How to Play Twenty-Nine: Card Game Rules & Interactive Tutorial

Twenty-nine is a 4 player "trick-taking" game. There are two teams of two, with partners sitting across from each other.

Below you'll have a chance to learn the rules of the game with our comprehensive guide. You can play through our interactive tutorial above if it's more to your liking. Whichever way you choose, you'll know how to play Twenty-Nine by the end.

Once you feel ready, you can Play Twenty-Nine Online directly at World of Card Games. If you're up for it, you can play against other people online, but we suggest playing a couple of games against our bots first.

So, shuffle your deck and gather your wits, for it's time to embark on a thrilling journey through the world of Twenty-Nine!

Rank of cards

The Jack card has the highest rank. The next highest rank is the 9 card, followed by Ace, 10, King, Queen, 8, and 7 (lowest). Once the trump suit has been declared, cards in the trump suit outrank all other cards.

Objective

The objective is to be the first team to reach 6 points.

Deal

A random player is chosen to be the dealer.

Each player is dealt a hand of 4 cards from a deck of cards containing only A K Q J 10 9 8 7 of each suit. Everyone gets 4 more cards after the bidding phase.

Bid

Starting with the player to the dealer's left and proceeding clockwise around the table, each player places a bid. The bid is a guess at how many points they think their team can take. Players may choose to pass instead of bidding. If not passing, they must bid at least 15, up to a maximum of 28.

If one player makes a bid, the next player must bid higher than that or pass.

Bidding continues either until a player bids 28, or until 3 consecutive players pass. In the latter case, the dealer is forced to bid 15.

Choosing Trump

The player who bid highest now chooses the "trump suit." Cards with the trump suit outrank cards of all other suits.

When the trump suit is chosen, it remains hidden from everyone. It is known only to the player who chose it. It is only revealed later in the game.

Second Deal

After the trump suit is chosen, 4 more cards are dealt to each player, for a total of 8 cards in hand.

Play

The player to the dealer's left starts the trick by playing any card from their hand. Play continues in clockwise order until 4 cards are in the middle pile. Each card played must be of the same suit as the lead card.

The trick is taken by whoever played the highest card with the same suit as the lead card. This is known as "winning a trick".

The trick-taker is awarded points according to these rules: the Jack is worth 3 points, 9 is worth 2 points, and Ace and 10 are worth 1 point each. Other cards are not counted. For example, if there is 1 Jack in the pile, 2 Aces, and a 7, then the trick-taker is awarded 5 points.

The trick winner starts the next trick.

As soon as a player cannot play a card with the same suit as the lead card, then the trump suit must be declared immediately. After that, the player who could not follow the lead card can play any other card in their hand. Even after trump is declared, players must always play a card from the lead suit unless they cannot because they do not have one.

Each trick is normally won by the person who played the highest card of the lead suit. However, if one or more cards in the trump suit are played in the trick, then the highest trump suit wins the trick instead.

Score

After each hand, scores are calculated for each team by adding up the teammate's points. The team which took the last trick gets an extra point so that the total of both teams' points always sums to 29 - hence the name of the game.

The player that chose the trump suit is part of the "Declaring" team.

The other team is the "Defending" team.

If the "Declaring" team makes at least the number of points that they bid, they will receive 1 game point. Otherwise, they will lose 1 game point.

The "Defending" team does not score any points.

Royal Pair

The King and Queen of the trump suit are called the "Royal Pair."

After trump has been declared, the player who holds the Royal Pair in their hand can announce it immediately after they or their partner wins a trick. (Note that it is possible - and even likely - that no one holds the Royal Pair, in which case this rule is never active.)

Announcing the Royal Pair affects the requirements for the bid. If a member of the "Declaring" team does it, their bid is reduced by 4 points to a minimum of 15. If the "Defending" team announces the Pair, 4 points are added to the bid, to a maximum of 28.

Seventh Card

In games where the "Seventh Card" option was allowed, the high bidder may choose the trump suit to be determined by the suit of the seventh card that is dealt to them.

This 7th card is kept out of their hand and may not be played until they cannot follow suit during a trick. It cannot be used to lead a trick unless it is the last card played.

If you chose the "Seventh Card" option, be aware that trump suit cards in your hand do not have the power to trump until the trump suit is declared. Do not play a trump suit card and expect it to take a trick unless trump has been declared! When you play your Seventh Card, the trump will be declared automatically. The trump suit is also declared if another player cannot follow suit, as usual.

When trump is declared, the 7th card is moved into the declarer's hand. Then, it may be played according to the usual rules.

Double / Redouble

In games where the "Double / Redouble" option was allowed, either player on the "Defending" team can say "Double", once the bid has been won and before the remaining cards are dealt.

If this is done, scores are incremented or decremented by 2 instead of 1 at the end of the hand. So if the "Declaring" team makes their bid, then they are awarded 2 game points. If they do not, then they lose 2 game points.

In response to a "Double" challenge, either player on the "Declaring" team can say "Redouble". If this is done, scores are incremented or decremented by 4, rather than 2. If the "Declaring" team wins, then they are awarded 4 game points. Otherwise, they lose 4 game points.

Game End

The first team to reach 6 points wins! If a team hits -6 points, they lose.

History

Twenty-nine (29) is among the "Jass" family of card games, in which the Jack and 9 rank the highest. It should not be confused with Twenty-eight (28), a similar card game with slightly different rules. It is especially popular in South Asia.

Helpful Links

Pagat.com Twenty-Nine Page

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