This is a great card game to play when Five Card Stud or Texas Hold’em is getting boring or when you just want to change it up. The rules are simple and the “value” of the cards are the same value like when you are playing Five Card or Blackjack/21.
For example if you have a an A/ace it is worth 11, If you have J, Q or K a “face card” the value is worth 10. The remaining values are what the numbers show respectfully such as the 10 of any suit is worth 10, and the 9 is worth 9 and so on.
The only difference in value with the ace/A is that it is always worth 11 points and it is never worth 1 point like in Blackjack/21 or like in Five Card Stud.
Well now that you know the value of the cards the main goal is to get 31 or Jabaskie. If you get 31 total suited points shout out Jabaskie or 31 and flip over your hand (made up of 3 maximum cards) to show what you have. You shout out Jabaskie like when you are playing the game of Bingo and when you win you would then respectfully shout out Bingo.
First find a “dealer button” like on Texas Hold’em. And depending on how many people are going to be playing make sure that everyone playing has 4 tokens or chips. The tokens are important because if you lose a match you will have to pay with 1 of your tokens or chips. After you lose your 4th or last token/chip you will then be, what is called “floating”, you will have one more “available loss” remaining. Sort of like if you were playing with 5 tokens/chips instead of 4.
If I haven’t confused you yet, let us continue. After you find a dealer button, find your dealer or player who will be dealt the first card. Who ever has the dealer button, gets dealt the first card similar to the small blind on Texas Hold’em after every match. After every match or game, pass the dealer button to your left or in a “clock wise” direction when you are sitting at the table.
After you find the dealer (person with the dealer button) deal him/her the first card then deal the person to his/left or in the clock wise direction while sitting at the table and so on. Keep dealing cards out until every person playing has 3 total cards. Be sure and deal the cards “face down”, only the player who has been dealt the cards should be the only one to see his/her hand (3 cards).
Do not show anyone at the table your cards like if you were playing Texas Hold’em, have then face down on the table or in your hands secured where no one else at the table can see them.
After everyone else has been dealt the 3 cards, place the remaining cards of the 52 card deck in the middle of the table, where everyone can reach them. After you place the cards on the table flip the card from the top of the deck “face up” where everyone can see the card. Place the face up card next to the side of the main pile of cards in the middle of the table. This new pile will become the “burn” pile.
The card facing up will start the action, the person sitting on the dealer button goes first, he/she can choose to “draw” a card from the main pile deck or choose to pick up the faced up card/the first card burned if it’s a good card such as a 10, J, Q, K or A.
You are allowed to hold 4 cards in your hand, while you choose what card to throw away or burn. After you pick the card that you want to burn/discard, put it in the burn pile. Then it will be the next person’s turn (in clock wise rotation starting from the dealer button) to draw a card from the deck or from the burn pile.
The object in 31/Jabaskie is to get close to or to get 31 points with all of the same suit! That’s right they have to be suited like a 3 card flush, 3 card straight flush or a 3 card royal flush. So as you are drawing cards from the top of the burn pile or from the main pile, make sure you discard/trade or “burn” the low value cards and also discard the cards that are not in the suit that you are going in.
As the game goes on and you if you can’t get 31 or if you are sitting on a good had like 28, 29 or 30 suited points “knock” on the table when it is your turn to “draw” a card. If you knock when it is your turn, you forfeit your chance to draw another card and it will be the next person in turn to draw. Every remaining player after a knock has only one last time to draw a card.
So when it is your turn after someone else knocks, you can choose to draw your last card from the top of the burn/discarded pile or from the top of the main pile (the face down pile of cards). After everyone has drawn their last card, and when it has made it back around the table back to the person who knocked, the match is over.
Everyone then has to flip their three cards over to show what they have, and the object is to NOT have the lowest points from everyone playing at the table. Example: If there are four players playing whomever has the lowest suited total value will then “pay” or lose one of their 4 tokens or chips.
Say out of those four players you had (7hearts, Kclubs, Aclubs) you only have 21 points. And if you have the lowest total value of the players playing, you would lose that match and you will have to pay with 1 of your tokens/chips out of the 4 that you start with.
To win it all you have to be the last person “standing” or remaining. There is only one winner after all the matches and after everyone has gone out (lost all of their tokens/chips and their “float”).
You can choose to knock at any point of the game, but the rule is that you have to have at least 21 suited points to knock, and you can only knock when it is your turn to draw. You can’t knock after you have just drawn a card, you will have to wait until it is your turn again.
Here is the catch, you want to get 31/Jabaskie because “everyone” playing except you pays a token when you hit 31/Jabaskie. And another big factor to consider is, if you knocked and someone “hits” 31 or Jabaskie with their last chance to draw a card, you will have to pay “double” (2 tokens/chips) and everyone else playing still has to pay one token/chip.
If you only have 1 chip/token remaining and someone hits 31/Jabaskie after you have knocked then you will be out of the game. Because you will have lost your last token/chip and also will have lost your “float”.
So try not to knock late into the game, if you are going to knock, knock early in the match. I have seen in games when the very first person to “start” the game chose to knock instead of drawing a card because they had at least 21 suited points in their hand. Their hand was something like (2hearts, Ahearts, 10hearts), so they had 23 total points respectfully.
Note: Remember if no one hit 31 or Jabaskie in a match and the match ends after someone knocks and everyone draws their last card, who ever has the lowest total suited points pays. If there is a tie for the lowest total suited points both players or however many players who have the exact same lowest total suited points pay or lose a token/chip. It doesn’t matter what suit that you or anybody for that matter goes in, all that matters in not having the lowest total unless of course someone or you hit 31/Jabaskie.
Extra Note: If the match isn’t over yet (if no one has knocked to end it or if no one has hit 31 yet) and the game is still being played and the main pile (the face down pile of cards) has ran out, flip the “burn pile” over, so put all of them back face down. And whose ever turn it is to draw a card has to draw from the top of the cards that have just been turned over. And then start a new “burn pile” again next the main pile.
But the match will always end eventually because someone will either hit 31/Jabaskie or someone will eventually knock, and the match will soon end. You can play with up to 12 players with one 52 card deck. 31/Jabaskie is not a “solo” game, you must at least have two players to play.
Back home we will make the game interesting, everyone will “buy in” a spot at the table? Sometimes it around $5 – $25 a spot. If you can afford it and the players you will be playing with can afford it, you could play 31/Jabaskie at high stakes. Regardless if you are playing for real money at low stakes, at high stakes or if you are just playing a “freeroll” (no table charge), after you buy in, you will only get 4 tokens/chips like everyone else. And then the fun begins.
If you are going to be the one who is going to knock late into a match, make sure that you have something high, I usually like to knock late in a match when I have at least 28 total suited points or more.
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