Panguingue (pronounced pan-ginn-geh), also known as Pan, is a Rummy-type game for two to fifteen players. It is best for six to eight. Unlike most Rummy games, however, players cannot simply hang onto the cards they draw. They must be melded immediately or discarded!
Panguingue is probably of Philippine origin. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary attributes the name Panguingue as deriving from Tagalog, one of the principal languages of the Philippines. It was first recorded in the United States in 1905. In the early twentieth century, Panguingue was widely played throughout the American Southwest, including in Las Vegas casinos. While it is no longer played as widely, an active community of players still enjoys the game.
Object of Panguingue
The object of Panguingue is to be the first player to meld eleven cards.
Panguingue is played with an unusually large number of cards. A Panguingue deck is based upon 40 cards, obtained by starting with a standard 52-card deck (like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards) and removing the 10s, 9s, and 8s. Eight of these 40-card decks with the same back design are shuffled together to form a 320-card pack. (Some players choose to play with as few as five or as many as eleven decks—a 440-card pack!)
You will also need some sort of tokens to keep track of the score with, such as poker chips. If you wish, each chip can be purchased for an agreed-upon amount of real currency. Otherwise, the chips will serve as valueless MacGuffins, which should be distributed equally to the players.
All players ante to form the pot. Shuffle and deal ten cards, two at a time, to each player. Place the stub face down in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn over the first card of the stock. This card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.
Prior to the first play of the hand, each player has the opportunity to drop out of the hand. If they choose to do, they must play two chips to the pot.
The player to the right of the dealer goes first. Thereafter, turn order continues to the right, the opposite of most games.
A player begins their turn by drawing a card. This may be either the upcard or a card from the stock. If a player draws from the stock, they may either meld it or discard it. If drawing the upcard, the player must be able to meld it immediately, then discard another card from their hand. A player may not draw a card and add it to their hand for use later.
If the current player is faced with an upcard that they can meld, any other player may compel them to draw and meld that card. This is known as forcing. Forcing can cause players to discard cards they might otherwise wish to hold onto.
In the event that the stock runs out, set the upcard aside and turn the rest of the discard pile face down. Shuffle it to form the new stock. The upcard remains in place as the new discard pile.
As players form melds, they lay them face up on the table in front of them. A player may meld as many cards as they wish on their turn. There are two types of melds in Panguingue. The first is the spread or square, and the second is the rope or stringer, which roughly corresponds with the sequence found in other rummy games.
A spread consists of three or four cards of the same rank in different suits. A spread can also be three identical cards (i.e. three copies of the 5♠). A meld of two cards of one suit and one of a different suit, e.g. 5♠-5♠-5♦, is not a valid spread. Aces and kings, however, are exempt from suit restrictions on melds. That is, any three kings or aces may form a valid meld.
A rope consists of three or more cards of the same suit, in sequence. An example of a valid rope is 5-6-7♥. Because the 8s, 9s, and 10s have been removed, 7s are considered consecutive with jacks, so 6-7-J♦ is a valid meld. Cards otherwise rank in their usual order, with aces always low.
As players acquire cards that match with their existing melds, they may lay off these cards to their melds. Spreads that are all of one suit can only be extended with further cards of the same rank and suit. Spreads of multiple suits may be augmented with any card of the correct rank (suits may be duplicated). Ropes may be extended on either end by cards of the same rank in sequence.
Players score extra payouts from certain melds known as conditions. Whenever a player forms a condition, each of their opponents pays them a certain number of chips depending on the condition. Some conditions are based upon valle cards (pronounced as in “valley cards”)—3s, 5s, and 7s.
The conditions are:
- A spread of valle cards…
- …of different suits (one chip)
- …all clubs, diamonds, or hearts (two chips)
- …all spades (four chips)
- A spread of non-valle cards…
- …all clubs, diamonds, or hearts (one chip)
- …all spades (two chips)
- A sequence of A-2-3 or J-Q-K…
- …all clubs, diamonds, or hearts (one chip)
- …all spades (two chips)
If a player lays off further cards to a condition they played, their opponents must pay them the prescribed amount again for each card added to it.
A player may split a meld of six or more cards into two melds, so long as both of the new melds are valid melds on their own. This is known as borrowing from the larger meld. A player may also take cards from an existing meld to form a new meld with cards from the hand. The remaining cards must still form a valid meld, however. For example, you cannot cannibalize the 4 from a 2-3-4-5 rope to form a spread of 4s, as 2-3-5 is not a valid sequence.
When borrowing creates a new condition, the players opponents pay them exactly as if they had just played the meld from the hand.
A player is out when they have eleven cards melded in front of them. This means that a player must meld all ten cards in their hand, plus one draw. That means a player may find themselves with ten cards on the table and none in hand. A player in this situation must simply keep drawing, hoping to find a card that matches with their melds to allow them to meld that critical eleventh card.
This situation is the only time in which a player does not have to meld a card they just drew. If the next opponent in turn order has ten cards melded, and discarding the card they just drew would cause the next player to go out, they may instead retain that card and discard another.
When a player goes out, the hand ends. The player collects the pot, plus one chip from each active player, plus another round of payments for each condition they hold.
Tribello is a trick-taking game for three players, played primarily in the U.S. state of Illinois. Like Trex, Tribello is an excellent example of a “compendium game”—the rules of the game change every three hands. That means Tribello is really like four games in one!
Object of Tribello
The object of Tribello is to have the most points at the end of the game. In the first three phases of the game, this is done by collecting as many tricks as possible. In the fourth phase, players try to take as few tricks as possible.
Tribello uses one standard 52-card pack of playing cards. Naturally, we endorse the idea of using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You will also need something to keep score with, such as pencil and paper or a smartphone application.
The player to the dealer’s left cuts the cards prior to the deal. For the first three hands, the bottom card of the top half of the deck is exposed, setting the trump suit. Shuffle and deal four hands of thirteen cards each. Three of these will go to the players. The fourth hand is left face down and becomes the widow, which belongs to nobody, at least at first.
After the players have received their hands and had a chance to look at them, the players may draw from the widow. The dealer goes first, discarding any number of cards that they wish and drawing the same number from the widow. The player to the dealer’s left goes next, discarding any number of cards up to the number that are left in the widow and drawing back up to thirteen. If there are any cards left, the player to the dealer’s right has the opportunity to draw from the widow.
The four phases of play
Game play in Tribello takes place in four distinct phases of three hands each. The first three hands comprise the first phase. The fourth through sixth hands make up the second phase, and so on. Each player deals once during each phase.
During the first phase, the card exposed during the cut sets the trump suit. In the second phase, the dealer chooses the trump suit after looking at their hand. There are no trumps in the third and fourth phases.
Each player has a contract they must make. The contracts are the same amounts in the first three phases. For the dealer, the goal is six tricks, for the player at the dealer’s left, four tricks, and for the player to the dealer’s right, three tricks. In the fourth phase, where players are trying to avoid taking tricks, the contracts are three for the dealer, four for the player to the dealer’s left, and six for the player at the dealer’s right.
Play of the hand
Game play proceeds much like any other trick-taking game. The dealer leads to the first trick. The other two players, in turn, then play to the trick. Players must follow suit if able; otherwise, they may play any card, including a trump.
After all three players have played to the trick, the person who played the highest trump, or the highest card of the suit led if no trumps were played, wins it. The player winning the trick takes the cards and places them in a face-down won-tricks pile in front of them. To make it easier to identify the number of tricks taken, it helps to place each trick at right angles to the trick before it.
Ending the hand
The hand ends when all thirteen tricks have been played. At this point the hand is scored.
In the first three phases, players score one point for each trick taken in excess of their contract. If they fail to meet their contract, they lose one point for each trick below contract. Meeting the contract exactly scores zero. Because the three contracts add up to thirteen tricks, the same number as there are available, the three players’ scores should always add up to zero.
The fourth phase is scored similarly, but because the object is to avoid taking tricks, the signs are reversed. That is, for each trick taken in excess of their contract, a player loses a point. For each trick below contract that a player comes in, they score a point.
The player that has the highest score after the end of the third hand of the fourth phase (the twelfth hand overall) is the winner.
Belote is a trick-taking game from the same family as Klaberjass. It is most commonly played with four players in partnerships, although variations for fewer players are out there. In the early 20th century, it knocked Bezique out of its position as the top card game in France, and still remains one of the country’s most popular games.
Belote is traditionally played counter-clockwise, with the deal and turn progressing to the right. This convention is often disregarded in recent years, however, in favor of a progression to the left as in most other card games. Our rules assume the turn passes to the left. If you prefer the turn passing to the right, simply switch “left” and “right” whenever they’re mentioned in the text.
Object of Belote
The object of Belote is to be the first partnership to reach a score of 1,000 points. Points are scored through declaring certain combinations in the hand and by taking points in tricks.
Belote is played with a 32-card deck. Starting from a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all the cards from 6 down to 2. You’ll be left with aces through 7s in each of the four suits. You should also have something to keep score with, like pencil and paper.
Determine partnerships somehow, such as high-card draw or even just mutual agreement. Partners should sit opposite one another, with their opponents sitting in between. The turn of play should alternate partnerships as it progresses around the table.
Traditionally, the cards are not shuffled in Belote. The player to the dealer’s right simply cuts the cards. Deal a batch of three cards to each player, then another batch of two cards. Turn the next card of the deck, the upcard, face-up in the center of the table. Set the deck aside, it will be used again later.
Belote uses a different card ranking than most other games. The 10 is ranked higher than the king, giving a full card ranking of (high) A, 10, K, Q, 9, 8, 7 (low).
In the trump suit, the jack and 9 are promoted to the top two ranks. That means in the trump suit, the full ranking is (high) J, 9, 10, K, Q, 8, 7 (low).
The player to the dealer’s left gets the first opportunity to take, that is, to accept the suit of the upcard as the trump suit. If they do not wish to, they may pass. When a player takes, there is no more bidding, and that player becomes the taker for the ensuing hand. By taking, a player commits their partnership to take more points than their opponents.
If all four players pass, the player to the dealer’s left may name a trump suit other than that of the upcard. If they do, that player becomes the taker and the bidding ends. Otherwise, they may pass, as before. If all four players pass, the cards are thrown in, the deal passes to the left, and new hands are dealt.
Regardless of whether the upcard’s suit became trump or not, the taker adds the upcard into their hand. The dealer deals three more cards to each player, except for the taker, who only receives two cards from the deck.
After the bidding has been resolved and the players have their full hands, they may make declarations about the contents of their hands. The valid declarations are:
- Four of a kind (Jacks, 9s, aces, 10s, kings, queens): Four jacks score 200 points, four nines score 150, and four of either aces, 10s, kings, or queens score 100 points. You cannot declare four of a kind in 8s or 7s. Ties are broken by the rank of the cards.
- Sequences: A run of three or more cards of the same suit, in sequence. For the purposes of sequences, cards rank in the order they do in most games, that is, (high) A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 (low). A run of five or more scores 100 points, a run of four scores 50 points, and a run of three scores 20 points. Longer sequences rank higher than shorter ones. Ties are broken by the rank of the highest card of the sequence. If there are two identical sequences and one is trump, the trump sequence ranks higher.
- Belote and rebelote: The king and queen of trump. Scores 20 points.
Belote and rebelote are always scored. However, only the team holding the highest declaration may score for the other declarations.
First, the player to the dealer’s left speaks, stating the type of the highest declaration they have (e.g. “a run of four”, “four of a kind”, etc.). If the next player has a higher type of declaration, they state its type. If they have one of the same type, the next player responds with “How high?”, upon which the first player states the rank of the highest card of their sequence or the rank of their four-of-a-kind. When a player cannot beat a declaration, they say “good”. This continues until the highest declaration amongst the four players has been determined. The value of the declarations are recorded, but are not immediately added to the score.
After the highest declaration has been determined, the opponents may request that any of the combinations declared be revealed.
Some players choose not to allow declarations, as doing so increases the amount of influence blind luck has on the game. Others allow only belote and rebelote to be declared. This should be established by mutual agreement before the game.
Play of the hand
The player to the dealer’s left leads to the first trick. Each player to the left plays a card to the trick in turn. Players must follow suit, if possible. Otherwise, if one of their opponents is currently winning the trick, they must play a trump. If they cannot, or the player’s partner is winning the trick, they may play any card. If a trump was led or played to the trick, players are also required to play a higher trump than the others in the trick, if possible, as long as one of their opponents are winning the trick.
When all four players have played to the trick, it is awarded to the player that played the highest trump. If no trump was played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The cards making up won tricks are not added to the hand. Instead, they’re added to a face-down won-tricks pile in front of one of the partners. The player who wins each trick leads to the next one.
Play continues until the players run out of cards. The partnership that takes the last trick scores ten points for dix de der (ten for the last).
After the hand concludes, each partnership totals the values of the cards they collected in tricks. Cards score:
- The jack of trump: 20 points.
- The nine of trump: 14 points.
- Aces: 11 points each.
- 10s: 10 points each.
- Kings: 4 points each.
- Queens: 3 points each.
- Non-trump jacks: 2 points each.
Note that 8s and 7s, as well as 9s in non-trump suits, do not score anything. There are 152 possible points available through tricks, plus the ten for dix de der, which adds up to a maximum score of 162.
If the taking team scores more in tricks than their opponents, they have made their contract and both teams score all of the points they’ve earned through tricks, plus any points in declarations they may be entitled to. If the taking team fails to make their contract, their opponents score 162 points, plus their declarations, plus the taking team’s declarations!
When one side takes all of the tricks in the game, it is called a capot. If the taking side scores a capot, they score an additional 90 points, giving them a score of 252 for the hand, plus declarations. Likewise, if the taker’s opponents score a capot, they score 252, plus both sides’ declarations. In any case, whenever a team takes no tricks, the only declaration they may score for in that hand is belote and rebelote.
Scores are traditionally rounded to the nearest ten after each hand is scored. Game play ends when one team reaches a score of 1,000 points at the end of a hand. That partnership is the winner. If both teams exceed 1,000 points on the same hand, the game ends as a tie.
Ziginette is an Italian gambling and banking game for any number of players, although it might get a little bit hectic with more than about eight. Card expert John Scarne described Ziginette in the mid-twentieth century as “the biggest money card game in Italy”, and noted that it was also popular among Italian-Americans. Ziginette was likely the basis for the similar American gambling game Skin.
Unlike most banking games, Ziginette has no inherent house edge. When casinos spread the game, they would take a 10% cut of the banker’s wins, thus ensuring they profit by running the game. Without this cut, neither the banker nor the players have an advantage.
Object of Ziginette
The object of Ziginette is to win money when the dealer matches their card before you match yours.
Ziginette is played with the 40-card Italian deck. (This deck is also used to play Seven and a Half, Scopa and Briscola.) To form such a deck, take a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards and remove the 10s, 9s, and 8s. What remains will be a deck that has ten cards in each suit (ace through 7, and the three face cards). You will also need something to bet with. Because of the all of the winning and losing that will be taking place, using chips is highly recommended. If Blackjack dealing equipment is available, such as a shoe and a discard rack, it might be useful, but is not required.
Determine the first dealer-banker by some random method, such as a high card draw. Before dealing the first hand, the banker must announce what the minimum and maximum bets will be. These limits must be an amount they’re comfortable with losing, because they will be responsible for paying out all winning bets.
Shuffle and deal two board cards face up to the center of the table. Then, deal a third card face up in front of the banker. If any of these three cards form a pair, it is called a playette. In this case, the cards are returned to the deck, which is shuffled before redealing.
The players may now place a bet on either of the board cards available to them. If they wish, they can bet on both cards, on just one, or neither.
Once the players have had an adequate time to make their bets, the banker deals a fourth card, face up. If it doesn’t match any of the cards previously dealt, it simply becomes another board card. Players may place wagers on it just like the others. However, if the new card matches one of the board cards, the banker collects all of the bets placed on the board card of that rank. When a card is matched in this way, it is removed from the board. The other two cards of that rank simply become dead and are discarded upon being dealt. This continues, with the banker dealing new cards and collecting losing bets.
When the banker deals a card matching their own, the hand ends. The banker must pay out every wager currently on the board at even money. The deal then passes to the player on the losing banker’s right.
In the event that all of the cards on the board are matched before the dealer’s, or that there are no bets left on the board and the players are unwilling to place new ones, the hand ends. In this situation, the banker has the option to deal another hand. If they do, they may adjust the betting limits prior to dealing. They may also elect to pass the bank to the next player, the same as if they had ended the hand by losing.
Three Thirteen Rummy is a simple rummy game for two or more players. Aficionados of Gin Rummy will find its closed melding style quite familiar, but it allows for much larger, more social games. Additionally, gradually-increasing hand sizes and different wild cards on each hand mean that each hand plays slightly differently!
Like many games, Three Thirteen Rummy has been adapted as a commercial game with a proprietary deck. Called Five Crowns, the proprietary version of the game introduces a fifth suit, stars, and six jokers, expanding the deck to 116 cards!
Object of Three Thirteen Rummy
The object of Three Thirteen Rummy is to have the lowest score at the end of eleven hands. This is achieved by being the first player to arrange all of your cards into melds.
The number of cards you need for Three Thirteen Rummy depends on the number of players. For two players, you’ll need one standard 52-card deck of playing cards, like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. When playing with three or four, shuffle in a second deck. For five or six, add a third deck, and so on. You also need something to keep score with; pencil and paper will perform admirably.
The number of cards dealt varies from hand to hand. On the first hand of the game, deal each player three cards. On the second hand, deal four cards, and so on each hand, increasing by one card each hand. The eleventh and final hand will consist of thirteen cards. Place the deck stub in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn the top card of the stock face up. This card, the upcard, will be the first card of the discard pile.
Game play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. They may take either the top card of the discard pile, or the top card of the stock. They then end their turn by discarding a card from their hand. Play then passes to the next player to the left, who follows the same procedure, and so on and so forth.
As with most rummy games, Three Thirteen Rummy revolves around melds, which are combinations of three or more cards. Valid melds include three or more of a kind, or a run or sequence, such as 5-6-7, of the same suit. Aces are low, and kings are high, and a sequence cannot progress from one to the other (Q-K-A and K-A-2 are not valid melds). The players’ goal is to form their entire hand into melds, eliminating their deadwood (unmatched cards). Melds are kept in the hand when formed, not laid out on the table.
A different rank of cards is wild on each hand. On the first hand, 3s are wild. On the second, 4s are wild, and so on, until the eleventh hand, when kings are wild. Wild cards may substitute for any other card in a meld. There is no limit to how many wild cards can be in a meld. Melds of all wild cards are also acceptable.
In the rare event that the hand continues until the stock is exhausted, set the upcard aside, shuffle the rest of the discards, and turn them face down to form a new stock.
Ending the hand
When a player has formed their entire hand into melds, they are entitled to go out. They discard as normal, announcing that they are going out as they are doing so. Each opponent then takes one final turn. The hand ends when the turn reaches the player that went out.
The player who went out reveals their hand, arranging it into melds to allow the other players to verify that they have no deadwood. The opponents do the same. Each player then scores the value of their deadwood (with the player that went out scoring zero for the hand). As in Gin Rummy, aces are worth one point, face cards worth ten, and all other cards their face value. Players may not lay off deadwood on their opponents’ melds.
After the end of the hand, the deal rotates, and the cards are shuffled and a new hand is dealt. Game play continues until eleven rounds have been played. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game is the winner.
Ace-Deuce-Jack is an extremely simple gambling game that was popular during World War II. In Ace-Deuce-Jack, the players are simply betting whether three randomly-selected cards will be an ace, a 2, or a jack. That’s it; it’s all blind luck. There’s no skill involved at all.
It should be noted that the house edge on Ace-Deuce-Jack is just a shade over 10%. As a result, the players are at a significant disadvantage to the banker. If you’re going to play Ace-Deuce-Jack with your friends, we recommend not playing with real money.
Object of Ace-Deuce-Jack
The object of Ace-Deuce-Jack is to win money on bets that three randomly-selected cards will not be an ace, a 2, or a jack.
You will need one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. As always, we heartily recommend Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards for any card game you want to play. You’ll also need something to bet with, such as poker chips, buttons, beans, or some other similar counters.
Any player may shuffle and deal one card, face up, to each player. Whoever gets the highest card becomes the first banker. The banker declares the acceptable maximum and minimum bets that they will allow for the following hand.
The banker begins the hand by shuffling the deck and placing it face down. They then cut the deck twice, forming three piles of cards. Each player then decides how much they would like to bet and places that amount in front of them.
After all players have fixed their bet, the banker turns over each pile of cards. If any of the three exposed cards on the bottom of the piles are an ace, a jack, or a 2, the banker wins and collects all bets. If all three cards are of other ranks, the banker pays each player out at even money.
Rotate the bank after a predetermined number of hands. To maximize the fairness of the game, each player should have an equal opportunity to bank.
Big Three, also known as Dig a Hole, is a Chinese climbing game for three players. Unique among the climbing games, Big Three starts each hand with a bidding round. The bidding round determines the stakes for each hand, as well as determining a temporary partnership for that hand only. The two players who lose the bid form an alliance to help each other defeat the high bidder.
Object of Big Three
The object of Big Three is to be the first player to discard all of your cards.
Big Three is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If you choose Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, not only will we be happy, but so will you.
You also need something to keep track of the score with. The most convenient way of doing so is by having a pool of counters, such as poker chips, beans, buttons, coins, or any other comparable trinket. By mutual agreement, these may each represent some cash value. If so, collect money from each player and distribute the appropriate number of chips. If not, simply give each player the same number of chips.
The dealer shuffles and places the deck face down in the center of the table. Starting with the dealer, each player in turn draws one card. This repeats until each player has sixteen cards. Place the four remaining cards in the center of the table, forming the widow.
As in many other games in the climbing family, the cards rank out of order in Big Three. The 3 is the highest card, as you might expect from the title of the game. This is followed by the 2, then the ace, then the rest of the cards in their usual order. This gives us a complete ranking of (high) 3, 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (low).
Unlike in Thirteen and some other climbing games, the suits have no rank relative to one another. Cards of the same rank simply tie.
A hand of Big Three begins with a bidding round to determine the partnerships for that hand. The player holding the 4♥, or the player holding the lowest heart if nobody holds the 4♥, bids first, and must make a bid of at least one unit. The next player to the left bids next, and may bid either two or pass and drop out of the bidding. This continues until either someone bids three, or two players have passed, whichever comes first.
The player that wins the bid plays solo against the other two players. The solo player then picks up the widow and adds it to their hand. While they now have 20 cards compared to their opponents’ 16, they can theoretically form more combinations with the extra cards, which will allow them to get rid of their cards faster. (This is where the name Dig a Hole comes from—the high bidder is digging themselves further in the hole by getting more cards, in search of treasure that will help them ultimately win the hand.)
Play of the hand
Play begins with the player who bid first (the holder of the lowest heart). That player lays a valid combination of cards, face up, in the center of the table. These are the permissible card combinations:
- Single card
- Trips (three of a kind)
- Quads (four of a kind)
- Straights (three or more cards in sequence, e.g. 4-5-6)
- A run of three or more consecutive pairs, trips, or quads (e.g. 4-4-5-5-6-6, or 6-6-6-7-7-7-8-8-8, etc.)
Aces, 2s, and 3s cannot be used in straights or runs of multiple pairs, trips, or quads.
The next player to the left must play a higher-ranking instance of the same type of combination. Straights and runs must be followed by another straight or run of the same length. For example, a four-card straight must be followed up by another four-card straight, not a three-card or five-card or any other straight. The highest-ranking card present is used to determine the ranking of the entire combination.
Play continues to the left, each player playing higher than the most recent combination. If a player cannot or does not want to play higher, they may pass. They may play again when it comes back to their turn.
If there are two consecutive passes, however, the sole remaining player is free to play whatever combination of cards they choose (i.e. they are not compelled to play the same type of combination as before). The next player must then play higher than this new combination, and so on.
Game play continues until one player has cleared their hand of all cards. If the solo player achieved this, both of their opponents pay them chips equal to the amount of the winning bid (a bid of one equals a one-chip payout, a bid of two equals two chips, and so on). If one of the solo player’s opponents exhausted their hand first, the solo player must pay the amount of the bid to both of their opponents.