Billards1. TABLES, BALLS, EQUIPMENT
All games described in these rules are designed for tables, balls and equipment meeting the standards prescribed in the BCA Equipment Specifications .
2. RACKING THE BALLS
When racking the balls a triangle must be used, and the apex ball is to be spotted on the foot spot. All the balls must be lined up behind the apex ball and pressed together so that they all have contact with each other.
3. STRIKING CUE BALL
Legal shots require that the cue ball be struck only with the cue tip. Failure to meet this requirement is a foul.
4. FAILURE TO POCKET A BALL
If a player fails to pocket a ball on a legal shot, then the player's inning is over, and it is the opponent's turn at the table.
5. LAG FOR BREAK
The following procedure is used for the lag for the opening break. Each player should use balls of equal size and weight (preferably cue balls but, when not available, non-striped object balls). With the balls in hand behind the head string, one player to the left and one to the right of the head spot, the balls are shot simultaneously to the foot cushion and back to the head end of the table. The player whose ball is the closest to the innermost edge of the head cushion wins the lag. The lagged ball must contact the foot cushion at least once. Other cushion contacts are immaterial, except as prohibited below. It is an automatic loss of the lag if: (1) the ball crosses into the opponent's half of the table,
(2) the ball fails to contact the foot cushion,
(3) the ball drops into a pocket,
(4) the ball jumps the table,
(5) the ball touches the long cushion,
(6) the ball rests within the corner pocket and past the nose of the head cushion, or (7) the ball contacts the foot rail more than once. If both players violate automatic-loss lag rules, or if the referee is unable to determine which ball is closer, the lag is a tie and is replayed.
6. OPENING BREAK SHOT
The opening break shot is determined by either lag or lot. (The lag for break procedure is required for tournament and other formal competition.) The player winning the lag or lot has the choice of performing the opening break shot or assigning it to the opponent.
7. CUE BALL ON OPENING BREAK
The opening break shot is taken with cue ball in hand behind the head string. The object balls are positioned according to specific game rules. On the opening break, the game is considered to have commenced once the cue ball has been struck by the cue tip and crosses the head string.
8. DEFLECTING THE CUE BALL ON THE GAMES OPENING BREAK
On the break shot, stopping or deflecting the cue ball after it has crossed the head string and prior to hitting the racked balls is considered a foul and loss of turn. The opponent has the option of receiving cue ball in hand behind the head string or passing the cue ball in hand behind the head string back to the offending player. (Exception: ball in hand on the whole table: see rule 1.3 for 9-Ball). A warning must be given that a second violation during the match will result in the loss of the match by forfeiture. (See Rule 28.)
9. CUE BALL IN HAND BEHIND THE HEAD STRING
This situation applies in specific games whereby the opening break is administered or <
player's scratching is penalized by the incoming player having cue ball in hand behind th
head string. The incoming player may place the cue ball anywhere behind the head string. The shooting player may shoot at any object ball as long as the base of the object ball is on or below the head string. He may not shoot at any ball, the base of which is above the head string, unless he first shoots the cue ball below the head string and then by hitting a rail causes the cue ball to come back above the head string and hit the object ball. The base of the ball (the point of the ball touching the table) determines whether it is above or below the head string. If the incoming player inadvertently places the cue ball on or below the head string, the referee or the opposing player must inform the shooting player of improper positioning of the cue ball before the shot is made. If the opposing player does not so inform the shooting player before the shot is made, the shot is considered legal. If the shooting player is informed of improper positioning, he must then reposition the cue ball. If a player positions the cue ball completely and obviously outside the kitchen and shoots the cue ball, it is a foul, if called by the opponent or referee. When the cue ball is in hand behind the head string, it remains in hand (not in play) until the player drives the cue ball past the head string by striking it with his cue tip. The cue ball may be ADJUSTED by the player's hand, cue, etc., so long as it remains in hand. Once the cue ball is in play per the above, it may not be impeded in any way by the player; to do so is to commit a foul.
10. POCKETED BALLS
A ball is considered as a pocketed ball if as a result of an otherwise legal shot, it drops off
the bed of the table into the pocket and remains there. (A ball that drops out of a ball
return system onto the floor is not to be construed as a ball that has not remained
pocketed.) A ball that rebounds from a pocket back onto the table bed is not a pocketed
11. POSITION OF BALLS
The position of a ball is judged by where its base (or center) rests.
12. FOOT ON FLOOR
It is a foul if a player shoots when at least one foot is not in contact with the floor. Foot
attire must be normal in regard to size, shape and manner in which it is worn.
13. SHOOTING WITH BALLS IN MOTION
It is a foul if a player shoots while the cue ball or any object ball is in motion (a spinning
ball is in motion).
14. COMPLETION OF STROKE
A stroke is not complete (and therefore is not counted) until all balls on the table have
become motionless after the stroke (a spinning ball is in motion).
15. HEAD STRING DEFINED
The area behind the head string does not include the head string. Thus an object ball that is
dead center on the head string is playable when specific game rules require that a player
must shoot at a ball past the head string. Likewise, the cue ball when being put in play
behind the head string (cue ball in hand behind the head string), may not be placed directly
on the head string; it must be behind it.
16. GENERAL RULE, ALL FOULS
Though the penalties for fouls differ from game to game, the following apply to all fouls:
(1) player's inning ends; (2) if on a stroke, the stroke is invalid and any pocketed balls are
not counted to the shooter's credit; and (3) any ball(s) is respotted only if the rules of the
specific game require it.
17. FAILURE TO CONTACT OBJECT BALL
It is a foul if on a stroke the cue ball fails to make contact with any legal object ball first.
Playing away from a touching ball does not constitute having hit that ball.
18. LEGAL SHOT
Unless otherwise stated in a specific game rule, a player must cause the cue ball to contact
a legal object ball and then (1) pocket a numbered ball, or (2) cause the cue ball or any
numbered ball to contact a cushion. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
19. CUE BALL SCRATCH
It is a foul (scratch) if on a stroke, the cue ball is pocketed. If the cue ball touches an
object ball that was already pocketed (for example, in a pocket full of object balls), the
shot is a foul.
20. FOULS BY TOUCHING BALLS
It is a foul to strike, touch or in any way make contact with the cue ball in play or any
object balls in play with anything (the body, clothing, chalk, mechanical bridge, cue shaft,
etc.) EXCEPT the cue tip (while attached to the cue shaft), which may contact the cue ball
in the execution of a legal shot. Whenever a referee is presiding over a match, any object
ball moved during a standard foul must be returned as closely as possible to its origina
position as judged by the referee, and the incoming player does not have the option of
21. FOUL BY PLACEMENT
Touching any object ball with the cue ball while it is in hand is a foul.
22. FOULS BY DOUBLE HITS
If the cue ball is touching the required object ball prior to the shot, the player may shoot
towards it, providing that any normal stroke is employed. If the cue stick strikes the cue
ball more than once on a shot, or if the cue stick is in contact with the cue ball when or
after the cue ball contacts an object ball, the shot is foul. If a third ball is close by, care
should be taken not to foul that ball under the first part of this rule.
23. PUSH SHOT FOULS
It is a foul if the cue ball is pushed by the cue tip, with contact being maintained for more
than the momentary time commensurate with a stroked shot. (Such shots are usually
referred to as push shots.)
24. PLAYER RESPONSIBILITY FOULS
The player is responsible for chalk, bridges, files and any other items or equipment he
brings to, uses at, or causes to approximate the table. If he drops a piece of chalk, or
knocks off a mechanical bridge head, as examples, he is guilty of a foul should such an
object make contact with any ball in play (or the cue ball only if no referee is presiding
over the match).
25. ILLEGAL JUMPING OF BALL
It is a foul if a player strikes the cue ball below center ("digs under" it) and intentionally
causes it to rise off the bed of the table in an effort to clear an obstructing ball. such
jumping action may occasionally occur accidentally, and such "jumps" are not to be
considered fouls on their face; they may still be ruled foul strokes, if for example, the
ferrule or cue shaft makes contact with the cue ball in the course of the shot.
Unless otherwise stated in rules for a specific game it is legal to cause the cue ball to rise
off the bed of the table by elevating the cue stick on the shot, and forcing the cue ball to
rebound from the bed of the table. Any miscue when executing a jump shot is a foul.
27. BALLS JUMPED OFF TABLE
Balls coming to rest other than on the bed of the table after a stroke (on the cushion top,
rail surface, floor, etc.) are considered jumped balls. Balls may bounce on the cushion
tops and rails of the table in play without being jumped balls if they return to the bed of
the table under their own power and without touching anything not a part of the table. The
table shall consist of the permanent part of the table proper. (Balls that strike or touch
anything not a part of the table, such as the light fixture, chalk on the rails and cushion
tops, etc., shall be considered jumped balls even though they might return to the bed of the
table after contacting items which are not parts of the table proper). In all pocket billiard
games when a stroke results in the cue ball or any object ball being a jumped ball off the
table, the stroke is a foul. All jumped object balls are spotted (except in Nine Ball) when
all balls have stopped moving. See specific game rules for putting the cue ball in play
after a jumped cue ball foul.
28. SPECIAL INTENTIONAL FOUL PENALTY
The cue ball in play shall not be intentionally struck with anything other than a cue's
attached tip (such as the ferrule, shaft, etc.). While such contact is automatically a foul
under the provisions of Rule 19., if the referee deems the contact to be intentional, he shall
warn the player once during a match that a second violation during that match will result
in the loss of the match by forfeiture. If a second violation does occur, the match must be
29. ONE FOUL LIMIT
Unless specific game rules dictate otherwise, only one foul is assessed on a player in each
inning; if different penalties can apply, the most severe penalty is the factor determining
which foul is assessed.
30. BALLS MOVING SPONTANEOUSLY
If a ball shifts, settles, turns or otherwise moves "by itself," the ball shall remain in the
position it assumed and play continues. A hanging ball that falls into a pocket "by itself"
after being motionless for 5 seconds or longer shall be replaced as closely as possible to
its position prior to falling, and play shall continue. If an object ball drops into a pocket
"by itself" as a player shoots at it, so that the cue ball passes over the spot the ball had
been on, unable to hit it, the cue ball and object ball are to be replaced to their positions
prior to the stroke, and the player may shoot again. Any other object balls disturbed on the
stroke are also to be replaced to their original positions before the shooter replays.
31. SPOTTING BALLS
When specific game rules call for spotting balls, they shall be replaced on the table on the
long string after the stroke is complete. A single ball is placed on the foot spot; if more
than one ball is to be spotted, they are placed on the long string in ascending numerica
order, beginning on the foot spot and advancing toward the foot rail. When balls on or
near the foot spot or long string interfere with the spotting of balls, the balls to be spotted
are placed on the long string as close as possible to the foot spot without moving the
interfering balls. Spotted balls are to be placed as close as possible or frozen (at the
referee's discretion) to such interfering balls, except when the cue ball is interfering; balls
to be spotted against the cue ball are placed as close as possible without being frozen. If
there is insufficient room on the long string between the foot spot and the foot rail cushion
for balls that must be spotted, such balls are then placed on the extension of the long string
"in front" of the foot spot (between the foot spot and the center spot), as near as possible
to the foot spot and in the same numerical order as if they were spotted "behind" the foot
spot (lowest numbered ball closest to the foot spot).
32. JAWED BALLS
If two or more balls are locked between the jaws or sides of the pocket, with one or more
suspended in air, the referee shall inspect the balls in position and follow this procedure:
he shall visually (or physically if he desires) project each ball directly downward from its
locked position; any ball that in his judgement would fall in the pocket if so moved
directly downward is a pocketed ball, while any ball that would come to rest on the bed of
the table is not pocketed. The balls are then placed according to the referee's assessment,
and play continues according to specific game rules as if no locking or jawing of balls had
33. ADDITIONAL POCKETED BALLS
If extra balls are pocketed on a legal scoring stroke, they are counted in accord with the
scoring rules for the particular game.
34. NON-PLAYER INTERFERENCE
If the balls are moved (or a player bumped such that play is directly affected) by a non-
player duringthe match, the balls shall be replaced as near as possible to their original
positions immediately prior to the incident, and play shall resume with no penalty on the
player affected. If the match is officiated, the referee shall replace the balls. This rule shall
also apply to "act of God" interference, such as earthquake, hurricane, light fixture falling,
power failure, etc. If the balls cannot be restored to their original positions, replay the
game with the original player breaking. This rule is not applicable to 14.1 Continuous
where the game consists of successive racks: the rack in progress will be discontinued and
a completely new rack will be started with the requirements of the normal opening break
(players lag for break). Scoring of points is to be resumed at the score as it stood at the
moment of game disruption.
35. BREAKING SUBSEQUENT RACKS
In a match that consists of short rack games, the winner of each game breaks in the next.
The following are common options that may be designated by tournament officials in
advance: (1) Players alternate break. (2) Loser breaks. (3) Player trailing in games score
breaks the next game.
36. PLAY BY INNINGS
During the course of play, players alternate turns (innings) at the table, with a player's<
inning ending when he either fails to legally pocket a ball, or fouls. When an inning ends
free of a foul, the incoming player accepts the table in position.
37. OBJECT BALL FROZEN TO CUSHION OR CUE BALL
This rule applies to any shot where the cue ball's first contact with a ball is with one that is
frozen to a cushion or to the cue ball itself. after the cue ball makes contact with the
frozen object ball, the shot must result in either (1) a ball being pocketed, or (2) the cue
ball contacting a cushion, or (3) the frozen ball being caused to contact a cushion (not
merely rebounding from the cushion it was frozen to), or (4) another object ball being
caused to contact a cushion to which it was not already in contact with. Failure to satisfy
one of those four requirements is a foul. (Note: 14.1 and other games specify additional
requirements and applications of this rule; see specific game rules.) An object ball is not
considered frozen to a rail unless it is examined and announced as such by either the
referee or one of the players prior to that object ball being involved in a shot
38. PLAYING FROM BEHIND THE STRING
When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the string (in the kitchen), he must drive the
cue ball to a point outside the kitchen before it contacts either a cushion or an object ball.
Failure to do so is a foul if a referee is presiding over a match. If no referee, the opponent
has the option to call it either a foul or to require the offending player to replay the shot
again with the balls restored to their positions prior to the shot (and with no foul penalty
imposed). Exception: if an object ball lies on or outside the head string (and is thus
playable) but so close that the cue ball contacts it before the cue ball is out of the kitchen,
the ball can be legally played. If, with cue ball in hand behind the headstring and while the
shooter is attempting a legitimate shot, the cue ball accidentally hits a ball behind the head
string, and the cue ball crosses the line, it is a foul. If with cue ball in hand behind the
head string, the shooter causes the cue ball to accidentally hit an object ball, and the cue
ball does not cross the headstring, the following applies: the incoming player has the
option of calling a foul and having cue ball in hand, or having the balls returned to their
original position, and having the offending player replay the shot. If a player under the
same conditions intentionally causes the cue ball to contact an object ball behind the
headstring, it is unsportsmanlike conduct.
39. CUE BALL IN HAND FOUL
During cue ball in hand placement, the player may use his hand or any part of his cue
(including the tip) to position the cue ball. When placing the cue ball in position, any
forward stroke motion contacting the cue ball will be a foul, if not a legal shot.
If the nonshooting player distracts his opponent or interferes with his play, he has fouled
If a player shoots out of turn, or moves any ball except during his inning, it is considered
to be interference.
Players are not allowed to use a ball, the triangle or any other width-measuring device to
see if the cue ball or an object ball would travel through a gap, etc. Only the cue stick may
be used as an aid to judge gaps, etc., so long as the cue is held by the hand. To do so
otherwise is a foul and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Each player throws 3 darts. Player throws first for the 1 (it's the first inning, get it?). A
single counts as 1, double 2, triple 3. Missed darts don't count. The opponent then throws
for the 1. Second turn for the 2, etc., up to 9.
Optional rule used in Newfoundland: if you miss the 7, your score goes back to zero. If
playing on to 20 (instead of 9) then the 14th inning is also a "must-score" inning.
Variant (The Yogi Berra - It ain't over till it's over - Rule) used in my house: If you score
with all three of your darts, the inning stays alive, i.e., you get another three darts, until
you miss one or more of them. This way you can still come back and win in the bottom of
The red circle in the middle, made of hard wood, is called bulls eye and worth 50 points.
It counts as a double.
The four green fields surround bulls eye are worth 25 points.
The numbers 1 through 20 placed around the board are nominal values for darts hitting the
respective fields or sectors.
The two larger fields of a sector (green for the 20 sector) are worth their nominal value as
denoted by the number ring surrounding the board.
The outer thin ring closest to the actual numbers are doubles, and worth double the
nominal value of their sector.
The inner thin ring is worth three times the nominal score, so the highest possible score on
a single dart would be triple 20 (the small red field halfway between the number 20 and
bullseye) that is worth 60 points.
The black area outside the double ring is considered off the board and scores 0.
All players begin with 301 points, and the aim of the game is to reach zero as fast as
The sum of one round of up to three darts will be withdrawn from the remaining score.
That is, you do not have to throw all darts in a round, though normally you will do it
unless you reach zero and thereby finish the game. [In real life, only darts that are still on
the board when all darts have been thrown counts.]
The first player to reach an even score between 2 and 50 inclusive and then scores a
double to reach exactly zero points is the winner. (Unless someone else did that earlier.)
Players getting a negative score or reaching exactly one point will lose all points scored in
that round and the game will continue with the next player. The same goes for a player
reaching zero without scoring a double with the last dart.
There are four players in fixed partnerships, partners sitting opposite each other.
Two 52 card standard packs plus 4 jokers are shuffled together to make a 108 card pack.
Object of the game; Melds
To score points for melds, which are sets of cards of equal rank (such as four kings,
six fives, etc.) played face up on the table.
All jokers and 2's are wild cards which
can be used to subsititute for other cards in melds. Cards which are not wild are
called natural. to end the game you need one canasta, which is seven or more cards
of the same rank, including at least four natural (i.e. not wild) cards, and to form all
your other cards into melds, consisting of at least three cards of the same rank, of
which at least two must be natural.
Threes cannot be melded in the usual way - they are used for special purposes.
Jokers and twos can only be used as substitutes - you cannot for example have a meld o
A natural meld is one with no wild cards. A natural canasta is a natural meld of seven or
more cards. A meld including wild cards is called mixed. If you add a wildadd to a natural canasta, this degrades it to a mixed canasta.
It is not allowed for one team to have two separate melds of the same rank. Any
further cards melded which are the same rank as an existing meld are automatically
merged into that meld.
The first dealer is chosen at random, and thereafter the turn to deal rotates
clockwise after each hand. Each player is dealt 11 cards, and the rest of the cards are
put face down in a pile. The top card is taken off, and placed face up next to the
pile. This is the start of the discard pile. If it is wild or a three, turn up another
card and place it on top, continuing until a card which is not a wild card or three is turned up.
Each player must immediately place face up in front of them any red threes they were
dealt, and draw an equal number of cards from the top of the face-down pile to
player to the left of the dealer plays first, and then the turn to play rotates clockwise.
A play consists of a player drawing the top card from the face-down pile or taking
the whole of the discard pile, making a meld (optional), and finally discarding any
card face-up on top of the discard pile.
One member of each side keeps the melds belonging to that side face up in front of them.
Drawing and Melding
A player may always opt to take the top card of the face down pile.
Alternatively, the player may take the whole discard pile, subject to the following
The discard pile can never be taken if it has a black three or a wild card on top;
When taking the pile, the player must immediately use the top card of it in a meld, and
that meld must be valid without needing to use other cards from the discard pile
(though other cards from the pile can be added to it);
If it is the first meld by their team in that deal, the player must play from hand at
least two natural cards matching the top card of the discard pile, and the meld must
score at least the required minimum points;
If the discard pile is frozen (contains a wild card or red three), the player must play
from hand at least two natural cards matching the top card of the discard pile;
If their team has already melded and the discard pile is not frozen, it may be taken
provided that either
the player plays two cards from hand matching the top card of the dicard pile, of
which at least one is natural, or
the top card of the discard pile matches one of the partnership's existing melds.
When making a meld using the discard pile you should first put down any cards fro
your hand needed to make the meld valid; then add the top card of the discard pile
to create the meld, and only then take the whole of the rest of the discard pile into
your hand. Note that the top card may not be used to make a meld with other cards
in the discard pile. For example if there is a 5 on top of pile, you may not use any
other fives from the pil to complete the meld, but you may add any fives from the
pile, after you have made the meld with the top five.
It is also permissible to meld having drawn a card from the stock, by playing the
necessary cards from hand, either creating new melds or adding to the team's
existing melIf the team has not yet melded, the minimum points condition for
initial melds still applies.
Red threes are bonus cards.
When a red 3 is drawn, the card must immediately be
put face-up on the player's side with their melds, and the player draws a
replacement card from the face-down stock. Although red threes score bonus points
they do not count as meld - independently of any red threes a side still needs to
satisfy the minimum point requirement for their first meld.
The only way a red 3 can get into the discard pile is if it was turned up at the end of the
deal and covered. If this happens, then when the discard pile is taken, the player
puts the red three face-up, but does not draw a replacement card.
Black threes are stop cards.
By discarding a black three you prevent the next player
< taking the discard pile.
Black threes cannot be melded, excehat a player
who is going out may meld three or four black threes as part of that last turn. Such a
meld of black threes cannot contain wild cards.
To achieve the needed canasta, one must first make a meld.
A meld is 3 or more
cards of the same rank, at least two natural cards. Further wild and natural
cards may be added to the meld later.
The first meld made by a partnership must be worth at least a certain minimum number of
The value of a meld for this purpose is obtained by adding up the values of
the cards in it.
The card values are as follows:
Jokers 50 points each
Aces and 2s 20 points each
K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 10 points each
7, 6, 5, 4, and black 3 5 points each
The minimum value of a side's initial meld depends on their score accumulated in
previous rounds as follows:
Previous score Minimum initial meld
negative 15 points (i.e. no minimum)
0 - 1495 50 points
1500 - 2995 90 points
3000 or more 120 points
A player may put down a meld of more than three cards, or more than one combination at
once to meet the minimum.
Bonuses for red threes, canastas, etc. cannot be counted
towards meeting the minimum.
Frozen Discard Pile
that it is frozen, the relevant card is placed at right angles in the pile,
so that it is still
visible after other cards are discarded on top of it.
A frozen discard pile can only be taken by a player who holds in hand two natural cards
matching top card of the discard pile, and uses these to make a meld.
meld can either be a new one, or could be the same rank as an existing meld, in which
case the melds are merged.
If the player before me discards a seven, I cannot pick up the discard pile
unless I have two further sevens concealed in my hand. If do have 2 sevens in
my hand, I can add them and the discarded seven to our meld (making a canasta), an
take the pile.
Once a player's side has a canasta, the player may go out by melding all their cards, or by
melding all but one, and discarding the last card. You are not allowed to get rid of all yo
cards in this way if your side does not yet have a canasta - you must play in such a way as
to keep at least one card after discarding. Note that it may not be an advantage to go out, just because one is able to. Before
drawing, a player may ask their partner "may I go out?". The partner must answer yes or
no, and the answer is binding.
The other way play can end is by exhausting the stock of face-down cards. Play can
continue with no stock as long as each player takes the discard, and in this situation a
player must take the discard if it matches a previous meld of that player's side. As soon as
a player is is entitled to draw from the stock and chooses to do so, the play ends and the
round is scored.
The partners' points are added together. The base score is
100 points for being the one to meld out;
an extra 100 points for going out (making 200) if the player went out concealed - that is,
the player's whole hand is melded in one turn, and includes at least one canasta. The
player must not have previously melded or added any cards to partner's melds;
500 points for each natural canasta - that is a canasta with no wild cards (jokers or 2's);
300 points for each mixed canasta - that is a canasta including wild cards.
100 for each red 3 you have, only if you made at least one meld;
an extra 400 points (making 800) if the partnership has all four red threes.
To this base score, add the total value of all the cards melded, and subtract the value of
any cards left in the players' hands.
If a partnership did not manage to meld at all, then each of their red threes counts minus
100 instead of plus - and if they are unlucky enough to have all four red threes they score
End of the game
One standard deck of 52 cards is used. Cards in each suit rank, from low to high:
Ace 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jack Queen King.
The cards have values as follows:
Face cards (K,Q,J) 10 points
Ace 1 point
Number cards are worth their spot (index) value.
The first dealer is chosen randomly, and the turn to deal alternates between the players.
Each player is dealt ten cards, one at a time. The twenty-first card is turned face up t
start the discard pile and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to form
the stock. The players look at and sort their cards.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to arrange as many as possible of the ten cards in your hand into
sets. There are two kinds of sets: sequences and groups.
a sequence consists of three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, such as
4, 5, 6 or 8, 9, 10, J.
a group is three or four cards of the same rank, such as 7, 7, 7.
A card can belong to only one set at a time.
A normal turn consists of two parts:
The Draw. You must begin by taking one card from either the top of the stock pile or the
top card on the discard pile, and adding it to your hand. The discard pile is face up, so
you can see in advance what you are getting. The stock is face down, so if you choose to
draw from the stock you do not see the card until after you have committed yourself to
take it. If you draw from the stock, you add the card to your hand without showing it to
the other players.
The Discard To complete your turn, one card must be discarded from your hand and placed on top of the discard pile face up.
For the first turn of the hand, the draw is done in a special way. First, the person who did
not deal chooses whether to take the turned up-card. If the non-dealer declines it, the
dealer may take the card. If both players refuse the turned-up card, the non-dealer draws
the top card from the stock pile. Whichever player took a card completes their turn by
discarding and then it is the other player's turn to play.
The play ends when a player knocks. This can be done on any turn (including the first),
immediately after drawing, provided that you can form sufficient of your cards into sets.
Having knocked, you complete your turn by discarding one card as usual and then
spreading your remaining cards face up on the table, arranged into sets and unmatched
cards. In order to be allowed to knock, the total value of your unmatched cards must be
ten points or less. Knocking with no unmatched cards at all is called going gin, and earns
a special bonus.
You are never forced to knock. A player who is able to knock may choose instead to
carry on playing, to try to get a better score.
The opponent of the player who knocked must then spread their cards face-up, arranging
them into sets where possible. Provided that the knocker did not go gin, the opponent is
also allowed to lay off any unmatched cards by using them to extend the sets laid down
by the knocker - by adding a fourth card of the same rank to a group of three, or further
consecutive cards of the same suit to either end of a sequence.
If a player goes gin, the opponent is not allowed to lay off any cards.
Note the knocker is never allowed to lay off cards on the oppponent's sets.
The play also ends if the stock pile is reduced to two cards, and the player who took the
third last card discards without
knocking. In this case the hand is cancelled, there is no
score, and the same dealer deals again.
Each player counts the total value of their unmatched cards. If the knocker's count i
lower, the knocker scores the difference between the two counts.
If the knocker did not go gin, and the counts are equal, or the knocker's count is greater
than that of the opponent, the knocker has been undercut. In this case the knocker's
opponent scores the difference between the counts plus a 10 point bonus.
A player who goes gin scores a bonus 20 points, plus the opponent's count in unmatched
cards, if any. A player who goes gin can never be undercut. Even if the other player has
no unmatched cards at all, the knocker gets the 20 point bonus the other player scores
The game continues with further deals until one player's cumulative score reaches 100
points or more. This player then receives an additional bonus of 100 points. If the loser
failed to score anything at all during the game, then the winner's bonus is 200 points rather
In addition, each player adds a further 20 points for each hand they won. This is called the
line bonus or box bonus. These additional points cannot be counted as part of the 100
needed to win the game.
After the bonuses have been added, the player with the lower score pays the player with
the higher score an amount proportional to the difference between their scores.
There are four players; partners sit across from each other.
The deck consists of 80 cards, A 10 K Q J in each of the four suits, and with four
identical copies of each card. This deck can be formed by mixing together two normal
Pinochle decks, having thrown out the nines, or from four regular 52 card decks from
which you throw out all the numerals 2 to 9.
Idea of the Game
Each hand starts with an auction in which players bid the number of points their team will
try to win. Whoever bids highest has the privilege of choosing trumps, exchanging some
cards and leading to the first trick. The object of the high bidder's team is to win at least as
many points as the amount they bid. Points can be scored in two ways:
by declaring and showing (melding) combinations of cards held in a players hand;
by winning aces, tens ankings in tricks
The game is won by the first partnership to achieve a score of 500 or more. If both sides
reach 500 on the same hand, the bidding side wins.
Deal and play are clockwise. All the cards are dealt to the players, so that everyone has
20. The dealer may choose how to deal, but it is usual to deal one packet of 2 cards to
each player, and then deal in threes until the all cards are dealt.
Rank and Value of Cards
In each suit the cards rank, from highest to lowest, Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack. At the
end of the play, each side counts the points they have taken in tricks. Each Ace, Ten and
King is worth one point, and the team who win the last trick get an extra 2 points. Hence
there are a total of 50 points available for tricks.
Combinations of cards in hand which can be scored by displaying them before
the start of the trick play are called meld. There are three types of meld. Any particular
card can only belong to one meld of each type:
Type I - runs and marriages.
In these combinations all the cards must be in the same suit.
Value Value in a
Combination in trumps non-trump suit
Run - Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack 15 points no value
Double Run - 2 each of A, 10, K, Q, J 150 points no value
Triple Run - 3 each of A, 10, K, Q, J 500 points no value
Marriage - King and Queen 4 points 2 points
Double Marriage - 2 Kings and 2 Queens 30 points 4 points
Triple Marriage - 3 Kings and 3 Queens 60 points 6 points
Quadruple Marriage - all 4 Kings and Queens 240 points 8 points
Type II - pinochles Value
Pinochle - Jack of diamonds & Queen of spades 4 points
Double Pinochle - 2 Jacks of diamonds & 2 Queens of spades 30 points
Triple Pinochle - 3 Jacks of diamonds & 3 Queens of spades 90 points
Quadruple Pinochle - 4 Jacks of diamonds & 4 Queens of spades 360 points
Type III - arounds Value
Aces - An Ace in each suit 10 points
Double Aces - 2 Aces in each suit 100 points
Triple Aces - 3 Aces in each suit 500 points
Kings - A King in each suit 8 points
Double Kings - 2 Kings in each suit 80 points
Triple Kings - 3 Kings in each suit 400 points
Queens - A Queen in each suit 6 points
Double Queens - 2 Queens in each suit 60 points
Triple Queens - 3 Queens in each suit 300 points
Jacks - A Jack in each suit 4 points
Double Jacks - 2 Jacks in each suit 40 points
Triple Jacks - 3 Jacks in each suit 200 points
A set of tens is not worth anything in meld
The person to the left of the dealer bids first. The opening bid must be at least 25, but may
be higher. You may bid by ones until you reach 50; bids above 50 must be multiples of 5
(55, 60, 65 etc.). Turn to bid proceeds clockwise. Each bid must be higher than the
previous one, but a player who does not wish to bid can pass. If the first three players all
pass, the dealer is forced to bid at least 25. Once you pass you cannot re-enter the bidding
on a later turn. The bidding continues for as many rounds as necessary until three players
have passed. Whoever wins the bid (bids the highest) gets exchange cards, call trump and
Exchanging, Calling Trump and Melding
Before choosing the trump suit, the high bidder receives three cards from his partner. The
bidder must name a suit he would like to receive and his partner must give him 3 cards of
that suit if he has them. If the partner has fewer than 3 cards of the suit requested, he must
pass any cards he has in the requested suit, plus other card(s) of his choice to complete the
3 card pass. The partner passes the three cards face down to the bidder, who looks at
them, adds them to his hand, and then passes any three cards back to his partner, also face
The bidder now names a suit of his choice as trump. The trump suit will often be the same
as the suit he asked to be passed, but it does not have to be - for example the bidder may
have requested a suit he needed to complete a combination, such as double aces, but
intend to have a different suit as trump.
Once trump is called each player lays his meld face up on the table. A combination must
be entirely within one player's hand to count. Note also that you can count the same card
in melds of different types (for example a queen of spades could be part of a marriage, a
pinochle and a set of queens), but not in more than one meld of the same type (so a king
and two queens does not count as two marriages). Partners add together the scores for
their meld and this is written down on the score sheet.
The person who won the
bid begins each hand, by leading to the first trick, and the others
play in turn, clockwise. A trick consists of one card from each player and if it contains no
trumps it is won by the highest card played of the suit led. If any trumps are played to the
trick, then the highest trump wins, irrespective of any other cards in the trick. If there are
two or more identical cards in a trick, the first of these cards which was played beats the
others. The winner of a trick leads to the next.
When leading to a trick any card may be played. Each subsequent players must follow
suit if they can and must crawl (this means that each player must play a card which is
higher in rank than the winning card that has been played to the trick so far). A player who
cannot crawl (i.e. does not have a high enough card of the suit led to beat the highest so
far played to the trick) must follow suit in any case, with a card that will not win the trick.
If the person to play does not have any cards of the suit that was led, he must trump. If
someone has already trumped then later players who can follow suit may play any card of
the suit led (no card of the led suit can beat a trump). If, however, the next player doesn't
have the led suit either, he must crawl in trump, that is beat the highest trump so far
played. A player who cannot follow suit and cannot beat the highest trump so far played
must still trump, even though his trump will not be high enough to win the trick.
A player who has no card of the suit led and no trumps may play any card.
When all the cards have been played, each team counts the points in the tricks they have
won. If the bidding side took in meld and tricks at least as many points as they bid, then
both teams add the points they made to their cumulative score.
If the bidding partnership does not "make" the bid (i.e. their meld and trick points do not
equal or surpass their bid), they have been "set". In this case they score nothing for their
meld and tricks, and instead the amount of their bid is subtracted from their score. The
non-bidding partners get to keep their meld and trick points.
If the bidding partners know that they cannot make the bid before play begins, they may<
call trump and throw in their hand. In this case they score nothing for their meld and their
bid is subtracted from their score. The non-bidding partners add their meld points to their
score. This allows the bidding partners to avoid losing the trick points to their opponents.
5 Card Draw
INITIAL DEAL: five down cards to each player
PLAY:There is a betting round after the deal, starting with the player to the left of the
dealer. After the betting round, each player may exchange up to three cards. Another
round of betting ensues, followed by the showdown. With fewer than six players, a player
may draw four cards if they show that their remaining card is an Ace.
Adding wild cards to play (and allowing five-of-a-kinds if chosen).
High/low: the highest hand and lowest hand split the pot.
Lowball: Lowest hand wins
Allowing for four card draw with an ace.
Double draw: After the first exchange and subsequent betting, there is another exchange
and betting round.
Jacks to Open, Trips to Win
PLAY: Played like 5-card draw, with the following differences: Only a player with a
hand as good as or better than a pair of Jacks may open the betting. If someone has such a
hand, they must open the betting. If nobody can open, the hand is discarded, everyone
antes again, and hands are redealt. Once the betting is opened play continues as in 5 Card
Draw until the showdown. At this time, anyone who has at least a 3 of a kind must reveal
his hand. The best revealed hand takes the pot. If nobody reveals a hand (that is, nobody
has at least 3 of a kind) everyone still in may make another exchange. Repeat this process
(exchange, bet, check for winner) until someone wins.
WINNER: High and low hands split
Progressive Jackpot: You have to win 3 hands to win the pot. The first hand starts with
twos being wild, with the rank of the wild card increasing by one with each hand (so in
the fourth hand, fives are wild). If nobody can open, the requirement increases to a pair of
Queens, then Kings, then Aces.
INITIAL DEAL: two down and one up to each player
PLAY: As with 7 card stud, with these exceptions: threes and nines are wild. If a four is
dealt face up, the recipient immediately receives another card down.
WINNER: High hand
Rainouts - If the Queen of Spades is dealt face up, the hand is terminated and redealt-- but
only for players who are still in.
Rainouts as above, but after 3 of them you build a dome over the stadium, preventing
Paying for wild cards. Usually, the required payment is to match the pot. Possibilities
Face-up threes, nines, or both require the recipient to pay for them to be wild, otherwise
they're just face value.
Face-up threes, nines, or both require the recipient to pay for them or fold.
Pay for face down wilds as well as face up ones.
Paying for the additional card when a four comes face up.
Allowing someone with a face-down four to flip it face up and receive an additional card.
The way we usually play is: Nines are free, as are down threes. Up threes require you to
match the pot or fold. The additional card from a four is free, and you can turn a down
four up to get it.
INITIAL DEAL: seven cards face down to each player and one up card on the table.
PLAY: Do not look at your cards! This game is similar to baseball, except you can't look
at your cards until they're flipped up. The player to the dealer's left is the lead player. The
lead player starts rolling cards until his revealed hand beats the highest revealed hand on
the table (initially, the single up card). He must obey any payment rules which apply as he
flips cards (paying for wild cards, fours, etc). As soon as his revealed hand becomes the
new best hand, he stops rolling cards and begins a round of betting. If he rolls all his cards
and does not beat what is on the table, he is out and a betting round begins with the high
hand. Either way, the next player then tries to beat the high hand in the same manner, with
a betting round ensuing whenever someone stops rolling cards. The game continues until
all the cards have been turned up or there is only one person left in the game.
WINNER: High hand
If a player rolls all his cards without beating the high hand, there is no betting round-- the
next player begins rolling immediately.
Players can look at their cards and lay down the cards of their choice until their exposed
hand beats what's on the table. Makes this game more strategic.
INITIAL DEAL: seven cards face down to each player and one up card on the table.
PLAY: Do not look at your cards! This game is similar to Midnight Baseball, but without
all the special cards. The player to the dealer's left is the lead player. The lead player starts
rolling cards until his revealed hand beats the highest revealed hand on the table (initially,
the single up card). As soon as his revealed hand becomes the best hand, he stops rolling
cards and begins a round of betting. If he rolls all his cards and does not beat what is on
the table, he is out and a betting round begins with the high hand. Either way, the next
player becomes the new lead player and the process repeats, with a round of betting
whenever someone stops rolling cards. If at any time the lead player rolls a card of the
same rank as the card dealt up from the deck at the initial deal, he must immediately fold
and a betting round begins with the high hand. The game continues until all the cards have
been turned up or there is only one person left in the game.
WINNER: High hand
If a player rolls all his cards without beating the high hand, there is no betting round-- the
next player begins rolling immediately.
If a player folds because he matches the initial up card, there is no betting round.
How To Play The Game
To start, all the dice are placed in the bottom portion of the box.
The first player shakes the closed box. Once the shaking is stopped, the player opens the
box and examines the roll. (One cannot reach in or touch the dice.)
The player in possession of the box when the round begins can pass either left or right.
That player attempts to pass a hand to the next player.
For example: Two Kings, Two Jacks and a ten
The "next" player has to decide if what the first player says is (1) true or (2) false.
Example: Place the two Kings up on the tray. Leave the other three dice down, close the
lid and shake the box.
If he believes it is false, then he "calls" that player, and opens the box. Now, if the two
Kings, Two Jacks and the ten are in the box, then he loses a bet. This player now starts the
box again and play continues.
Play continues until each player loses a bet.
Bunko is a dice game. It is a social game played with multiples of 4 people. Most
commonly, it is played with 12 people. The game is played in rounds. Although the game
is associated with crowds of women drinking heavily and gossiping, this is NOT required.
at least 8 players, in multiples of 4. 12 players are recommended.
1 table per 4 people
3 die per table
1 score sheet per person
prizes (explained below)
a handbell (FUN)
hole punches for scoring
Play is accomplished using all three die. All three are rolled at the same time.
Points are accumulated by rolling 6s. Each 6 rolled is worth a single point.
The player rolls as long as she keeps getting 6s.
If you roll all 1s, it is called a "wipeout". Your team (described below) lose all their points
if you roll a wipeout. (Note: this is also called "snake eyes", which is technically incorrect
since snakes normally only have 2 eyes)
If you roll all 6s, it is called a "Bunko". You get the 3 points for the three 6s. However, all
players scramble to pick up a die after a Bunko. Each die collected is also worth a point.
Therefore, if the same team who rolls a Bunko also gets all 3 dice, they get 6 points (3 +
3). The opposing team, if they pick up all 3 dice can also get 3 points. The point
possibility for each team is therefore 6/0, 5/1, 4/2, 3/3.
This description assumes 12 players. Therefore there are 3 tables.
The players sit at the table, with opposing players forming teams. That is, there are 2
teams at each table, with partners sitting across from each other. Each player rolls a die to
see who goes first. Play then rotates from player to player clockwise after a player does
not roll a 6 (as described above).
The tables are "ranked". There is a head table, a bottom table, and a middle table. When
your team wins a game, it advances to the next higher table, leaving the losers to stay at
the same table. At the head table, the winners remain and the losers go to the bottom table.
You change partners after each round, except at the head table. The winning team remains
partners. At the other tables, the losers who remain behind decide who will change seats.
When the advancing team sit down, they are then no longer partnered (except at the head
table). If this seems confusing, try it once for yourself.
The head table plays until the winning team scores 21 points. When this happens, the head
table calls "stop" and play stops at all tables. If there is a tie at a table when play is
stopped, play continues normally until the tie is broken.
Note that scoring is separate at each table. Winning scores at the non-head tables could be
15 or 50, depending on the rolling. However, a winning score is the higher score and will
always be 21 at the head table.
At this point, play in this round is complete. Winners mark their wins on their scoring
sheets, and losers mark their losses.
At the end of the game time, the overall winner is decided by the number of wins and the
overall loser is determined by the number of losses. Ties are broken by dice roll.
Links to other game sites:
The WWW Backgammon Page
Chess Space - Chess Space
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