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  • 64 penguin cards
  • 3 penguin pawns

Object of the Game

Collect the most cards by being the first player to spot different kinds of matching penguins.


Take a moment to get familiar with the cards. Notice that most cards show a picture of a penguin with six different colored elements: umbrella, sunglasses, lei, shirt, blanket and fish in a pail.

Some cards feature two fish in a pail. Also a few cards show a close-up on just one element.

Shuffle the deck and put it face down in the middle of the playing area. Place the penguin pawns within equal reach of all players.

Space them evenly apart with the white pawn in the middle.

Note: In a two player game, put one of the black pawns out of play.

Game Play

Match of the Penguins is played in rounds, starting with the person who lives closest to the South Pole. To start a round, take the deck and slowly place cards face up in a line next to each other, visible to everyone.

To be fair, turn over cards away from you so that the other players. As this happens, all players (including you) race to be the first to find one of the following matches:

Rank of the Matches (important)

As you look for matches, pay special attention to the fact that they are ranked from lowest to highest in terms of what beats what (see ranking above). This comes into play when there is more than one possible match among the face up cards.

One Match

If you spot two cards with one matching element, be the first to call out the name of the element such as "umbrella!" This ends the round and all players check to see if:

  1. you were correct
  2. there are no higher-ranked matches (see Rank of the Matches)

If you were correct and there were no higher-ranked matches, you win all of the face up cards including any that were in the process of being turned over. Place your wins in a face down pile in front of you.

If you were correct but someone else notices a higher-ranked match, the first player to grab the appropriate penguin pawn or knock on the table wins the corresponding cards.

Several Matches

If you spot two cards with several matching elements, grab a black penguin pawn. If all players agree you were right and there were no higher-ranked matches, you win ONE of the face up cards.

If there are more than two players, the player who grabbed the other black penguin pawn also wins one of the cards. Place any leftover face up cards out of play for the remainder of the game.

Two Identical Cards

If you spot two identical cards, grab the white penguin pawn. If all players agree you were right and there were no higher-ranked matches, you win all of the face up cards including any that were in the process of being turned over.

Two Fish

If you spot two fish in a pail on one card, knock on the table. If all players agree you were right, you win all of the face up cards including any that were in the process of being turned over: ' Important: Knocking correctly always beats calling out a match or grabbing a pawn!

Don't Slip

If it turns out you were wrong (an incorrect call), you must place one of your won cards out of play. An incorrect call is either a mistaken announcement of a match, a mistaken grab of a pawn, or a knock when there are not two fish in one pail. No penalty if you do not have any cards.

Note: If you call out a correct matching element but then notice a higher-ranked match, you may grab a pawn or knock without penalty.


If more than one player calls out a correct match or knocks at the same time, the cards are divided equally among the winning players. Place any extra cards out of play.

Ending a Round

A round is over when at least one player has collected at least one card. Return any grabbed pawns to the center and the deck is passed to the player to the left.


Sample Round 1

Audrey and Danny call "sunglasses!" Only then does Audrey notice that there are also two red blankets. She grabs a black pawn. Emma also spots two red blankets and grabs the other black pawn.

Audrey and Emma each receive one of the face up cards. Since there are more than two face up cards, the remaining cards are placed out of play.

Sample Round 2

Two face up cards are completely identical. Zach sees this first, and grabs the white pawn. He receives both cards. Emma and Danny, who both grabbed a black pawn by mistake, have to put one of their cards out of play.

Sample Round 3

The cards show several elements that match: umbrellas, glasses, leis, shirts and fish. Zach and Emma each grab a black pawn. They are correct, but Danny spots a card with two fish in one pail. He knocks first and receives all the cards. Zach and Emma receive nothing.

End of the Game

Once the final card is turned face up, everyone has one last chance to call out a match, grab a pawn or knock.

After that, the player who has collected the most cards is the winner.

Fun Flippin' Facts About Penguins

  • There are at least 17 known penguin species, from the smallest (Little Blue, or Fairy Penguin) to the largest (Emperor Penguin).

  • Although penguins are often thought of as living in cold climates such as Antarctica, others live in warm regions.

  • Penguins return to the same breeding ground year after year and they help raise each other's young in nurseries.

  • Although they are unable to fly, penguins have a distinctive waddle.

  • Penguins can better retain the warmth of the sun with their dark (usually black) backsides. Their white bellies help to ward off undersea predators by blending in with the reflective surface of the ocean.

  • The body of a penguin suits its lifestyle. Its flippers allow for underwater agility, and its underwater eyesight is excellent. Sliding on its belly across the snow, or "tobogganing", is another smooth way for a penguin to get from place to place.

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