What are the rules to the card game 31?


Quick Answer

In the card game 31, each player has a hand of three cards, and the goal is to collect cards in a single suit to get as close as possible to a total of 31. The game is also called "Scat" or "Blitz."

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Full Answer

This game can be played with two to nine people. It requires one standard deck of 52 cards. Each card maintains its intrinsic value, with the exception of the face cards, which are all valued at 10. Aces are valued at 11.

Each player is dealt three cards to start. Card values in a player's hand can be combined only if they are of the same suit. Play is to the dealer's left and moves clockwise. Upon her turn, each player draws one card from the remainder of the deck and discards one of the cards from her hand. Once a discard pile has begun, players may opt to draw their cards from that instead. If the player chooses to take a card from the discard pile, she cannot return that card to the discard pile on that turn.

If a player reaches 31, she immediately shows her cards and wins the hand. She may also knock during her turn instead of drawing a card. After a knock, play continues normally until the player to the right of the knocker has discarded. All players then reveal the current value of their hands. The player with the lowest hand (or all players tied for the lowest value) loses a "life." The player who initiated the knock automatically wins any ties and does not have to forfeit a life. However, if the knocker has the lowest hand, she loses two lives. Each player begins the game with three lives and is not eliminated from the game until she loses a life while possessing none.

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