10-9-8 Instructions

Player Count: 2-5 players

Age Range: Ages 10+

How to Win!

  • Finish the game with as many points as possible, the player with the highest points wins!

Game Set-Up

  • Shuffle the deck. For the first round, deal 10 cards to all players. Once all cards are dealt, flip the top card of the remaining deck face up. That suit is “Trump.”
  • This sequence will occur each round, with one less card being dealt to the players each time. 10,9,8… down to one card, hence the name of the game!

How to Play:

  • Once all cards are dealt out, betting begins.
  • Players will bet on how many “tricks” they feel they can win per round. In the round with 10 cards, there will be 10 tricks. Tricks are when each player places one card in the center of the table. (See the “Betting” section for tips.)
  • After looking at your hand, state the number of tricks you feel you can win between 0 and the number of cards in your hand. The scorekeeper will make note of that number.
  • The betting total across all players can be less than, equal to, or greater than the number of tricks in any given round.
  • Once all players have bet, playing begins with the player left of the dealer.
  • The leading player will place a card of any amount and suit.
    • However, in the first trick of any round, you may not play a trump card.
      • The only exception to this rule, is if a player is “trump tight”, meaning they ONLY have trump in their hand. This can happen, particularly in the rounds involving less cards.
    • Going clockwise, each player will follow the exact suit the leading player placed, unless they do not have ANY of that suit in their hand.
      • In that case the player may either play a different suit, but know it will automatically lose in the round OR if it is not the first trick of a round/they are trump tight they may play a trump card.
    • Once all players, ending with the dealer, have placed a card players will determine the winner of the trick. The winner is the player who placed the highest valued card in this trick.
    • The winner will then take the cards they have won and set them to the side. This counts as 1 toward their betting number.
    • The winner of the trick will then lead and place the first card of the next trick.
    • This cycle continues until all players have played 10 tricks, then the cards are shuffled, nine are dealt, and so on and so forth until the one-card round is finished.



  • Your bet is determined by how high your cards are in value, how many trump/non-trump cards you have, and possibly based on other players’ betting.
    • Aces are the highest value, followed by King, Queen, Jack, and then 10 down to 2.
    • Trump cards are more valuable than non-trump and will always win against a non-trump card.
    • Value is determined in the same way as above if all cards/multiple cards of trump are played, higher wins.


  • Scoring is done at the end of each round and at the end of the game.
  • End-of-round scoring is as follows:
    • Once all tricks in a round are complete, all players count the number of tricks they won and compare it to the number they bet.
    • If the number the player won is above or below the number they bet, they get 0 points that round.
    • If the number the player won is precisely the same as the number they bet, add 10 to the number they bet, which is their score for the round.
  • End of Game Scoring:
    • Add up all round scores a player obtains. Compare these final scores across players.
    • Highest final score wins!

 Download PDF Instructions