3, 6, 9

Contributed by Alex Raulli

Players

Designed for 4 players, can be adapted to 3 or 5 (see variations at bottom of page).

Cards

Standard 52 card deck. Cards rank from A,K,Q… down to ...4,3,2. There is no trump.

Deal

The first dealer is selected at random by each player drawing a card. The player with the card closest to a 3 deals first (if two are equally close - for example a 2 and a 4 or two threes, draw again). All 52 cards are dealt out, 13 to each player. Deal rotates clockwise.

Play

There is no bidding, the player to the dealer’s left leads the first card when ready. Play rotates clockwise, and the player who played highest card of the suit led takes the trick and leads out the next one. Tricks must be displayed in a way that allows other players to count them easily. Continue until all cards have been played out.

Scoring

Each trick you take is worth 1 point and each 3 you take is worth 3 points. However, if you take exactly 3, 6, or 9 tricks all points you accumulated that hand are subtracted from your score. With any other number of tricks you add the points to your score.

The game is played until 12 hands have been completed so that each player deals 3 times. Whoever has the highest score at this point wins the game.

3 Player Variation

Remove the 2 of Hearts from the deck, then deal out 17 cards to each player. Gameplay remains the same. The game is played until 9 hands have been completed so that each player deals 3 times.

Optional: taking exactly 12 tricks becomes the same as taking 3, 6, or 9.

5 Player Variation

Remove the 2 of Hearts & the 2 of Diamonds from the deck, then deal out 10 cards to each player. Gameplay remains the same. The game is played until 10 hands have been completed so that each player deals twice.