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Nines Card Game: Rules, Scoring & How to Play?

Nines card game is a game of luck that involves a standard deck of 52 cards. Once the game’s rules are understood, it’s a pretty simplistic card game to play with your friends and family.

This is why I have put together this simple guide to tell you everything you need to know before you play, during play, and about how to win the nines card game, in a way that won’t bamboozle you like some other explanations you may have read.

What is Nines Card Game?

What is Nines Card Game

Nines card game can be played with anything from two players up to five, making it perfect for small family gatherings. It uses a standard deck of cards, and the suits in this game are irrelevant. Instead, your cards will be ranked from high to low, Ace being the highest.

There are also some special cards that have particular actions and other meanings. I will go into more detail about those shortly.

Each player starts the game with nine cards, hence the game’s name. Three of those cards are then placed face down (these are your “down” cards). Then, pick the best three out of the remaining six cards; this will leave you with three cards in your hand.

The game aims to be the first person in the group to play all of your cards. This is done by the player to the left of the dealer playing a card of their choosing, this is usually the lowest card, but it can be anything you want. (This forms the pile, which other players will continue to put their chosen cards down.)

If you have two cards that are the same, they can be played. After playing the card, the player picks up more cards from the deck to bring their total back to three cards.

The idea now is for each player to place down a higher card than the one placed before. For instance, if the player before you put down a 7, you must put down another card that is 7 or higher.

If the previous player put down multiple cards, this doesn’t mean you have to. Any number of cards can be placed down as long as they are of the same value. For example, if a player puts down three 4’s, you may follow it with one 5 card.

The gameplay now continues this way until someone cannot place a card, in which case, the player picks up the whole pile, and the next player starts the stack again with any card they wish.

So that’s the basic gameplay of Nines. Now let’s look at what you’ll need, how to score, some of the rules, and a couple of other game variations.

What You Need To Play?

On Sale Nines Card Game

You’ll be happy to hear that all you will need a full deck of 52 cards to play which, if you don’t already have lying around in your games drawer, can be purchased from any game shop or almost anywhere online.

To Start The Game

Before you start your game, shuffle your deck. Next, decide who is going to be the dealer. You can do this by each selecting a card, and whoever has the highest card is the dealer. The person with the second highest goes second should be seated to the dealer’s left, and so on.


The dealer now gives each player nine cards. The remaining cards are put to one side, which will be the draw deck.

How To Win Nines Card Game?

The main objective of winning this game is simply to get rid of all your cards before your opponents. To do this, you must be able to place a card after the player before you to eliminate all your cards.

Rules And Gameplay

Rules and Gameplay

The game’s scoring is simple. The person who gets their cards down from 9 to 0 is the winner. You can work together to bring others down if you want to be really clever.

For example, if you can see a player is down to their “up” cards, you can see their hand, meaning you can manipulate what cards they will be forced to put down; this can result in the rest of the players being left with the high cards, meaning they will struggle to play their turn.

If at any point you cannot exceed the previous card, you must pick up the whole pile, which means you’re left with a larger quantity of cards. Bad luck!

If you were unlucky enough to pick up the pile, you no longer have to pick up from the draw deck after each turn, at least not until you are back down to three cards.

Action Cards Game

The cards required to play Nines is also a bit different from other cards game. Here are they:

Up Cards

These are the cards you placed face-up at the beginning of the game. So, once the draw deck has been used, you will start using your up cards to replace your hand.

Down Cards

Now that you’ve used all your Up cards, you are left with three cards that you placed face down at the start of the game. You continue to leave these face down and play them blindly. So when your turn comes around, you turn over a card, and if you’re able to play it, do so. If you can’t play it, however, the pile now, unfortunately, becomes your hand. Only once this is gone can you continue to play the rest of your down cards blindly.

As I briefly discussed in the introduction, some cards have particular actions that can affect yours or your opponent’s position in the game. Here is a list of what each of those cards can do.

  • This can be placed on top of any card except 4. It is classed as the reset card because it’s the lowest in the pack. Meaning any card can follow it.
  • This is the clone card. It replicates whatever card it has been placed on. If it is placed on a 9, it takes the role of 9’s actions, meaning the next player must put down a 9 or below. The only card a 3 can’t be placed on is a 4.
  • Cancels out wildcards, meaning action cards 2, 3, and 10 can not be played on top of it.
  • This has to be played following an 8 or lower as per the rules, but once placed, the next player skips their turn. (It doesn’t matter how many 8’s are placed down in one go, only the next player skips their next turn.)
  • If the player before you puts down a 9, you must now play a card of the same value or lower.
  • This clears the pile. After using this card, the player must take another turn using their chosen card. You can use 10’s multiple times in concession. This card can be used on top of any card except 4.

Other Actions Card Game

Along with all these actions and rules, there are some more interesting gameplay that you should know to become well versed in this fun-filled card game.

4 of a Kind

If four of the same cards are placed down in a row, this cancels the pile, the same action as placing down a 10. Whoever placed the last matching card down should disregard the stack and take a free turn.

Up and Down Cards

So, remember when I was talking about dealing the cards earlier, I said that you should have three cards placed face down (your “down” cards), and then you needed to select the best cards, which are your “up” cards, well, you might be wondering what the best cards are.

This basically means high cards or action cards. For instance, if you have a 10 and a pair of 7’s, you may be able to play your entire hand of up cards in one turn. The clone card (3) is also a good one to keep in your “up” card pile.

Nines Card Game Summary

So there we have it; that’s how you play Nines the card game. It’s a fun, easy way to get everyone together for a fast and simplistic card game that can be played and enjoyed by the whole family.

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