Three Thirteen is for two or more players, but it's best with two to four players.
Use a standard 52-card deck for two players or two standard 52-card decks for three to four players.
Beyond that, simply use enough standard 52-card decks to ensure there are enough cards for the final round.
Aces are low, while 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, it 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, facedown, 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 facedown card on the draw pile or the top faceup card on the discard pile. If the player does not go out, they then discard a card, faceup, on the discard pile.
On a player’s turn, he or she can go out if, after drawing the top facedown card on the draw pile or the top faceup card on the discard pile, they can arrange all of the cards in their hand into sets, with one card left over to discard.
If a player goes out, he or she announces it and then play his or her set and discard one card. The other 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.
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 his or her 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.