Ninety-eight / Ninety-nine / One Hundred

This page is based on a contributions from Chris Jepson, Anita Hollister, Alan Orcutt, Brad Wilson and Nicholas Cheung.

Introduction

These are adding games, in which the values of the cards are added together as they played in a single pile, the object being to avoid taking the total above the target score (98, 99, 100 respecively). Note that there are also other, quite different card games called 99 and 100. There is Ninety-nine, the three-player trick taking game invented by David Parlett, and the Chinese partnership trick-taking game of Hundred.

Ninety-eight

This is a fairly simple drinking game for 2 or more players, using a standard 52 card deck.

Deal out four cards to each player and place the remainder face down to form the stock. The player to the dealer's left begins and play continues in clockwise order. Players play their cards on the table to form a face-up pile alongside the stock.

At your turn you play one of your four cards to the face up pile, call out the new value of the pile, and then draw the top card from the face down stock to replace the card you played.

At the start of the game there are no cards in the pile and its value is zero. Played cards affect the value of the pile as follows:

ace to nine....increase the value of the pile by the pip count of the card
ten....reduce the value by ten
jack, queen....the value stays the same
king....the value is set to 98

The aim is to avoid taking the value above 98. The first person who makes the value of the pile more than 98 loses, and has to take a drink.

Example. The first player plays an 8 and says 8; the next player plays a 6 and says 14; the next player plays a king and says 98; the next player plays a jack and says 98; the next player plays a ten and says 88; the next player plays a 7 and says 95; the next player's four cards are 4, 5, 6, 9 - this player must lose.

Ninety-nine

Note: This game should not be confused with David Parlett's Ninety-nine, which is a trick-taking game in which the cards discarded define the bid.

Each player begins the game with 5 pennies (or chips). Deal out 3 cards to each player from a standard 52 card deck (if more than 4 people are playing use 2 decks and give each player just 3 pennies). The undealt cards are placed on the table to form a face-down stock.

The player to the left of the dealer starts and the turn initially passes clockwise. On each turn you play one of your three cards face-up to the centre of the table, call out the total value of the face-up pile (as per the table below), then draw the top card from the stock. When the face-up pile is empty the count is zero. For each card played add the pip value of the card played to the total value of the pile. Jacks and queens count as 10. The following cards cause special effects:

  • Ace - increases the value of the pile by one or eleven, at the player's choice.
  • Four - the value of the pile remains the same but the direction of play reverses.
  • Nine - counts as zero - the value of the pile remains the same and play passes to next player in turn.
  • Ten - increases or reduces the value of the pile by ten, at the player's choice.
  • King - the value of the pile is set to 99.

If you cannot play without taking the value of the pile over 99, you lay down your hand. The play ends, and you toss one penny into the center; players who have no pennies left drop out of the game. After each hand, the deal passes to next player to the left of the previous dealer who is still in. Hands continue till only one player has any pennies left, and that player is the winner.

When someone plays a nine or a four they repeat the value of the pile, calling out "pass to you #" or "back on you #" respectively. For example here is part of a four-player game; play is currently running clockwise. Player 1 plays a King and says "99". Player 2 plays a nine and says (looking at player 3) "pass to you 99". Player 3 plays a four and says (looking at player 2, since play order will now run counterclockwise until another four is played) "back on you 99". Player 2 plays a ten and says "89". Player 1 plays a eight and says "97". Player 4 plays a four, looks at player 1 and says "back on you 97" (now we're back to clockwise), and so on.

When there are only two players, there is no longer any difference between clockwise and counterclockwise play. the player to your left is also the player to your right. Therefore, playing a four has no effect on the turn order when there are two players - the pile value remains the same and it is the other player's turn, just as though you had played a nine.

This game should be played very rapidly. It is easy to forget to draw a replacement after you play a card. If that happens it cannot be corrected afterwards - you must get by with just two cards for the rest of the hand.

99 Variations

The number of coins players have at the start of the game can be varied, as can the number of cards in each player's hand. For example Alan Orcutt reports a variation in which everyone starts with 4 nickels and five cards are dealt to each player.

Some play that after a player goes over 99 and loses a coin, the pile is taken away and the other players continue to play with the cards they have in their hands, starting a new pile from zero. If the stock runs out, the played cards are shuffled to form a new stock pile, but the running total of the pile is preserved.

Some people consider that the four, which normally reverses the direction of play, should have some effect on the turn order even when there are only two players. If this is your opinion, you can agree to play the alternative rule that when there are only two players, playing a four entitles the same player to play again.

Brad Wilson describes a verion with the following differences:

  • The card which reverses direction without changing the value of the pile is the 8, not the 4.
  • The king has no special property - it is just worth 10 card points.
  • You lose a game point when you play a card which causes the value of the pile to cross any of the three borders 33:34, 66:67 and 99:100. When the score exceeds 99 the play ends and a new hand is dealt. Therefore a total of three game points are normally lost on each hand, as the three borders are crossed, but it is possible to lose extra points by using tens to go backwards - for example if the pile is 75 and you play a ten as -10 you will lose a game point as you take the total down to 65.
  • Each player starts each hand with three game points. Whatever game points you have left at the end of the hand are added to your cumulative score. When (over several hands) anyone achieves a score of 15 game points or more, the player with the highest score wins.

One Hundred

This section is based on a description posted to rec.games.playing-cards by Nicholas Cheung.

Note: this game is not to be confused with the Chinese game of Hundred (Da Bai Fen) in which the aim is to win kings, tens and fives in tricks.

One normal deck of 52 cards is used for 3 to 6 players. If there are 7 or more players 2 decks are used. Each player begins with three chips and the object of the game is to be the last player to have any chips left.

Three cards are dealt to each player, one at a time, and the remaining cards are placed face-down on the table to form a stock. The cards put down by the players will form a face-up pile beside the stock. At the start of the game there are no face-up cards and the value of the (empty) pile is zero. The player to the left of dealer begins and the initial direction of play is clockwise. At your turn you put down one card face-up on the pile, say the new value of the pile, and draw the top card of the stock to replace the card you played.

Most of the pip card are worth their face value, which is added to the value of the pile. Queens other than hearts are worth ten. So for example the first player might play a nine, saying "9" and the next player might put a six on it saying "15", and so on.

Certain cards have special effects as follows:

Black AcesThe player can set the pile value to any number from 0 to 100.
Two of SpadesDoubles the previous value (for example if the previous player made the pile 36, adding the spade2 will make the new value 72)
FoursThe pile value is unchanged but the direction of play is reversed.
Red FivesDeduct 5 from the previous pile value (i.e. red fives are worth -5).
TensSet the pile value to 100.
JacksDeduct 10 from the previous pile value (i.e. jacks are worth -10).
Queen of HeartsSet the pile value to zero.
KingsThe pile value is unchanged (i.e. kings are worth zero).

The aim of the game is not to be the player who takes the value of the pile over 100. If you are unable to play a card keeps the value to 100 or less, you lose one chip. A player who has lost all three chips is out of the game. The last player who has any chips left is the winner.

Example: if the player before you makes the pile value 100, the only cards you can play are black aces, fours, red fives, tens, jacks, the heartQ and the kings.

Other 98 / 99 / 100 WWW pages

Here is an archive copy Brad Wilson's former Ninety-nine page.