Tripoley is an exciting card game because it also uses a game board, and it can also seem quite intimidating at first glance. In this Tripoley game guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the rules so you know exactly how to play.
While it’s sometimes called Three In One, the most common name is Tripoley. This is because it’s based on a much older European game called Poch, and Tripoley has the name implies, is played in three parts or phases.
The game has some similarities with both Gin Rummy and Poker but is very much its unique creation. So, before we look at what you need to play, let’s take a more in-depth look at what the game is all about.
What is The Tripoley Card Game?
Tripoley is a very versatile game that can be played with between two to nine people! However, the game is usually best played with four to seven people. As we said earlier, the game uses a board along with a deck of cards.
So, in some ways, it’s both a card game and a board game. To start with, players must place a chip on each of the spaces on the board. Then every player is dealt one card at a time; the game’s objective is to win as many chips as you can. So now, as we mentioned earlier, Tripoley is played in three distinct phases.
The first phase is Hearts, the second is Poker, and the third is a Rummy-style game. The game also doesn’t have a designated endpoint, although some players will eventually fold or go out.
After all three phases have been completed, the game typically goes to a final Poker round to decide the winner of any remaining chips.
While Tripoley can look a little confusing, the game is easier to play than you might think. Before we take a look at the rules for the game in more detail, let’s look at what you’ll need to play it at home.
What You’ll Need To Play?
To play Tripoley, you’ll need a deck of cards, Poker chips, and a Tripoley game board. While you can buy game boards separately online, we think this Tripoley Deluxe Board Game set would be a great option.
This set includes Poker chips, a deck of cards, and a felt game board. Now the cards and chips are pretty self-explanatory. But the game board itself might look a little confusing. So, before we talk about how you play Tripoley, let’s look at the board in a bit more detail.
Tripoley Game Board
A Tripoley board is a large circle split into nine segments. Eight of the segments go round the edge of the circle like a ring. While the ninth is in the middle, this center space is the pot. The segments around the perimeter are labeled so they will typically be easy to identify.
They are called the following: 8-9-10, Kitty. Ten of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, Ace of Hearts, and King-Queen of Hearts. We’ll talk more about how the board works in the gameplay section below.
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The aim of the Tripoley card game is to win by getting the most Poker chips. You do this by first playing through the three main phases of the game. Then if necessary, players will face-off in a Poker-style match for the final chips.
The game can end at any point, so the player with the most chips after the three main rounds can be declared the winner if you prefer. So, let’s take a look at the setup and rules in more detail.
To start with, nominate one player to be the dealer. The dealer should then split the chips so everyone has an equal amount. You can start with any number of chips, although the minimum is usually set at 20 per player.
Then deal a card to each player in turn. They should also deal an extra card each round to make up a spare/ extra hand. Depending on the number of players, a few people may have an additional card. This isn’t an issue, and all 52 cards should be dealt. The Jokers aren’t used.
The dealer will have the first chance to take the spare hand if they wish. However, since cards are dealt face down, they won’t know if the spare hand is better than their first. So, to help them decide, the dealer can look at their first hand before deciding whether to swap.
If they do decide to swap, they must discard their first hand before taking the spare. If they don’t want to take the spare hand, then other players can bid for it. Bids are made using chips, and the highest bidder will place their chips into the center of the board.
Once all the cards are dealt, each player should place nine chips across the segments on the board—each placing one chip in each segment. To make the game easier to understand, we have broken down the rules into three sections to outline each phase.
This is the most straightforward phase of the game. To start with, any player with the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, or Ten of Hearts should take the chips from the corresponding segment on the board. Then, if a player has both the King and Queen of Hearts, they also take the chips from that segment.
If a player has a sequence of 8-9-10 cards in the same suit, they can take the chips from that segment. If more than one player has a matching sequence, they can share the chips. It’s not uncommon for some chips to be unclaimed after this phase.
In this phase, you are effectively playing Poker with each other. Every player should take five cards from their hand to use and then take turns betting or calling checks. If every player calls check, everyone shows their cards, and the highest hand wins, taking the chips from the pot.
If one player bets, you can’t check, although you can fold, which means you have quit this phase. This phase continues till either every player apart from one has folded. Or till all players have called and then revealed their cards.
Once again, the player with the highest value hand will win the pot. If two or more players have matching hands, they will split the chips between themselves; if you are unfamiliar with the Poker hand values, check out our article on 7 Card Stud.
Players should first add their Poker cards back to their hands. Then, the winner from the previous phase will start playing. They must choose a card from their hand to put down, and the card they choose must be the lowest in whatever suit they pick.
The player with the next highest value card in the suit must play next. This continues with players placing down cards in the corresponding suit until the Ace card is reached. Of course, the Ace might not be reached if it’s been previously played or is the spare hand.
A stop card will occur, which is the highest possible card in a suit if this happens. When the sequence ends, the player who played the final card will start another one by playing the lowest value card in another suit.
When one player plays all their cards, this phase ends. They may then take all the chips from the Kitty segment on the board and take chips from the other players. The number of chips they’ll take will equal the number of cards each player has left.
The game can end after this phase, and the winner will be the player with the most chips. If there are any chips left on the board, players can play another round of Poker to decide who takes them.
Tripoley – A Real Triple Threat
Tripoley is a tricky game, but it is a lot of fun when you get used to the three phases! So if you’re looking for a rewarding and challenging group card game, give Tripoley a try!