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Official 99 Card Game Rules

The card game "99" is a simple and fun game that can be played with 3 to 8 players. Here are the rules and how to play:


The objective of the game is to avoid being the player who causes the cumulative total to exceed 99.


1. Deck: Use a standard 52-card deck.

2. Deal: Each player is dealt 3 cards. The rest of the deck is placed face down in the center as the draw pile.


Card Values

  • Numeric Cards (2-10): Face value (e.g., a 5 is worth 5 points).

  • Jack, Queen, King: 10 points each.

  • Ace: 1 or 11 points (decided by the player who plays it).

  • 4: Reverse the order of play.

  • 9: Value becomes zero; does not change the total.

  • 10: Subtract 10 points from the total.

  • 3: Play again (the player who played a 3 plays another card).


  1. Starting: The player to the dealer's left starts by playing a card from their hand face up and announces the total value of all played cards.

  2. Next Player: The play proceeds clockwise (or counter-clockwise if a 4 is played) with each player playing one card and announcing the new cumulative total.

  3. Drawing Cards: After playing a card, the player draws a new card from the draw pile so they always have 3 cards in hand (unless the draw pile is empty).

  4. Exceeding 99: If a player cannot play a card without causing the total to exceed 99, they lose the round.

Example Play

  1. Player A plays a 6, announcing "6".

  2. Player B plays a Jack, announcing "16".

  3. Player C plays a 9, announcing "16" (since 9 counts as zero).

  4. Player D plays a 5, announcing "21".

  5. Player A plays an Ace and chooses it to be 11, announcing "32".

  6. Player B plays a 10, announcing "22" (since 10 subtracts 10 from the total).

And so on, until someone causes the total to exceed 99.

Winning and Losing

  • When a player loses a round by causing the total to exceed 99, they get a "strike" or lose a life (depending on how you want to keep track).

  • The game continues until all players but one have been eliminated. The last remaining player is the winner.


  • Lives: Instead of being eliminated immediately, players can have a set number of lives (commonly 3). Each time a player causes the total to exceed 99, they lose a life. When all lives are lost, the player is eliminated.

  • Special Cards: You can introduce special rules for additional cards, such as Jokers, if you want to add complexity.

This game is fast-paced and requires quick mental addition. Certain cards have designated values and actions, which can be written down on a cheat sheet for reference.

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