How to Play 31

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31 Rules & Instructions

how to play 31


Number of Players


Supplies Needed

  • Full deck of 52 standard playing cards
  • Chips

Card Rank

  • Aces are worth 11 points
  • Face cards are worth 10 points
  • All other cards are worth their face value


  • You can only add card values together if they are of the same suit
  • Exception: three of a kind gives you 30 points. A pair can’t be added together


Each player has three cards and takes turns trying to get the highest score possible (31 being the most). After a round, the person with the lowest total points has to forfeit one chip to the community pot. The last person standing collects all the chips. You can start with any amount, but the standard is three chips per person.


Everyone is dealt three cards face down. The remaining cards are placed in the middle with one card flipped up as the “widow”. The player to the left of the dealer begins play by either taking the face up card or by drawing a face down card from the deck.

The player then has to discard one card from their hand to the face up “widow” pile to complete their turn. They are allowed to discard the card that was picked up from the widow.

The next player has the option to either pick up the last discarded playing card or draw from the deck. This sequence continues until one player is satisfied with their hand and knocks before taking their turn.

After knocking, each subsequent player will get one more turn to try and make the best hand possible.

After the last turn is finished, everyone turns over their hands. The player with the lowest amount has to forfeit a chip to the middle.

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