‘99’ Card Game Rules & Tips

99 Card Game - Cover Photo

One thing about card games is that the game’s name definitely says something about the gameplay. But, what is Ninety-nine? What is required when playing it, and what are the instructions? These pieces of information, and extra ones, will be shared with you in the following.

  • Basics you need to know;
  • Setting the game up;
  • The value & effect of the cards;
  • The gameplay;
  • Windup;

Basics You Need To Know About 99 Card Game

99 is a card game made for everyone who enjoys simple games, which only ask for a little effort. The game is meant to be played by 3 players, however, it works just as fine with 2 players or 4. The age range isn’t defined but works well for everyone who understands the rules (which we’ll explain in a blink of an eye).

To play Ninety-nine, here’s all you need:

  • A bunch of friends;
  • A standard deck of cards (52 cards);
  • 3 tokens for each player (optional), which could be pennies, poker chips, or others).

Setting The Game Up

Once we’ve gathered all stuff we need when playing 99, it’s time to set the game up! Deal 3 cards to all players, face-down, and place the remaining deck in the center of the table. Continue by choosing the dealer of the game. Ask all players to draw a card, and let the player with the highest value become the dealer, or just pick one of you randomly.   

The objective of the game:

Each player aims to not play a card that makes your total go over 99. Since all of you will start the game with 3 tokens, whoever loses all 3 of them, is the loser. 

The Value & Effects Of The Cards

99 - Card Values
  • Aces- Add 1 point or 11 points (up to your choice) to your total. 
  • 2,3,5,6,7,8- These are worth their face value.
  • 4- Add no points, but reverse the playing order.
  • 9- Doesn’t have any point value, you can skip your turn.
  • 10- Takes 10 points off your total;
  • Jacks & Queens- Add 10 points to your score;
    • Kings- Takes the score to 99, or if you’re already at 99, you stay there. 

The Gameplay

99 - Gameplay

If you know the value of the cards, playing the game will sound super simple. The player to the dealer’s left starts first. They have to play one of the 3 cards in their hand into the center of the table and announce their point value. For instance, if you played a 3, you tell the group that your point value is 3.

Next, you draw a card from the draw pile and pass the turn to the player on your left. The next players follow the same steps too. This loop continues until one of you goes over 99 points, and loses a life token (if you’re using tokens). Then, you shuffle the deck again, deal cards, and continue to play until one player loses all 3 tokens. The player who has remaining tokens wins. 

If you’re not using tokens, once you go over 99, you’re out of the game and other players continue to play. 

Even though this is everything about the rules, we’d love to share some tips with you:

  • Play cards from 5 to 8 as fast as you can. They do not do you any good. 
  • Save the best cards from when you’ll really be in need. Such cards are 4s, 9s, Aces, and Kings.
  • It’s preferable to leave the cards with a negative value for the end of the game. Don’t play them immediately.
  • Do not try to play quickly. It’s more important to create a better strategy and predict your score. 
  • Last but not least, don’t take it very seriously. It’s not a poker game 🙂 

If you’re curious to watch some people playing 99, Card Game ’99’ is the way to go!  


To be frank, there are other versions of the game you may find (Iceland variation, Taiwan variation, Michigan variation, and more). However, we told you the one everyone loves, and you won’t need anything more than that! Ps. pretty sure everyone will love you after you teach them how to play this irreplaceable card game

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