pause the game.

It can happen that both players may not be able to match the Center Pile top cards. If this should happen, play is mutually paused, and both players should take out the top card from their Draw Piles and place them onto both the Center Piles. Hopefully, these cards should get a match, and play now resumes.

In rare cases, if both the players are not able to match the Center Piles, while they both have depleted their Draw Piles, and only have the cards in their hand, what they should do is both of them should take out one card from their hand and simultaneously place them at the top of the Center Piles. Play now resumes.

The game ends when one player succeeds in getting rid of all the cards in his hand, as well as Draw Pile. The first player to do this is declared the winner. But what about a draw? Believe it or not, a draw/tie can actually happen in Blink, when both players have one last card left, and both are unable to discard them – but this is rare.

Gameplay for more than two players

blink card layout for 3 players

If 3 people play Blink, the rules and gameplay are still the same, except that this time, you have 3 Draw Piles and 3 Center Piles for all 3 players. Each player discards the cards from their hand onto one of the Center Piles towards their left, or right.

If 4 or more people were to play Blink, it best be conducted as an elimination tournament. The reason this is done is because there are only 60 cards in Blink, and therefore with 4 players (each getting 15 cards), there are too few cards to have any real fun. Pairs can play against each other in a best of three games series, and the loser gets eliminated while the winner advances to play with the winner from the other pair.

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