Ninety nine is played with a standard 52 cards deck, or 2 decks if there are a lot of players. The objective of the game is to do so that the total of the card pile reach exactly 33, 66 or 99 without exceeding these limits.
At the beginning of the game, each player starts with 9 tokens (or any other number decided beforehand). These tokens represent « lives » and the player who has lost all of them is out of the game
At the beginning of the round, each player is dealt 3 cards. The pile of played cards is initially empty and thus is worth 0. At your turn, you choose a card, which you put on the top of the discard pile, and then draw immediately a fresh new one on the draw pile, so that you always have exactly 3 cards in your hand. The card you have just played adds up to the discard pile, its new value is announced and the next player goes.
- If the total of the discard pile reach exactly 33 or 66 after having played your card, each player except you lose a token. If one or more players have no token to deposit anymore, they are immediately out of the game witout even waiting for the end of the round.
- If the discard pile exactly reach 99, you win the round. Each player lose two tokens, and the next round starts.
- If, when playing your card, you go past 33 or 66, you, and you only, lose a token. For example if the pile is at 29, if you play a 7, causing the total to become 36, you go past 33. If you no longer have any token available to deposit, you are immediately out of the game without waiting for the end of the round.
- If you exceed the ultimate 99 limit, you lose the round and must pay two tokens. Then, the next round starts.
Your objective is therefore to reach exactly 33, 66 or 99, but without ever exceed them, and optionally force other players to go past these limits for you.
Here are card values :
- Card from 3 to 8 are worth their face value;
- A nine is worth 0;
- Figures always count for +10;
- A 10 can be worth +10 or -10, as a choice for the player;
- An ace can be worth +1 or +11, to the player's choice;
- If the current total is even and greater than 49, a 2 divides it by two. In all other cases, a 2 doubles it.
Some cards have also an additionnal effect:
- When a jack is played, the next player skips his turn. When playing with two players, a jack allows to play again.
- A 4 inverts the direction of play. If one played clockwise til now, the game will continue counterclockwise from now on. Clockwise direction will be restored when the next 4 is played. With two players, a 4 has no effect.
- As a 10 can be worth -10 and as a 2 has the ability to half the total, the limits of 33 and 66 can be reached and exceeded multiple times in the same round. Tokens are lost each time these limits are crossed, but only while going ascending. For example, if the total is at 56 and if you play a 2, causing it to return to 28, you don't lose any token for having made it below 33. Equally, if it is at 76 and if you play a 10, bringing it back to 66 exactly, nobody loses a token because you are coming from a greater value unstead of a lesser one.
- As a 2 is able to double pile total, 66 and 99 may be gone past at once; for example if you play a 2 while the total is at 53. In that case, you lose the round and 3 tokens.
- Don't forget to draw a card after having played ! If you forget, then your fault isn't recoverable: you must continue with only two cards to the end of the round. If ever you forget three times and don't have anymore cards to play when your turn arrive, the round is immediately ended and you lose 3 tokens.
- Space: draw a card
- C: read the current pile value
- S: announce scores (number of tokens held by each player)