The card game 29 is predominantly played in countries like India, South Africa and parts of Asia. Depending on where you go and who you’re playing with, the game can have a number of different rules. Some people play with two decks of cards, some people play to 28 points and some people use the Joker in the deck. The basic rules of 29 have changed very little over the years, and the game is fairly easy to play. Here's how.
Set up your game by placing four players at the table. The game is played with teams or partners, so whoever you’re facing is going to be your partner for the duration of the game. Remove the two, three, four and five cards from the pack, and give each player one set of these cards in the same suite. For example, player one would get the two, three, four and five of hearts.
Deal out the cards by giving each player four cards, starting to the right of the dealer. This person also gets to start the bidding process. Players take turns bidding on who gets to choose the trump card. The first bid must be at least 15 points, and no one can bid more than 29 points. The winning bidder then gets to choose the trump card, but doesn’t tell the other players. The dealer passes out another four cards so all players get eight cards total.
Let the player on the left of the dealer play the first card. It can be any card of his choosing, whether a trump card or not. The next player has to follow this same suite, as do the other players. When a player can’t play the suite, he must tell the group and the winning bidder will have to tell the group the trump.
Continue playing in this way until someone plays a trump car. The individual who plays the trump card is then immediately awarded all of the cards in the pile and any subsequent points. That person also gets to choose the next suite to play.
Score the final round once all the cards are played. Each partner should count up the points based on the cards in his pile before combining his points together. Jacks are worth three points, nines are worth two points, aces and tens are worth one point and the other cards are worthless. Whoever played the last card on the board is awarded an additional point, which brings the total up to 29 possible points. The winner is the first team to reach 29 points or more.
There are hundreds of variations on this game overseas and in the U.S. There are similar games with different names, such as Rook. Depending on where you are and who you’re playing against, the rules might be quite different.
If the winning bidder doesn’t reach the points she bid earlier in the game, she must have her points reduced in the scoring. For example, if an individual winds the bid at 22 points, but her teams only makes 16 points, she loses the entire 22 points from her total score.