Each of the four players are dealt 13 cards at the beginning of the game. The object is to be the first player to lose all of your cards, at which point the game ends. The winner is awarded the sum of points lost by the other three players. One point is lost for each card remaining in your hands at the end of a game, but having 10 or more cards remaining results in points being doubled. For example, 9 cards = 9 points, while 10 cards = 20 points, and 11 cards = 22 points, etc.
The player who has the three of diamonds goes first and must play the three of diamonds as a single card or as part of a valid hand. For example, the three of diamonds could be played as a pair alongside another three of a different suit.
Subsequent players must play a valid hand of the same number of cards which is higher than the previous hand played, or otherwise pass. This continues until three players consecutively pass, at which point the last player to have played a hand has control. When in control, a player may play any of the following valid 1, 2, 3, or 5 card hands:
Single card hands
3 is the lowest and 2 is the highest, i.e. 3 < 4 < 5 < 6 < 7 < 8 < 9 < 10 < J < Q < K < A < 2. As for suits, < < < . Therefore the 2 of spades (also known as the “Big 2”) is the highest card.
2 card hands
Pairs (i.e. two cards of the same number) are valid. Ranked primarily by number (e.g. 10 10 beats 5 5) and then by suit, where the card with the highest suit wins (e.g. 10 10 beats 10 10).
3 card hands
Three-of-a-kind (i.e. three cards of the same number) are valid. Ranked by number, and suits do not matter.
5 card hands
Straight < Flush < Full House < Bomb < Straight Flush
A Straight consists of any 5 numbers in a row, where 3 is lowest and 2 is highest.
e.g. 3 4 5 6 7 and J Q K A 2 are valid
but 2 3 4 5 6 and A 2 3 4 5 are NOT valid.
A Flush consists of 5 cards of the same suit, ranked primarily by number and then by suit.
A Full House consists of a three-of-a-kind along with a pair, e.g. 4 4 7 7 7.
Ranking is based on the three-of-a-kind, and the pair is irrelevant to ranking.
e.g. 2 2 10 10 10 beats 3 3 4 4 4.
A Bomb consists of a 4-of-a-kind (i.e. 4 cards of the same number) plus any fifth card. Ranking is solely based on the 4-of-a-kind.
A Straight Flush is both a Straight and a Flush. Ranking is, again, based primarily on number and secondarily on suit.