(Above is the set up for a game of Thirteen)
Card Game Rules
Thirteen is a four player trick-taking card game that requires a standard 52 playing card deck. In Thirteen, 2s are high and 3s are low. The suits are ranked with Hearts being the highest, then Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades. The objective of Thirteen is to be the first player to get rid of their cards.
For other trick-taking card games, see our guides for President and Bezique.
If you are looking for cards to play Thirteen with, check out a standard pack here or one of our more recent arrivals here.
Before game play can begin, a dealer must be selected. Each player draws one card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck and passes out thirteen cards to each player in a clockwise fashion.
How to Play
The player with the 3 of Spades makes the first move. Going clockwise, players can either player a card that is of equal rank (with a higher suit) or higher than the card previously played. Once nobody can play a higher card, the pile is removed and the last person to play a card starts the new pile.
Cards can be played as singles, pairs, three of a kinds, four of a kinds or a sequence of 3 or more. Players must however follow whatever the lead play was. If somebody leads with a single, players cannot beat it with a double or etc.
A four of a kind and a double sequence of three cards are called bombs. Bombs can beat a single 2. A double sequence of four cards can beat a pair of 2s and a double sequence of five cards can beat three 2s.
If a player has four 2s or a sequence of 3 to Ace, they immediately win the game.
The last card in a sequence determines its suit.
The player who gets rid of all of their cards first wins the game.
Looking for more card games to play? Check out this article:
40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.
As someone that is Vietnamese which is what this originated from, we refer to Bombs, as “Chops.”
Clear instructions. Greatly appreciated.