Onze Card Game Rules

By Zachary Nguyen
A game of Onze can be lots of fun.

The card game Onze was a very popular card game in France--and eventually the U.S.--during the 1980s. As opposed to being played with just one traditional deck of cards, Onze is played with two full decks with Jokers included. The objective of the card game is to have the lowest amount of points possible after seven hands.

Players And Rules

With a minimum of three players, you begin the game by shuffling two standard decks of cards (Jokers included) together and deal 11 cards to each player (Onze is French for the number 11). Turn one card from the deck face up to begin the discard pile and leave the rest of the cards face down as the draw pile. Both of these piles are placed in the middle of the table. As a side note, 12 cards are dealt during Hand 6 while 13 cards are dealt during Hand 7.

Runs, Sets, Wilds and Rankings

A run is a minimum of four consecutive cards while a set is a minimum of three of a kind with at least two non-wild cards. Jokers and red aces are Wilds. An example of a run is 2, 3, 4 and 5 while an example of a set is 7, 7 and Wild. Cards are ranked aces low to kings high.

Hands

There are seven hands per game with each hand corresponding to a specific requirement. Hand 1 requires two sets, Hand 2 requires a set and a run, Hand 3 requires two runs, Hand 4 requires three sets, Hand 5 requires two sets and a run, Hand 6 requires two runs and a set, and finally Hand 7 requires three runs. A player must be the first to have the requirement of each hand to win the round. The player winning the round then places her cards face up on the table while the other players can then discard any matching cards that they may have. A wild indicates that any card may be discarded.

Player's Turn and Out-of-Turn Draw

A player begins the round by either drawing a card from the draw pile or drawing the first face up card on the discard pile. If he has the hand requirement, he may play it down to win the round. If not, then the round continues counterclockwise and the next player goes. In the case that a player draws from the draw pile, then the player directly to the right may draw by picking the first face up card on the discard pile.

Scoring And Winning

Once a player wins the round, the remaining players discard any cards they may be able to and tally up the remaining cards. Jokers are worth 30 points, Face cards are worth 10 points, black aces are worth 20 points and any other cards are worth face values. The winner of the game is the player with the lowest points after all seven hands.

About the Author

Zachary Nguyen is an avid guest writer and editor for a year and a half since 2009. His work appears in three publications at his university, including the weekly newspaper "Argus." He is currently in his third year of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics. Nguyen attends Wesleyan University.