Scan the Split-Second Matching Game from Parker Brothers (1970)

Company: Parker Brothers | Release date: 1970 | Ages: 9+ | # of players: 2-8 | Where to purchase: eBay

Released in 1970 from Parker Brothers, Scan challenged players to quickly compare graphic designs on two decks of cards and identify matching shapes, patterns, colours, or positions. The family-friendly card game accommodated 2 to 8 players, ages 9 to adult.


To start the game, the deck of tan cards was placed face-up in the card tray with the Cover card on top. The deck of blue cards was spread out face-up randomly around the card tray. Players then decided which of the four design areas (colour, shape, pattern, or position) would be used for the first game.

Play began by removing the Cover card from the tan cards. All players scrutinized the colour design on the revealed tan card and attempted to find the matching design on one of the blue cards on the table.

The first player to locate the matching blue card touched it. After verifying a successful match, the player kept the tan card. Play continued in this fashion until all 23 tan cards were taken. The player with the greatest number of tan cards at the end was declared the winner.

To mix things up, Parker Brothers incorporated two variations.

In Dealer’s Choice, the matched design area varied on a per-card basis at the whim of the previous winner.

In Bluffo, three cards were randomly removed from the blue deck before those cards were spread out on the table. If a player determined no match could be found with a tan card, they tapped the top of one of the Bluffo cards. That player won the round if a matching card could not be found.


A complete game included two decks of 23 identical cards, one tan and the other blue; a card tray; one Cover card; and three Bluffo cards.


Vintage copies of Scan are quite easy to find on the secondary market. The plastic card tray wasn’t built to withstand excessive wear-and-tear, so verify that your copy has a fully intact tray.

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