3 or more players (the more, the better)


One standard 52-card deck (may use additional decks if the pool of available cards is too small for the number of players).


Each player gets three cards. The rest of the cards are placed in a pile, face down, in the middle of the table.


Each person starts each hand of 99 with three points. They lose one point each time they play a card that crosses one of the three "borders" -- thirty three, sixty six, and ninety nine. The hand is over when someone crosses the ninety nine border. Points are recorded. The game is over when you get to a predetermined score (usually 15).

Game play

Play begins with the first person to the left of the dealer. The player plays a card face up on the play pile, announces the current total, and draws another card. If the player forgets to draw their card before the next player plays their card, then they forfeit the card, and must play with fewer cards for the remainder of the hand.

If the players play causes the total to cross one of the borders (33, 66, or 99), then they lose one of their hand points. Play then proceeds to the next player. The initial direction of play is clockwise.

The values of the cards are as follows:

Card Value
2 3 4 5 6 7 face value
8 0 points, direction of play reverses
9 0 points
10 plus or minus 10 points
J Q K 10 points
A 1 or 11 points

Note that, because the ten cards can be worth plus or minus 10 points, you can lose more than three points per hand by crossing back over the 33 or 66 border backward (this backward crossing does not cause you to lose a game point, but the additional forward crossing does).

The player to the left of the dealer begins play.
They play a K and announce "ten".
Next played is a 5 and announced "fifteen".
Next played is a J and announced "twenty five".
Next played is a 7 and announced "thirty two".
Next played is a Q and announced "forty two".
    This player loses one hand point.
Next played is a 10 and announced "thirty two".
    This player does not lose a hand point.
    Optional: abundant swearing by all players.
Next played is a 5 and announced "thirty seven".
    This player loses one hand point.

When the hand is completed, the scores are tallied. The deal passes to the person to the left of the last dealer.