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Subject: 3 player card game with standard set of cards rss

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Blair
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Hi, my lady and I are going to be playing cards with her 70-some year old grandfather this evening, and I was wondering if there are any simple 3 player card games that may be enjoyable. He knows how to play games like Whist, Crib and I think Canasta? Not sure on the last one. Anyone have any recommendations for a 3 player game using a standard deck of cards?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Jason Wallace
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My staple for a 3-player card game used to be 3-player "Cutthroat" Spades, which iirc is even in the Whist family.
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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Cribbage is my go to standard deck card game for three.
 
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Lacombe
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Ninety-Nine is a wonderful "precision bidding" trick-taker built for exactly three players.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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NateStraight wrote:
Ninety-Nine is a wonderful "precision bidding" trick-taker built for exactly three players.


Thanks for this suggestion! Checked it out and I'll be giving it a try next time I'm visiting my parents. My Mom, wife and I should have a blast with this one.
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Blair
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CDRodeffer wrote:
Cribbage is my go to standard deck card game for three.


Forgot to mention I currently don't have a 3 player crib board.. I know I could write it down but that's more of a pain. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
 
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Justus
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If they want to get an asian flavour, they should try out big three orfight the landlord. Both are similar in that they are variable partnership climbing games, but they have different allowable hands. Both are quite good, though since I was taught the latter on the plane from China back to the USA, I have a soft spot in my heart for that game.

http://www.pagat.com/climbing/bigthree.html
http://www.pagat.com/climbing/doudizhu.html
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Tim Koppang
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NateStraight wrote:
Ninety-Nine is a wonderful "precision bidding" trick-taker built for exactly three players.

Good suggestion.

For a lighter game with three, Scopa also works. You do not need a specialty deck; just strip a standard pack to 40 cards.
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Jerry Wilkinson
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Hearts, with the 2 of diamonds removed and everyone gets dealt 17 cards.
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todd sanders
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euchre is the classic 3 person game
 
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tckoppang wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Ninety-Nine is a wonderful "precision bidding" trick-taker built for exactly three players.

Good suggestion.

For a lighter game with three, Scopa also works. You do not need a specialty deck; just strip a standard pack to 40 cards.


Scopa is a winner of a game, briscola is good with three also.
 
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Dick Hunt
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Try Skat. I've never played it, but many times I've seen its name used as a crossword puzzle answer to the clue "card game for 3."
 
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Stuart Dagger
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Black Maria, which is the British variant of Hearts, is an excellent game for 3 players. Remove the 2 of clubs from the deck and then deal out all the cards. Play is as in standard Hearts except for the scoring, where all hearts score 1, the queen of spades 13, the king of spades 10 and the ace of spades 7. The rule on "shooting the moon" is as in standard Hearts, except that the score is now 43.

I'd also add another vote for Ninety-Nine.
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Tim Koppang
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louper wrote:
Skat is (arguably) one of the best 3-player card games out there, but is NOT simple - it's not on the level of spades, hearts, or cribbage.

Agreed. Skat is a wonderful game IF you can put in the time to learn the rules. The OP mentioned that he wanted something a bit simpler, which is why I didn't suggest it. If you are interested in Skat, but want to warm up to it first, you might try three-handed Sheepshead (aka Schafkopf).
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Tim Koppang
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dumarest123 wrote:
euchre is the classic 3 person game

Really? I've always played with 4 in two partnerships.
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Sam Link
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Casino is a game I play with my folks three player. It's simple and quick.
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Blair46 wrote:
I currently don't have a 3 player crib board.

Correct this problem post-haste!

I'm not thrilled with regular three-player Cribbage. (Please put down your torches, and hear me out!) Pegging play is less predictable, and the smaller hands reduce the possible hand combinations and insight into the crib. However, there is a very good variant: non-dealers score as a partnership. It's also a much faster game.
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Eigen
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We really enjoy Shithead with 3 or 4 people, although we often refer to it as 'Danish Pastry'. (Not too sure why...)
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Shane Larsen
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Haggis is fantastic, although technically it doesn't use a standard deck. It uses five suits (when playing with three players) and there are no Aces. But for all playing purposes, it uses standard-deck rules and terminology. FWIW, the cards are beautiful and the game is basically a solid three- or two-player version of Tichu (without the four special cards).

I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun!
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Jonathan Harrison
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Up and Down the River is one of my all-time favorite games. I learned it in Papua New Guinea years ago, and picked it up again after getting married. We started by playing Tennessee-style Rook, which my wife greatly enjoyed. Then I remembered UDR, and it quickly become the only trick-taking game we play any more. My wife loves it, our other gaming partner loves it (which is a feat; he's generally a person of mild passions), and I give it a 9.8. There's (I gather) a few variations on the rules; here's how our games play:
Quote:
• 4 suits, numbered 1 to 13 (we use a slimmed-down Rook deck; most people use standard playing cards).
• 1s are high.
For n = 1 to x:
• Deal n card(s) to each player.
• Flip the top card of the remaining deck as trump.
• Thumping fists, on the third thump, each player pops a finger or fingers to bid the number of tricks he'll take.
• High bid wins; rethump all players for tied high bids.
• Starting with the high bidder, and following suit and losing to trump, play each trick. Trick-taker leads.
Scoring:
+1 point for each trick taken
+10 points for making your bid exactly
–1 point for each absolute point of difference between your number of tricks taken and tricks bid
• Play from 1 to x and back down to 1 again.

Example:
• Round 6; each player dealt 6 cards
• Simultaneously, Jonathan bids 3, Jane bids 2, Jesse bids 2—the group is overbid by 1 trick
• Jonathan takes 4 tricks: 4 (tricks) – 1 (point of difference from bid) = 3 points
• Jane takes 0 tricks: 0 (tricks) – 2 (points of difference from bid) = –2 points
• Jesse takes 2 tricks: 2 (tricks) + 10 (for making his bid exactly) = 12 points

My collection note:
Quote:
Brilliant bidding game: perfect tension between possibility and actuality. Trying like mad to lose tricks after you takes ones you didn't bid on taking nearly defines this game; trying like madder to take tricks after you lost ones you were counting on does even more. And trying to calculate your bid based on whether you think you'll win the lead or not is the essence of this game.

2-player fine; shines with 3 players or, preferably, more.
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Neil Christiansen
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I second three-handed Sheepshead.
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Blair
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Up and Down the River is one of my all-time favorite games. I learned it in Papua New Guinea years ago, and picked it up again after getting married. We started by playing Tennessee-style Rook, which my wife greatly enjoyed. Then I remembered UDR, and it quickly become the only trick-taking game we play any more. My wife loves it, our other gaming partner loves it (which is a feat; he's generally a person of mild passions), and I give it a 9.8. There's (I gather) a few variations on the rules; here's how our games play:
Quote:
• 4 suits, numbered 1 to 13 (we use a slimmed-down Rook deck; most people use standard playing cards).
• 1s are high.
For n = 1 to x:
• Deal n card(s) to each player.
• Flip the top card of the remaining deck as trump.
• Thumping fists, on the third thump, each player pops a finger or fingers to bid the number of tricks he'll take.
• High bid wins; rethump all players for tied high bids.
• Starting with the high bidder, and following suit and losing to trump, play each trick. Trick-taker leads.
Scoring:
+1 point for each trick taken
+10 points for making your bid exactly
–1 point for each absolute point of difference between your number of tricks taken and tricks bid
• Play from 1 to x and back down to 1 again.

Example:
• Round 6; each player dealt 6 cards
• Simultaneously, Jonathan bids 3, Jane bids 2, Jesse bids 2—the group is overbid by 1 trick
• Jonathan takes 4 tricks: 4 (tricks) – 1 (point of difference from bid) = 3 points
• Jane takes 0 tricks: 0 (tricks) – 2 (points of difference from bid) = –2 points
• Jesse takes 2 tricks: 2 (tricks) + 10 (for making his bid exactly) = 12 points

My collection note:
Quote:
Brilliant bidding game: perfect tension between possibility and actuality. Trying like mad to lose tricks after you takes ones you didn't bid on taking nearly defines this game; trying like madder to take tricks after you lost ones you were counting on does even more. And trying to calculate your bid based on whether you think you'll win the lead or not is the essence of this game.

2-player fine; shines with 3 players or, preferably, more.


That sounds almost exactly like Wizard, which I'm assuming UDR was an inspiration for Wizard. And someone mentioned Haggis. Absolutely love the game, just wasn't sure if I should teach it to her grandfather. Turns out our plans got postponed til next weekend, but I plan on trying all the games that people have mentioned. Thanks a ton! Love this forum!
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George Leach
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Ninety-Nine is definitely a good one.
Haggis also recommended.
If Ninety-Nine is too difficult then try 500 a 3p bidding tricktaker. Not sure if the linked game is the right one though (sorry!).
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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Right! How could I forget about Five Hundred? It's a great game for three.
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Robert
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Just happened across this thread, and I have to say I'm a bit surprised at the recommendations leaving out Cosmic Eidex (or its parent games Mittlere Jass or Plus-Minus Jass). It's by far the most interesting 3-way card game our local card group has. The rest of the games we'd likely play with three are not standard deck games (Parade, David & Goliath, Bottle Imp, Sticheln), and are really just there for some variety around Eidex.

Strip the "Cosmic Powers" part and it's still an excellent game, just simpler and more concrete (and more "traditional card game" feeling). Both versions of the game are fun and solid.

Definitely a less dry game than Skat, and a less annoying game than 99 (which felt a lot like a 3 player Oh Hell, since a number of cards will be semi-randomly removed from each hand).
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