Thirty One

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Thirty One Card Game Rules


Thirty One is a betting game where players try to get a hand of three cards as close to a value of 31 as possible. Thirty One can be played by 2 to 12 players. At CardzMania, all betting games are for fun without a pot limit, and there is no real money involved.

Value of Cards

In Thirty One, 2 through 10 are worth their pip value, face cards are worth 10 and Aces are worth 11.

Play Multiplayer Thirty One Online

The Deck and the Deal

Thirty One is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. After shuffling the deck, the dealer passes out three cards to each player one by one faced down. The dealer then places the remaining deck in the center of the table, flips over the top card and places it next to the deck to form the discard pile.

How to Play

Beginning with the person left of the dealer and going clockwise, players draw the top card from either the deck or the discard pile, with the goal of making their hand as close to 31 as possible. After drawing a card, the player must discard a card to end their turn. Only cards of the same suit can count towards 31. If a player has a hand containing a 2 of Clubs, a 5 of Clubs and an Ace of Hearts, for example, their hand is worth 11, i.e. the value of Ace, Clubs value of 7 (2 + 5) is lower and hence doesn't matter.

Once a player believes their hand is close enough to 31, they can knock on the table. Knocking on the table means that every other player has one more turn. Once everybody finishes their turn, cards are shown. If a player is able to get to the maximum count of 31 i.e Ace and two cards worth ten points (10, J, Q or K of the same suit as ace), they can knock right away which ends the round as well (others don't get to draw another card) and everyone else loses one point.


The player with the lowest value loses one point. Players start with 3 points and also continue playing when they are at 0 points i.e. they get four chances in total before they are out of the game. If you lose after knocking, you lose two points instead of one. In case of a tie, everyone with the lowest points loses one point. If the knocker ties with someone else for the lowest points, they don't lose a point as others got another chance to draw an additional card.

The last person left in the game wins.


CardzMania supports several customizable rules and options so you can play Thirty One exactly how you like or how you grew up playing with your friends and family. In addition to the classic way of playing, we often have new creative options for you to try to spice up the game if you are interested in trying different spins for fun.


Players determine a set amount of points when the game ends.


Players determine a set amount of rounds (also known as hands or deals) that the game will go to (instead of the points selection above).


Players only have a set amount of time to make their turn after which a turn is automatically played for them and the game proceeds: Fast is 7 seconds, Standard is 15 seconds, Slow is 30 seconds, and Very Slow is 60 seconds. Players can also choose to disable the timer, but that is only for private tables.

Three of a Kind

Three of a kind gets thirty points as opposed to standard points rules. So, 888 will get 30 points as opposed to only 8.

Shuffle Pile

Whether to shuffle the pile before reusing it or not (to replenish the deck).

Betting Basics

Betting games are played with a group of people circled around a table. After being dealt a hand of cards, players bet that their hand is the highest among the group.

Betting games typically center around having the highest ranked hand in a group of players. Before the hands are dealt, betting games normally require an ante, or an initial bet that starts the pot, or the winner's prize. After receiving their cards, players make bets over who has the highest ranked hand. Players do not need to bet according to their real hand; they can bluff, or lie, in hopes that other players fold from the game rather than challenge their hand. Either the last player betting or the player with the highest hand between the last players betting, wins the pot of bets.

All players start with the same points balance and compete over deals / rounds to amass as many points as they can or eliminate other players (when they run out of points). The player with the highest number of points or the last player standing wins the game.

Ranking of Cards

In most betting games, Aces are high and 2s are low. In the event of a tie, suits are then ranked from (Low) Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs (High). Instead of looking at the suits, players can break ties using the kicker.

Ranking of Hands


High Card – If there are no pairs or kinds in play, the player with the highest card wins

One Pair – Two cards of the same rank

Two Pair

Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank

Straight – Five sequential cards that are not in the same suit.

Flush – Five cards that are in the same suit.

Full House – Three of a kind and a pair

Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same rank

Straight Flush – Five sequential cards that are of the same suit

Royal Flush – 10 through Ace of the same suit.


Terms and Definitions

Ante: A bet made to start the pot before the actual game begins. Everybody pitches the same amount for the ante.

Blinds: The blinds are the two players left of the dealer. The player left of the dealer is called the left blind, also known as the small blind; they make the initial bet in the game. The player left of the left blind is called the right blind, also known as the big blind; they double the bet of the left blind. Blinds also determine the minimum amount of bet a person can make. The blind amount is usually increased after a few rounds to help speed up the game.

Bluffing: Making a bet despite not having a good enough hand to bet on. This is done in the hope that someone with a good hand will fold instead of continuing with the game.

Buyback: Players can buy back points if they are almost out.

Call: To make an equal bet to the previous bet. This is the minimum amount you need to bet to stay in the game.

Check: To pass on making a bet. This can only be done if no bets have been made thus far.

Double Down: In Blackjack, players can 'double down', or double their bet, if they are confident that they will win.

Flop: In Texas Holdem, the Flop round is the second round in which the dealer reveals 3 community cards.

Fold: To resign from the game, giving up the bets you have made in the pot. Once you fold, you forfeit from any winnings even if you end up having the best hand.

Hitting: In Blackjack, players can 'hit' and request an additional card for their hand.

Kicker: The Kicker is the second highest card (after the hand rank). It usually only comes to play as a tiebreaker when you have the same hand rank as another player.

Limited Betting: For this variation, players have a limit to the max they can bet in each round of betting.

Raise: To make a bet more than the amount of the previous bet.

Re-raise: A re-raise is when a player raises a previously raised bet.

River: In Poker games, the River is the round in which the dealer reveals the last card.

Showdown: In Poker games, the showdown occurs after the river and when multiple players are still actively betting. During the showdown, players must reveal their hand. The player with the highest hand wins the game.

Sit Out: In this variation, players can choose to sit out for a round.

Splitting: In Blackjack, players can split their hand if they are dealt two identical cards. After splitting, their bet is doubled and they receive two more cards.

Standing: In Blackjack, standing means that you do not want any more cards dealt to you.

Pot: The total amount of bets made.

Pre-Flop: In Texas Holdem, the Pre-Flop is the first round in which the dealer passes out two cards to everyone and in which initial bets are made.

Push: In Blackjack, to push means that your hand and the dealer's hand are equal. Nobody wins or loses when there is a push.

Turn: In Poker games, the Turn is the round before the River in which the dealer reveals an additional community card.

Card Game Basics

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K). Some games include the two Jokers found in a standard deck but most games don't.


Would like to discuss new features or variations for Thirty One? Need a custom rule? Have a question? Got a suggestion? Don't see a game you want to play? Please contact us by email, facebook or twitter - we really value your feedback and love hearing from all of you!

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