Four Rows

A strategy game from Michael Tizzano

2-4 players

Set Up

A deck of standard American cards is required.

Remove the jokers. Deal the cards so that each player has nine.

Then place four cards face up in the middle of the playing area (or the field, as it is called in this game). Keep the remaining pile near the dealer, he'll be using it. The player left of the dealer goes first.


To have no cards in your hand.


This portion may seem complicated but is in fact very simple.

When the first player's turn comes he has many options. He may pass or make a move.


  • (A match) One type of move you can make is to place one of your cards on a card in the field of the same value.
    Ex. Placing your 7 of spades on a 7 of hearts.
  • (A count) Another type of move is placing a card on a card on the field that is consecutively greater or less than. Must be the same suit.
    Ex. Placing your 7 of spades on a 6 of spades, or on an 8 of spades.
  • (A 69) Another type of move is called 69-er. This is when you place a six on a nine, or vice-versa. This can be done between different or same suits.
    Ex. Placing a 6 of spades on a 9 of hearts.

P.S. You can make as many moves as you want on your turn. Also, once you place a card on another, the card you played replaces the other as a field card: the old one is left under it. When you finally run out of moves, it is the next player's turn. He plays with the cards on the field, whether they were altered or not.

When a player runs out of cards, other players can try to finish their cards after him. If someone else is able to shed all of his cards within his next turn, the game continues. The dealer takes all the cards, shuffles, refreshes the field, and deals the players who were able to shed all their cards seven new cards each, and the game continues as normal. If more than one player finishes yet again, the game continues with five cards dealt to each player without cards (two cards fewer than before). This continues until you get to one card, after which the first person who runs out of cards wins, regardless of whether any other player is able to shed his cards in his next turn.

Note: When the field is refreshed for any reason, the person who has gone longest without making a move plays next. The play then proceeds as normal (clockwise).

Roles of the Cards

The cards go in the following order of value: A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,A - aces are both high and low.

Tens Tens are wild when played! They may represent any card, even ten. The person who plays the ten announces its rank and suit, which must be such that the move is legal. This announced rank and suit determine what cards can legally be played on the ten. A ten can represent a card identical to one that is already in the field. If a ten is dealt to the field at the start, it is not wild - it is just a ten.


Is there a penalty for passing?
No, you simply give up your turn.
What if it comes to a point where no one has any more moves?
If the cards on the field leave no option for moves from any player. You refresh the field by removing the cards and replacing them with four new cards. Do this every time that happens. NEVER, NEVER, replace the players' hands.
I've never heard of your game, is it called by any other names?
Yes, it has been made popular in my area. It is also called; 69, Tipsy Tens, and Field.
Last updated: 19th May 2009