Invented Tien Len Variations

These suggestions for variations of Tien Len form part of the Invented Games section of the Card Games web site.

Gurfinkel Deal

Contributed by Michael Gurfinkel (

I have a variation of Tien Len. We play this all the time at school, and I have come up with a better idea than starting out with the 3 of spades. You deal up everyone's last card, and the person with the highest card plays any single or combination he wants to. If anyone gets the 2 of hearts dealt up, he has automatically won. You do this every hand. That way, the wins are varied. People at school call this the Gurfinkel way of dealing.

Tien Len with jokers

Contributed by Bryon Pace (

I thought I'd suggest a variation of 13 or Tien Len that I have developed. It requires that two cards be dropped from the original deck of 52. I usually drop the 3 of spades and the 3 of clubs. Now, you add two joker cards. The 3 of diamonds, the lowest card in the deck now becomes the start card if you dropped the two cards I suggested. The jokers come into play in a unique way. They can be a card of any rank, but they do not have a suit. Which means that a natural beats a joker. For instance, let's say I play a single joker. An Ace of hearts would lose to it, but a two of spades would beat the joker. The joker is great when you need that one extra card for a double sequence or even a single sequence.