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Card Game 31
The Card Game 31 - A How-to-Play Guide!
Friends and family have often stayed up some very late nights playing the card game 31. The card game 31 can be played both for fun and for money! Games can last quite a while sometimes but always end with a single winner, who wins the pot!
It's best to play this game at a large enough table for all players, preferably wood.
Start with a normal 52-card deck.
Each player should have 4 tokens (or quarters) per game. There are no maximum amount of players, though you should try not having too many or you may have a very long, drawn out game!
The game is played in a series of hands. At the end of each hand, the loser (or losers) will pay 1 of their remaining tokens to the pot (each).
Deal passes clockwise to the left after each hand.
When a player loses their 4 tokens, having placed them into the pot, they are eliminated from the remainder of that game.
When all opponents are eliminated, the remaining player wins the pot!
- How to Score your cards -
The three cards in your hand won't always add up. You can add up only cards within the same suit. If you have a J of clubs, a 10 of clubs, and an A of diamonds as your 3 cards, only the 10 and J are added together, giving you 20 points in clubs - you always count your highest point total. The objective is to have a combination of same suit cards totaling 31 (which means you win that entire hand and have all the losers pay a token!). Here is how you score your cards:
Remember - Only cards of the same suit are added together.
Number cards from 2 to 10 are worth their face values.
J, Q, and K are each worth 10 points.
A is worth 11 points.
The famous 31 is only ever achieved with two 10 point cards and an ace, all of the same suit.
There is an exception to the same suit rule - if you like, you can try risking a 3-of-a-Kind hand. This is the only other way to get a hand of 30 without your cards adding up by suit. Any 3-of-a-Kind hand is always worth 30 points, even 3 deuces or 3 aces. This is the most common reason for a player to "knock" the table (see below). This is also a way to dupe the knocker in a bigger game, so be careful both knocking and going for a 3-of-a-Kind 30.
- Starting The Game
The dealer shuffles (may offer to cut) then deals out 3 cards, one at a time, to each player, including themselves. They next place the deck in the middle as the draw pile, and turns over the top card, setting it into the discard pile.
Play advances to the left, clockwise. During each player's turn, they may choose to either:
- Take the card currently on top of the discard pile, swapping it with a card to discard.
- Draw the top card from the deck, swapping that card with one they have or discarding it, and placing the discarded card into the discard pile.
- Or they may "knock" the table, betting in on their hand and passing their turn (see below).
Each hand, play advances until a win condition is met. If the last card in the draw pile is taken and that player discards their card, the player who's next turn it is places the last discarded card as the new discard pile and shuffles the rest of the deck, making a fresh draw pile. They then have their turn as normal.
- Win Conditions
At any time - if a player gets 31, they must throw down their hand
immediately. Everyone else pays a token to the pot and the hand has
At the beginning of any player's turn, they may "knock" the table and pass their turn, giving one final turn to the rest of the players. This signifies you are betting on your hand beating the lowest hand in the game, even after your opponent(s) get a final turn.
If a "knock" was done, after each other player has made their final turn and play returns to that player who "knocked", they are first to show their hand. If everyone else has a hand that is equal to or higher than that player, then that player who "Knocked" must pay a token to the pot. Otherwise, the player with the lowest hand pays - if there is a tie for the lowest hand, then all of the tied players pay a token and the hand ends.
- Some Card Game 31 Strategy Tips!
Unless you are down to only 2 players left in the game, the person before you effects the cards you may have available on your turn, while you effect the cards available to the player who goes after you. You will either be helping or hindering the opponent to your left, so pay attention to what cards they pick up and set down - it's easy to give the next player their 31!
Pay attention to what cards are being placed in the discard pile. If your opponent sets down a high card, they my have a good hand. If they set down a low card, they most likely just picked up a higher card of that very same suit and you now know what suit they are after!
Paying attention to the discarded cards is also useful for deciding which suit to go after - if someone already set down an A of hearts, then you would have to wait until a reshuffle before you could make a 31 with that suit.
A good strategy is to mix up which suit you are going after and possibly try to hold onto 2-of-a-Kind in case you need a last shot at duping a knock. Holding onto an A and 10 point card of the same suit, or just two 10 point cards of the same suit, along with a card that makes a pair with one of them, can give you good odds of not having to be the next person to pay at the end of that hand.
Going for 3-of-a-kind in aces is tricky, somewhat tough, and is almost guaranteed to upset some of your opponents if you get it and knock on it!
Well, I hope I've explained all of the rules well enough! Feel free to ask any questions concerning the rules and I'll be happy to help clarify!
Image by Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Arvind Balaraman's Images - FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Arvind Balaraman - Portfolio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.