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Troika Card Game Rules


Troika is a German trick taking game where teams of players try to be the first to reach 52 points. Troika is played with four players divided into two teams.

Ranking of Cards

In Troika, Aces are high and 3s are low


Play Multiplayer Troika Online

The Deck and the Deal

Troika is played with a German 32 card deck, with Aces through 8 in each suit; the four additional cards are the 7 of Clubs and Diamonds, 5 of Hearts, and the 3 of Spades. After the teams are decided amongst the players, the dealer shuffles the deck and passes out 8 cards, one by one, to each player.

How to Play


Beginning with the player left of the dealer, players bid on how many points they can make in the round. The minimum bid is 6 and the maximum bid is 12. Players must raise a bid made or pass. Players can signal that they want to bid without trump by saying no after their bid. A no trump bid is ranked higher than a trump bid. Once all players pass after a bid is made, the winner of the bid becomes the declarer. The declarer decides on the trump suit for the round.

If all players pass before a bid is made, the dealer must make a bid of 6. This is called Sticking it to the Dealer.


The declarer leads the first trick. Gameplay continues clockwise. Players must follow the lead suit if possible. If no trumps are played, then the highest card in the lead suit wins the trick. The winner of a trick leads the next trick. Gameplay continues until all cards are played.

Cards in tricks won are then tallied for points.


Each trick won by a team is worth 1 point. An additional 5 points are given to the team who won the trick containing the 5 of Hearts. A penalty of 3 points is given to the team who won the trick containing the 3 of Clubs.

If the bidding team met their bid, their collective points are added to their score. If they failed to meet their bid, their collective points are subtracted from their score. If they played no trumps, then their score is doubled and either added or subtracted depending on if they met their bid or not.

If the non-bidding team has a score below 45, their points are added to their score. If they have a score of 45 or more, their points are not added to their score.


Traditionally, the team who reaches 52 points first wins the game, however, at CardzMania, you can decide the winning-point threshold.


We support several customizable rules and options so you can play Troika 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.

Min bid

Players can decide the minimum bid. The options that are available are 5, 6, 7 or 8.

Trump lead

Players can decide to make the lead card trump if they are playing Joffre.

Max non bid

Players can decide the maximum number of points the non-bidding team can have before the tally cut-off. The options that are available are 30, 35, 45, 47, 50, 55, 56 and 60. This restriction can also be disabled.

No trumps

Players can decide if they want to allow no trumps in bidding.

Low bids

Players can decide to reverse the ranking of the cards and whether this option should always be available or only when no trumps are called.


Players can decide to make a two card kitty pile in the dealing process that is to be taken by the declarer.

Stick the dealer

Players can decide if the dealer can pass or not if everyone else has passed.

Standard Trick Rules

In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand.

Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

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.

Solitaire Games

As the name implies, Solitaire games are typically games that one can play alone. Solitaire begins by building a grid of cards called a Tableau. The Tableau, or Cascade, is a set of 7 piles of overlapping cards. The first pile has 1 card, the second pile has 2 cards, and so on. Only the bottom card in each pile is facing upward. The remaining deck forms the discard and draw piles. The goal of solitaire games is to move cards from the tableau, discard, and draw piles into four suited piles (called the foundations) in ascending order (Ace to King).

Trick Taking Games

Trick Taking games center around having the highest ranked card in a draw. Typically, players of trick taking games sit in a circle, sometimes in teams and sometimes playing solo, and are dealt a hand of cards. Given the specific game's card ranking (and trump), players draw a card from their hand in hopes that it outranks the other cards played. The player who outranks the others wins the trick for that round and gameplay is repeated until the cards are exhausted. Typically the player or team with the most tricks wins the game.

Rummy Games

Rummy games are typically played in teams of two where players try to play their cards, or meld them, in groups of a kind or in sequences of a suit. Rummy games often contain the joker and wildcards (Ace and 2) to help make melding easier. Depending on the type of meld made, teams receive a certain number of points. After a player lays off all of their cards, the game ends and the team with the most points wins.

Betting Games

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.

Climbing Games

Climbing games typically center around players getting rid of their cards as fast as they can. Each climbing game has its own rules for discarding cards and its own implications for getting rid of your cards first. Some games run on a points system where the player who gets rid of their cards first gets the most points. Other games run on a ranking system where the player who gets rid of their cards first is in a better position for the next round.

Classic Games

Classic games vary to a great degree in terms of rules and objectives. A thread that binds them all is their simplicity and age. Classic games are typically easy enough for young children to play them and have typically been around for many years.


Would like to discuss new features or variations for Troika? 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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