Game Makeover: Nines - Original Rules

Description and Rules

“Nines” is a simple set collection card game for 2 or more players played in a series of hands. The game is played with 2 or more standard decks of cards (jokers included), depending on the number of players. We play 2 decks for 2 – 3 players, 3 decks for 4 – 6 players. (I have not played with more than 6 players, but presumably the game will scale with more decks – it just won’t be fun.)


  1. At the beginning of each hand nine cards are dealt face down to each player.
  2. Each player turns over 3 of their 9 cards at random and arranges their cards into a 3 x 3 grid, putting the 3 face up cards wherever they want.
  3. One card of the stock is turned over to start a discard pile. The stock is the draw pile.
  4. The first player is the person to the left of the dealer.


  1. Score the fewest points by:
    1. Making the most sets of the same number in rows and columns of the grid. All cards in a set score 0.
    2. Having the lowest point total of cards that are not in sets; including some special cards that score 0 or -3.


  1. In turn each player does the following:
    1. Draw one card from the draw or discard piles.
    2. Either:
      1. Replace any card in their tableau with the new card played face up and discard the card that was replaced.  -OR-
      2. Discard the card that was drawn.
    3. Their turn is ended.
  2. Play continues until one player has all nine cards in their tableau face up. They are done.
  3. The rest of the players turn all of their cards face up in place.
  4. The final round is completed with the rest of players having one more turn.


  1. The hand:
    1. Kings always score 0.
    2. Jokers always score -3.
    3. All of the cards in a set score 0.
    4. Cards not in a set:
      1. Jacks and Queens score 10.
      2. All other cards score face value.
  2. The game:
    1. Keep a running total of player scores at the end of each hand.


As soon as at least one player has reached a predetermined score (usually 100) the player with the lowest total score wins.