The thirty-one card game is basically a gambling game, but can also be played just for fun. Plentifun provides instructions and strategies to play the 31 card game, and also some tips to help you win at it.
31: Quick Tweak
To make the game more interesting, one could introduce a slight variation, wherein three cards of the same rank sum up to 30.5 points.
The 31 card game doesn’t literally mean playing with 31 cards. In this game, players strive to obtain a hand value of close to or equal to 31. A lot of variations exist; the popular ones being, Skat, Blitz, Stop the Bus, Klinker, Big Tonka, etc.
The game requires no less than two and no more than seven players. The game can last as long as you want it to, so plan a day when you and your friends have ample time to play, and enjoy the game to its fullest. As this is a gambling game, you could even place small, friendly bets just to add to the fun quotient.
We intend to explain the game only from an entertainment point of view, and do not entertain any sort of gambling activity.
31 Card Game Instructions
- Play moves in either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
- The first player is the one on the dealer’s left, or right.
- In a turn, a player can either swap or pass.
- A player can only lift the top card from either the discard or the stock piles.
- Only cards of the same suit add up.
- An Ace is valued at 11 points, Kings/Queens/Jacks equal 10 points each, and other cards are of their respective face values (10 = 10, 8 = 8, and so on).
- When a player passes his/her turn, the others get one last turn, after which the game ends.
How to Play
Shuffle the deck of 52 cards well, and deal 3 cards to each player. Place the remaining deck at the center (stock pile), and flip the top card to start a discard.
Examine your three cards, which in the following example are 8 and Queen of Diamonds, and 10 of Clubs. You’ll have to get rid of the 10 and swap it with a card of diamonds.
Check the discard pile for a suitable card. If you find one, pick it up and discard the unwanted card. If you don’t find any better card in the discard pile, pick a card from the stock pile.
Now you have all three cards of the Diamond suit; sum up the values. The total comes to 28, which is quite close to 31. If you wish to obtain more points, you could keep swapping until a player passes his/her turn. If you have acquired ample points, you could pass your turn as well.
In the end, players calculate and declare the total points obtained by them. The player with the highest points wins the round.
How to Win the 31 Card Game
- Try to get rid of lighter cards like 2s or 3s, and obtain heavier cards like 9s, 10s, Kings, Queens, or even better, Aces.
- Some of the perfect 31-point combinations are ‘Ace, King, Queen’; ‘Ace, 10, King/Queen/Jack’; or ‘Queen, Jack, Ace’.
- Pass a turn only if you have the perfect 31. If not, keep swapping for more points until someone else passes.
A Quicker Version of the Game
- This version requires 4 players and 32 cards out of the 52. These 32 cards include the 7s and greater from all four suits, the highest being the Aces. The point schemes remain the same.
- Deal 3 cards per player. and a fifth hand in the center. face-down. The central cards function as the discard pile.
- Once dealt, the player on the left of the dealer begins. A player on his/her respective turn can either swap a single card, swap all the three cards and pass, or simply pass. The feature of swapping all three cards proves useful when the three central cards belong to a single suit and sum up close to 31 points. A player can then simply swap his useless cards with these three, and could win the round
- Also, the inclusion of heavier cards, and the absent stock pile, makes this game quite zippy and fun to play.
- Players can also keep a score of each round to declare the ultimate winner in the end. All other rules remain the same as in the original game.
Now you guys are all set to play this card game and enjoy. Do leave a comment and tell us how you enjoyed the 31 card game with family and friends.