Here’s a new card game to learn that is perfect for your next family game night! This has been a favorite in our family for years. I played it with my grandparents and at family gatherings. My great uncle used to tease my great aunt that this game kept her mind sharp! Some of the best memories happen around a good family game.

You can play this game with anywhere from 2 to 6 players. You’ll need one deck of cards for every two players.

There are 11 rounds to the game. In each round, the number of cards dealt changes, and the requirements for laying down your hand changes. The wild card also changes! Ha! See what I mean about keeping your mind sharp?

We’ll talk about the rounds in a minute, but first let’s talk about turns. The dealer deals out the correct number of cards. He’ll then place the rest of the deck on the table and turn the top card over. When it is your turn, you’ll make a choice to either take the top card from the discard pile or draw a card from the deck. You’ll end your turn by choosing a card to discard. You can lay down your cards when your hand meets the requirements of the round.

To lay down (or go out, whatever you want to call it) a player must use all their cards. The rounds are as follows.


Jokers are wild on all rounds.

Round 1 – Deal 3 cards. 3’s are wild. Must have a set of 3 or run of 3 to go out.

Round 2 – Deal 4 cards. 4’s are wild. Must have a set of 4 or run of 4 to go out.

Round 3 – Deal 5 cards. 5’s are wild. Must have a set of 5 or run of 5 to go out.

Round 4: Deal 6 cards. 6’s are wild. Must have a set of 6, run of 6, or two runs of 3, two sets of 3, or a set of 3 and run of 3. Lots of options here!

From here on out, all sets or runs must have at least 3 cards. There are several combinations that will allow you to lay down your cards.

Round 5: Deal 7 cards. 7’s are wild. Must play all 7 cards to go out.

Round 6: Deal 8 cards. 8’s are wild. Must play all 8 cards to go out.

Round 7: Deal 9 cards. 9’s are wild. Must play all 9 cards to go out.

Round 8: Deal 10 cards. 10’s are wild. Must play all 10 cards to go out.

Round 9: Deal 11 cards. Jacks are wild. Must play all 11 cards to go out.

Round 10: Deal 12 cards. Queens are wild. Must play all 12 cards to go out.

Round 11: Deal 13 cards. Kings are wild. Must play all 13 cards to go out.


Once a player has gone out, everyone else gets one more turn.

For the players who could not go out, any sets or runs that have 3 or more cards do not count against them. The rest of the cards do.

Ace is low.

Modifications for younger kids:

We don’t always play the whole game in one sitting! If you have younger kids, or if you don’t have long to play, just play the first few rounds and then determine a winner. Or, save the rest of the rounds for later.

Need more game night ideas?

Here are some Minute-to-Win-It family games.

And some LEGO games! We love LEGO.

Here’s a collection of Nerf Target Games to make.


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  1. Erin Evans Jul 19, 2018

    thank you for sharing this card game! our family is always looking for new games to play together. this game looks like something we will all enjoy!!

  2. Carolyn Sep 3, 2018

    The instructions say "the rest of the cards do" (count against them). In what way do the rest of the cards count against them? Thanks!

    1. Rose Crabtree Jan 11, 2019

      We count the remaining cards as number states with Ace-1; 2-10 as per number; Jack=11; Queen=12; King-13

      1. Eileen Feb 17, 2019

        Sounds like fun. What does the Joker count???

        1. smokeytx88 Feb 26, 2019

          King, Queen and Jack are 10 each. Jokers and wild cards are 20 each when you get stuck with them.

  3. Connie Dec 30, 2018

    We have played this game for years as Progressive Rum.

  4. Aglaia Olsen Jul 16, 2019

    How is this game different from five crowns?

    1. Sarah Jul 23, 2019

      I've never heard of five crowns so I don't know! Could be the same game with multiple names.

    2. Erin Kern Feb 13, 2020

      Five Crowns has five suits, instead of 4, and for runs the cards have to be all the same suit. In this game suits don't seem to matter at all. That's the only difference.

    3. Carol Mar 2, 2020

      Five Crowns has a specific deck with 5 suits but no 2's or aces. It is played the same way as 3-13.

  5. Sara Aug 16, 2019

    Maybe a silly question, but if you are playing with small children, are the “runs” in the same suit or just a run of numbers?

    1. Sarah Aug 19, 2019

      Runs need to be in the same suit. Although I think it would work to adjust the rules for young kids!

  6. mary Oct 24, 2019

    We call it Dummy Rummy and the person who mistakenly discards the wild card gets to wear the dummy hat. (mine is a jesters hat)

  7. Nancy klessig Apr 24, 2020

    So you do not lay cards down as you go? You hold everything in your hand until you can go out?

    1. Sarah May 3, 2020

      That is correct. When you get to the rounds where you have a lot of cards, it's fine to lay some of them face down on the table.

  8. Jennifer Jun 6, 2020

    We play this game but call it Bush Rummy. We have 15 rounds as we play 'Ace' and 'Two' rounds (14 and 15) after 'Kings'. Jokers are worth 50 if you get stuck with one when you're forced to lay down.

    1. Louella Olaon Mar 27, 2022

      But it is virtually impossible (if you are astute) to end up with a Joker against you because you get one more play after a player has gone out....hence disgard the Joker. AND if you have a Joker and wild card, you can at least lay down three cards.

  9. Bernice Jul 5, 2020

    Is it a rule that you cannot go "out" on first turn?

    1. Sarah Jul 6, 2020

      Funny you should ask... :-) It wasn't a rule, but at our house, we actually just made this a rule. I think that poor card shuffling from the younger kids has been causing this to happen too often. My husband decided that they could no longer go out on the first turn!

  10. Pyper Mar 23, 2021

    There's a word version of this game - Quiddler. Very fun but definitely for older children as you need to be able to spell.

  11. Peg Apr 17, 2021

    This sounds just like a game my family plays called nickles?! Who ever lays down wins a nickle per player each round...each person puts 16 nickles into the pot... lowest score at the end wins the pot! Fun!!!

    1. Rachael Dec 20, 2021

      Sorry not a comment about the game..although definitely trying it with the family this week….but the real comment is my daughter’s name is pyper as well and we’ve never met another that spells it with a “y” ♥️

  12. Sharon S Jan 22, 2022

    We love playing Three-Thirteen. We also have twos as wild cards. You must have at least 2 “natural cards” or “3 wilds can be a set”. We also are allowed to pick up the top discard .. or one under the top discard. Our runs must be in the same suit .. with a minimum of 2 cards in the run are natural and lots of wild cards.

  13. Don Nov 23, 2022

    There is a game virtually the same called up and down the river accept when you get to 13 you go back down to 3


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