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Black Maria
Whist Family
German Whist
Ninety Nine
Five Card Family
Five Hundred
Rummy Games
Gin Rummy
Bezique Family
Sixty Six
All Fours
All Fours
Seven Up
Auction Pitch
Skat Family
Six Bid
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Ninety Nine

Ninety-Nine is a descendant of the Whist family and unlike many card games, is specifically designed for three players.

The Cards

Shorten the deck to 6 and up, giving you 36 cards, and add the Joker for 37 cards.


A game consists of nine deals. That means each player deals 3 times. Play and deal are clockwise, and the deal passes to the left.

The Deal

Each player is dealt twelve cards, one at a time, and the last is turned up to establish trumps. If the upturned card is either the Joker or any 9, the hand is played with no trump.

The Joker

The Joker has no independent value, but assumes the rank and suit of the upturned card, as if that were now the card in the holder’s hand. For example, if the card turned at the deal was a 6 of Hearts, then Hearts would be trumps, and whoever was holding the Joker would regard it and play it as the 6 of hearts.


Each player now discards 3 cards, face down, and will play out the remaining 9 cards to tricks.

Each player’s objective is to win exactly the number of tricks, no more and no fewer, as are set by the player’s three discards.

Any Club represents 3 tricks
Any Heart represents 2 tricks
Any Spade represents 1 trick
Any Diamond represents 0 tricks

An easy way to remember this, is look at the suit symbols. Clubs has three bumps, Hearts two bumps, Spades a single point and Diamonds, nothing.

So, for example, if you discarded two Spades and a Heart, then you would have to win 4 tricks, no more, no fewer.

Obviously then, you need to make decisions when you discard.


Normally, bid cards remain face down until the end of the round, and are only shown to prove that a bid has been fulfilled. One player, however, may offter to play with his bid cards face up so that others know his/her objective. This is called declaring and carries a bonus score. Only one player may declare. If more than one wish to, priority goes to first left of the dealer.


An offer to declare may be overcalled by an offer to reveal, which means playing with one’s hand of cards face up on the table. This carries yet a higher bonus.

The Play

Left of the dealer leads first, and whoever wins the trick leads to the next. Standard trick taking rules apply. You must follow suit. If you can’t follow suit, you can play any card. The trick is won by the highest trump played to it. If no trumps are played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.


At the end of play, any player who reckons they have made their bid, turns their discards face up to show.

Each player scores for the following:

  1. Tricks: 1 point per trick actually taken, regardless of bid
  2. Success: A bonus for taking exactly the number of tricks bid. The bonus depends on how many succeeded.
    If all three succeed, score 10 each
    If only two succeed, score 20 each
    If only one succeeds, he/she scores 30 alone.
  3. Premium: The bonus for a declared bid is 30 points, and for a revealed bid, 60 points. These are awarded in addition to the points score for 1 and 2.


The winner is the player with the highest score after nine deals.

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