It’s very common for two people to competitively play against each other. But things are more fun than ever when you make it a group of three. There is something particularly exciting about playing against not one but two people, only to come out as a victor in the end. Not only that, but even losing feels better when you’re not alone.
3 person card games have always been a great way for people to connect without the use of any technology or athletic activities. The best thing about them is that they come in a lot of variety in terms of their themes and rules. There are games that are casually fun, and then we have those that are competitive on an intense level too.
So, let’s take a look at the best 3 person card games that you can play right now!
The Best 3 Person Card Games
What makes a good card game? The answer to that question is not very complex. It needs to be fun, exciting, and not too complicated to understand. Though in some cases, learning something that takes time can feel very rewarding too – so it depends on your preferences.
In any case, our list includes tons of ways in which you can play, so there’s something for everyone.
Let’s start with a game that even children can understand immediately. And yet it’s still fun for adults too thanks to its quick nature.
Slapjack is a 3 person card game that can be played with more people too, and it’s inspired by Egyptian Ratscrew. You can start it by using one or two decks, which is up to the player.
The “slap” in the name of this card game is crucial to how the game itself works. Each player is given cards that are face-down (in an equal number), and then players take turns in playing the top card. This is done all the way to the center of the board. And whenever a Jack is played, all players slap on the card.
The person who slaps the card with the fastest speed takes the stack. And the player who gets all of the cards is eventually the winner.
Bluff is one of the most popular card games around the world. And it’s one of the best 3 person card games too thanks to its easy format and compatibility. As the name describes, it’s all about tricking the other player.
To play this game, a standard 52 card deck is used which includes the Jokers too. After dealing the cards equally, the first player announces what card they have while placing them down. The next player has to guess whether it’s a bluff or not. And alternatively, they can pass or play their next move too in the same way.
The purpose is that if the person lied about the rank of their card, then the other player can take their cards away. And if the person was right about their cards, then the other one has to take them away. The person with the least or no cards left is the winner. So, the point is to off-load them to others and avoid taking on more of theirs.
3. Gin Rummy
Gin Rummy is personally one of my favorite 3 person card games. Growing up, it was the easiest thing to play and yet still very much fun because it requires quick-thinking.
This game uses a standard 52 card deck, and it starts with a thorough shuffle of the cards. Then, everyone is dealt 4 cards each which are not seen by the other players. And the cards stay in the hands of the player too.
As the first turn starts, the player places one card below. And then, if another player has the same card, they can pick it up. And if they don’t have the same card, they just throw one themselves too. The purpose is for everyone to stack up as many cards as they can – and the person with the most cards is an instant winner in the end.
You can mix things up by giving specific points to certain cards, such as “A” having 20 points while others have 5 or 10 each.
4. Let It Ride
One of the most popular casino games around the world, Let It Ride fits the category of 3 person card games beautifully. The purpose of this game is that the player is able to withdraw their stakes and can win a lot of money.
When it begins, each player has three cards, and two cards are face-down close to the dealer. The player is paid accordingly to the “poker strength” of their hand. And then they can choose to withdraw their stakes. This is allowed in two conditions. In the first one, the player can do it when they see their hand. The second one happens when one of the face-down cards is visible to the players.
By the time the second card is visible, the player might have many of their stakes done. And then the dealer collects the remaining cards and pays the players accordingly to their hands.
The player that has the most points wins, of course. It takes a little bit of time to learn, but it’s one of the most unique 3 person card games that you can play.
Skat is a very unique game where two players work together and the third one is against them. And it’s specifically for 3 players too and works best with them!
You need a German or French deck of 32 cards which go from 7s to Aces. The game begins with each player having 10 cards. And the last two cards are face-down on the table. Then, two players bid against each other. And another bid takes place between the bid winner and the dealer.
The highest bidder becomes a declarator and can decide to see the Skat (two cards placed down) if they want. Then, the declarator can pick a trump suit from seven options, which can include four suits, 4 jacks, no trumps, or open null. The point is to make points higher than other players and cover bid points at the start.
It’s not one of the easier 3 person card games, but it’s definitely one of the best ones if you learn the rules. Especially due to its unusual nature of players having the ability to cooperate with each other to take out the third player. But at the same time, they will still have to become enemies in the end.
These are our favorite 3 person card games. Some of them are easier to learn than the others, but all of them are very fun to play. And it’s undeniable that the ones that are harder to learn feel more rewarding to win at too.
We hope that you found this guide helpful and while you’re still here, you can check out some of our other guides too. Such as the The Best Anime Board Games in 2022