This game is also known as Schnautz.
a) One standard pack of 52 cards;
b) Betting chips or cash.
From three to fifteen players.Value of Cards
Aces count 11, court cards 10, and all other cards their pip value.Rank of Cards
Rank of cards is normal, Ace high. Thus, although court cards all count 10, King beats Queen, and Queen beats Jack.Objective
Players aim to obtain the highest point count from three cards of the same suit or rank.Choice of First Dealer
This is by low cut.Shuffle and Cut
Before each hand, each player, including the dealer, puts an agreed equal amount into the centre of the table to form a pool. This amount is known as the ante.Deal
The dealer deals one card face down to each player, including himself, beginning with the player to his left, and going clockwise; and then one card to the centre of the table. This continues until all players and the table hand (the widow) each have three cards. Figure 1 illustrates an example.
Figure 1 Thirty-One: after the deal
Each player examines his cards, and announces immediately, if he holds:
a) three cards of one suit, with a point total of 31 (31 points);
b) any three cards of the same rank (three cards);
c) three cards of one suit, with a point total that he feels is high enough to win (x points).
If a player announces immediately, all players show their hands, and the highest point count wins.
If no player announces immediately, the player to the dealer's left must exchange one of his cards with any face-up card on the table. (Sometimes it is agreed that two, or even three, cards may be exchanged in one turn.) He is not allowed to pass.
The next player then does the same. Cards that have been put out by a player may subsequently be picked up. Figure 2 illustrates an example.
Play continues around the table in this way, until one player has 31 points, or is satisfied with his cards.
If a player has 31 points, he must announce it immediately, and all exchanging ends. All players then show their hands.
If a player is satisfied with his hand, he knocks on the table instead of exchanging a card in his next turn. In this case, hands are not shown until each of the other players in turn has had the option of exchanging one more card.
The pool is won by the player who shows the best hand. The deal then passes to the next player to the left.
Scoring of Hands
Figure 2 Thirty-One: after one exchange
A hand with three cards of the same rank scores 30½; all others score their point count.
The examples illustrated in Figure 3 are:
a) 31-point hand comprising Ace, Queen, Ten;
b) 30½-point hand comprising three 6s;
c) 30-point hand comprising King, Jack, Ten;
d) 29-point hand comprising King, Queen, 9;
e) 28-point hand comprising Ace, King, 7.
Figure 3 Thirty-One: some scoring hands
Where two or more players have hands scoring the same number of points, the
hand containing the higher ranking card wins. As examples: Ace, King, Queen
beats Ace, Queen, Jack; and three 6s beat three 5s. (Note that a score of 25
or 26 points often wins.)
Software download (450Kb)
From 'The Official World Encyclopedia of Sports and Games'
© Diagram Visual Information Ltd 1979
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