Three Thirteen is for 2 or more players. Best with 2 to 4 players.
A standard 52-card deck for 2 players. Two standard 52-card decks for 3 to 4 players.
Beyond that, simply use enough standard 52-card decks to ensure there are enough cards for the final round.
Aces are low, Kings are high.
The goal of Three Thirteen is to use the cards in your hand to form sets and runs, accumulating the fewest possible points over 11 rounds of gameplay.
The first dealer is chosen randomly. After each round, the passes to the left.
Cards are dealt as follows:
- Round 1: 3 cards
- Round 2: 4 cards
- Round 3: 5 cards
- Round 4: 6 cards
- Round 5: 7 cards
- Round 6: 8 cards
- Round 7: 9 cards
- Round 8: 10 cards
- Round 9: 11 cards
- Round 10: 12 cards
- Round 11: 13 cards
All remaining cards are placed on the table, face down, to form the draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is turned face up to start the discard pile.
The player to the left of the dealer plays first. Play continues clockwise.
A player first draws a card, either the top face-down card on the draw pile or the top face-up card on the discard pile. If he does not go out (see “Going Out,” below), he then discards a card, face up, on the discard pile.
On a player’s turn, he can go out if, after drawing the top face-down card on the draw pile or the top face-up card on the discard pile, he is able to arrange all of the cards in his hand into sets, with one card left over to discard.
If a player goes out, he announces it and then plays his sets and discards one card. The others players each have one more turn before the round ends and scoring takes place.
There are two types of valid combinations, sets, and runs:
- A set of three or more cards of the same rank, such as 7-7-7.
- A run of three or more cards in the same suit, such as A-2-3 of hearts.
A combination can contain more than three cards, but no card can be counted as part of more than one combination. EXAMPLE: A run of 8-9-10-Jack-Queen of clubs is legal. However, 3-3-3-4-5 is not a legal single combination.
Players may not add cards to sets or runs played by other players.
One of the cards is wild in each round and can be substituted for any other card in a set or run. The wild cards are:
- Round 1: 3s
- Round 2: 4s
- Round 3: 5s
- Round 4: 6s
- Round 5: 7s
- Round 6: 8s
- Round 7: 9s
- Round 8: 10s
- Round 9: Jacks
- Round 10: Queens
- Round 11: Kings
During their final turn, each player arranges their hand into as many sets and runs as possible. Any leftover cards are scored as penalty points:
- Ace: 1 point each
- 2: 2 points each
- 3: 3 points each
- 4: 4 points each
- 5: 5 points each
- 6: 6 points each
- 7: 7 points each
- 8: 8 points each
- 9: 9 points each
- 10: 10 points each
- Jack: 10 points each
- Queen: 10 points each
- King: 10 points each
Scores are added together from round to round. At the end of the 11th round, the player with the lowest score it the winner.
Many players prefer to use Aces as low cards or high cards. If this is done, an Ace left over at the end of the round is a 15-point penalty.