Name of Group Game: Thirteen, Tienlen, or Tien Len
Small Group (4 people)
Age: Middle School - Adults
Time: 10 minutes a game
Summary: Singles, doubles, triples, runs and bombs- Great strategic card game for four players.
Goal: Be the first to get rid of all your cards.
- Deck of cards
Principles to Remember:
1. Each person gets 13 cards.
2. The lowest number is 3, highest number is 2.
3. Lowest to highest suit order: ♠ Spades , ♣ Clubs, ♦ Diamonds, ♥ Hearts.
a. Singles (one card- Example: 1 Jack), doubles (two same cards- Example: 2 Jacks), triples (three same cards- Example: 3 Jacks), runs (three or more consecutive cards- Example: 4, 5, 6 or Jack, Queen, King, Ace. Note: 2’s cannot be in a run), bombs (four of a kind- Example: Queen, Queen, Queen, Queen OR three consecutive pairs- Example: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5).
b. Same sets can be played, only if the highest card suit beats the previous set’s highest card suit (Example: 3 ♠ , 4 ♣, 5 ♦ , 6 ♠ vs. 3 ♥, 4 ♣, 5 ♥, 6 ♥. In this case, the set with the 6 ♥ would be higher than the set with the 6 ♠ because hearts are higher than spades in the suit order).
5. The game is played clockwise.
6. Bombs can beat single 2’s (Example: A set of 4, 4, 4, 4, can beat a single 2).
7. Instant Wins: If you have four 2’s, six pairs, three triples, or three – ace and one two, you win the game instantly.
How to Play Thirteen, Tienlen, or Tien Len:
1. Shuffle and deal the cards to all four players. Each person can only look at their own hands.
2. The player with the lowest card (3 ♠) plays first. The player can play the 3 ♠ as a single or part of a set (refer to possible sets above). Once the player decides to start the game as a single or set, everyone else must follow that type for the entire round (Example: If the first person plays two 3’s, then everyone in the round must follow and play doubles).
3. The next player can either play or pass. If the player decides to play in the round, he must play a higher card single/set than the previous player. If the player decides to pass, he will be skipped over for the current round and won’t be able to play until the next round.
4. The single/sets will continue to be higher and higher as players try to beat each other’s cards. This continues until all but one player, passes. Once three players pass, the round ends. The remaining person starts a new round by putting down a new single/set. This new single/combination can begin any way that the player would like (Example: a single 5, double 3’s, triple 5’s, card run of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ). Once he starts with a particular set, the rest of the players has to place down higher sets of the same type or pass.
5. Each round ends and continues until one person gets rid of all his or her cards. The person who gets rids of all his or her cards wins the game.
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