ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

One And Thirty - A Medieval Card Game

Updated on February 25, 2015
CuAllaidh profile image

Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

The badge of the Avacal Games Guild
The badge of the Avacal Games Guild | Source

The Game

The game of thirty one is still a common game played, I know I played it as a child quite often. The Oxford Dictionary of Card Games claims that this game has been around since at least the fifteenth century (Parlett, 1996). The simplicity of the game lends credence to the fact that the game has probably been around for a very long time.

One and Thirty is played with two or more players using a traditional 52 card deck. Three cards are dealt to each player. Once the cards are dealt each player is asked if they will stick or if they want another card, if they want another card the dealer draws one from the bottom of the deck for them. Once all players have stuck then the players lay down their cards in order they were dealt. If a player is over 31 points then they are out. The player closest to 31 points without going over wins the game.

The Gambling Variant

As with almost any medieval game, gambling was a big part of One and Thirty. Played much like blackjack when gambling is involved however there was no doubling down just simply bet at the beginning, Willughby seems to imply that the dealer was not actually playing. When gambling a player that hits 31 exactly is hitter and wins double (Willughby, 2003). Why anyone would play as a dealer when they are simply paying out is beyond me, I would have to assume that the dealer was playing, but as a banker and against all players and winning all bets if the dealer hits exactly 31 before any player does.

Bon Ace

Bon Ace is a One and Thirty variant in which you deal the last card of the three cards dealt to each player face up. This is the players’ first scoring opportunity. The player with the highest turned up card wins a counter from all other players, this indicates the game would be played as a betting game or with counters such as poker chips.

This is also one of the rare circumstances in medieval card games in which the ace is a high card. In Bon Ace an Ace beats all other cards during the face card counting, but is still only worth one during gameplay, the Ace of Hearts is the “Bon Ace” and beats all (Willughby, 2003).

The rest of the game is played the same as a normal game of One and Thirty.

Hannikin Canst Abide

Hannikin Canst Abide it is a One and Thirty Variant in which you only count up to fifteen instead of thirty one, you are also only dealt one card at a time. The dealer than asks each player “Hannikin Cans’t Abide it” to which the player says “he can” if he wants another card, or “he cannot” if he does not want another card. (Willughby, 2003).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)