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How To Play Thirty-One: Thirty-One Card Game Rules

Overview

Thirty-one is a very easy game to play. It is a fun card game played by building the cards in your hand to be worth a score equal to or very close to 31 points. Players lose tokens when they have the lowest score in a round of the game. The last player with tokens wins the game.

Objective

The objective is to have a hand that is equal to or very close to 31 points in each round and avoid being the player with the lowest score in any round. Players lose token when they have the lowest score and the last man with token wins the game overall.

Rules

Players are allowed to draw from either the draw pile or discard pile on their turn.

Players only earn points for having cards belonging to the same suit.

The scoring system used for 31 card game is as follow: Ace = 11 points, Jack, Queen, and King = 10 points each, Number cards from 2 to 10 fetch points based on the face value of each card e.g. a 2 card earns a player 2 points.

The scoring rule may be expanded to include earning 30.5 points for three of a kind (three cards of the same rank but different suit).

If a player knocks and loses that round, that player must give up two of their tokens instead of one.

A player with a hand worth exactly 31 points wins that round and every other player must lose a token.

Number of Players Needed

Minimum of 2 players and up to 9 players at a time.

Equipment

A standard 52-card deck is used to play the game.

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Tokens

Setting Up

A dealer is selected from the players by shuffling the card deck and having each player draw a card. The player with the lowest card is appointed as the dealer. The dealer reshuffles the card deck and deals three cards to each player face-down in a clockwise direction. The remaining undealt cards are placed face-down on the playing surface and become the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is flipped and faced up to form a discard pile.

Each player is then handed 3 tokens after which the game starts.

How to Play

Play begins with the player sitting to the left of the dealer. Each player on their turn gets to do two things. The first is to pick the top card from either the discard pile or the draw pile but not both in the same turn. Note that cards in the discard pile are faced up while cards in the draw pile are faced down. The second is to discard one card on the discard pile. This is done in an attempt to get a hand that is equal to or very close to 31.

The scoring system used for 31 card game is as follow:

Ace = 11 points

Jack, Queen, and King = 10 points each

Number cards from 2 to 10 fetch points based on the face value of each card. For example, a 2 card fetches 2 points, a 5 card fetches 5 points, and a 10 card fetches a player 10 points.

Only cards belonging to the same suit count towards a player’s total points. For example, if a player has an Ace of Hearts, a 3 of Hearts, and a King of Spades, the player’s hand is worth only 14 points. The Ace of Hearts is worth 11 points, the 3 of Hearts is worth 3 points while the King of Spades though has a value of 10 points normally but since it belongs to a different suit, will contribute 0 points to the player’s hand in this situation.

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Players take turns in a clockwise direction to pick and discard cards while building their hand towards a score equal to or close to 31. If a player is confident that they have a very good hand that is close to 31 and capable of beating at least one other player’s hand, they indicate by “knocking” on their turn. The player may simply say knock or knock the table or the surface used for playing the game.

Once a player knocks, the other players each have a turn left to improve their scores before the round is ended. A player may choose to skip their last turn if they believe their current hand is good enough to keep them in the game. Once the other players have each had their last turn or skipped as the case may be, all the players must reveal their hand.

The player with the lowest hand loses for that round and must give up one of their tokens as punishment. If two players are tied for the lowest score, the player with the highest card in their chosen suit wins. If the player that knocks happens to have the lowest score, their loss is doubled which means they must give up two tokens instead of one.

If a player manages to build a hand worth exactly 31 points, the player must immediately announce by saying “Blitz” even if it is not their turn to play. The round is over immediately and every other player must lose a token for that round.

The game continues until only one player is left with a token.

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Winning the Game

The game is over when there is only one player left with a token. This player is the last man standing and is declared the winner.

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