Three Thirteen Rummy

Three Thirteen is a variation of the Rummy game that originated in North America. The game is played with two or more players and with one 52 card deck for two players and two decks for three or more people.


Three Thirteen has eleven rounds. The first dealer is selected at random and the turn to deal passes either to the left or right player—depending on the participants’ preference—after each round. In the first round, three cards are given to each player, in the second round four cards are dealt, and this goes on until the eleventh round where thirteen cards are dealt. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table, which serves as a stockpile. The top card of the pile is then placed face up beside the stock pile to begin a discard pile.


The objective of Three Thirteen Rummy is to form all the cards in your hand into various combinations. There are two types of combinations allowed for this game:

  • A set or group of three or more cards of the same rank such as three fours. When playing with more than one deck, sets are allowed to contain identical cards such as three fours with two of them being in the suit of hearts.
  • A run or a sequence of three or more cards in the same suit, such as five, six, and seven all in spades.

Combinations can comprise of three or more cards. However, players cannot count the same card as part of more than one combination.

In this game, aces rank as the lowest, so sequences of queens, kings, and aces are invalid.


A wild card is designated for each round. It is the card equal to the number of cards dealt. Wild cards can act in place of any other card in making a sequence. Here’s a list of the wild cards by round:

  • Round 1: Threes
  • Round 2: Fours
  • Round 3: Fives
  • Round 4: Sixes
  • Round 5: Sevens
  • Round 6: Eights
  • Round 7: Nines
  • Round 8: Tens
  • Round 9: Jacks
  • Round 10: Queens
  • Round 11: Kings


The player to the dealer’s left starts the round, and participants take turns to play the role of the dealer. A turn begins with drawing one card—either the top card of the face-down stock pile or the top card of the discard pile—and then discarding one card face on top of the discard pile.

Going Out

Players can opt to go out at their turn if, after taking the top card of the piles, they are able to arrange all the cards in their hand apart from one into separate sets, and then discard a card. When discarding players that they are out, each of the other players is allowed one more turn. When the turn to play comes back to the initial player, the round is over and the scores are tallied.

Scoring System

At the end of the round, each player arranges their hand into sets and runs. Cards that are not included in a set or run are considered as penalty points against the holder. The point system observes the following rules:

  • Ace = 1pt
  • Two = 2pts
  • Three = 3pts
  • Four = 4pts
  • Five = 5pts
  • Six = 6pts
  • Seven = 7pts
  • Eight = 8pts
  • Nine = 9pts
  • Ten = 10pts
  • Jack = 10pts
  • Queen = 10pts
  • King = 10pts

The scores are accumulated from round to round, and whoever has the lowest score at the end of the game is the winner.


In Three Thirteen Rummy, players are not allowed to dispose of cards by adding them to other players’ sets or runs. Combinations can only be formed from players’ own hands, and any cards not included are counted as penalty cards.