Sergeant Major Card Game: Play 3-5-8 Online for Free [Single + Multiplayer]
Get ready to team up, bid smartly and outplay your opponents in this exciting trick-taking game. Three Five Eight, also known as Sergeant Major, is a 3-player game much like Spades.
The game is available to play online for free and requires no download or registration. You can play against the computer, and if you feel prepared for it, you can join a public table to play against people online. You can even setup a private table and invite your friends and family to play.
Sergeant Major is a 3-player trick-taking game played with a standard 52-card deck. If you're completely new to the game, we suggest you go through our guide on how to play Three Five Eight. If you've played it before, we've summed up the rules below.
At the start of each game, each player is dealt 16 cards, with the remaining 4 cards forming what's called a "kitty". The objective of the game is to take tricks, and a game is won when a player takes 12 or more tricks in a round.
Each player has a certain number of tricks they should target to take. The dealer's target is 8, the target of the player to the left of the dealer is 5, and the target of the player to the right is 3. When a game starts, the dealer picks a trump suit, discards 4 cards and grabs all the cards from the kitty. The player to the left of the dealer leads the trick, and the next player follows suit.
Unless a trump card is played, the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick. The trick winner starts the next trick. Once all cards have been played, under-trickers and over-trickers exchange cards based on the difference between their actual tricks and their target tricks. The dealer then calls trump, discards and takes cards from the kitty.
In Three Five Eight, you'll want to not only communicate effectively with your partner to maximize your bidding potential but also to try to hinder your opponents from reaching their goals. You'll want to be strategic when playing to achieve the required number of tricks to fulfill your bid.
We've summarized the most important points below. Applying those strategic points, you should be able to take your game to the next level.
- If you are dealt a lot of trump cards, it can make sense to discard cards of another suit in order to create a void in that suit. You may be able to play trump cards immediately in this case.
- It is usually not wise to discard high cards, in particular the Ace, since it would be unusual for a player to be able to trump the first card of a suit that is played.
- It is often useful to play your Aces first. But be careful - they might get trumped if another player has a void in the suit of your Ace!
- Keep in mind that you probably cannot win just by playing a lot of trump cards unless you are very lucky. Plan on using cards of other suits strategically.
- It is sometimes possible to bleed out trump cards early on. In this case, if you hold enough high cards of other suits, you may be able to take many tricks because your cards can't be trumped.
- Points are not carried over from one round of cards to the next, so it may seem like it doesn't matter what your current score is if you cannot take 12 tricks and win. However, you should always try to take as many tricks as possible, especially more than your target number. This can give you an advantage in the following round when you are able to trade your low cards for high ones.