How to Play the Card Game Pennies for Heaven

By Dana Severson

Pennies from Heaven is one of those card games that’s similar to Rummy 500 or Canasta as you and your partners are trying to create a set list of combinations—four to be exact. You are dealt a hand of 13 cards; from this, you are tasked with laying down cards of the same rank until you have a total of seven in front of you or a partner. By the looks of the instructions, you’d think this game is fairly difficult, but anyone can really play once they have a general idea of the game.

Determine teams by having players sit alternately. For the game of Pennies from Heaven, there are two teams of three players.

Deal out the incorporated deck (a total of four) until each player has a total of 13 cards in his hand. Another 11 cards are dealt out to each player but will remain face down in a pile in front them. The remaining cards are set towards the center of the table and will act as the draw pile. Turn over the top card and place it next to the deck. This will act as the discard pile.

Arrange the cards in your hand (the first 13 cards dealt to you). You and your teammates are looking to create all for of the following combinations—7 cards of the same rank, 7 cards of the same rank with wild cards, 7 wild cards or seven 7s. Please see the Tips section for a list of wild cards in the deck.

Draw two cards from the draw or discard pile, starting with the person to the left of the dealer.

Lay down 3 or more cards of a combination you are trying to create. When you’ve already started a combination (or a partner has started a combination), you may add to it at this time. If you are unable to lay down any cards, simply move on to the next step.

Discard a single card from your hand, placing it on the discard pile. You may not discard a 7 until at least one player from each team has laid down seven 7s. Once you’ve discarded, it is an indication that your turn is complete. Play will now move to the player to your left.

Draw from your personal deck (the 11 card pile) once you’ve completed one of the combinations.

End the round by being the first team to get all four combinations.

Tabulate the points for the round by adding any completed combination, any red 3’s and any incomplete combinations (at card value; see Tips) minus any remaining cards in your hand (again, at card value).

Points are: Seven cards of the same rank—500 points; seven cards of the same rank with wild cards—300 points; seven wild cards—1,000 points; seven 7s—1,500 points. Card values are: Jokers—50 points; aces and 2s—20 points; K-8—10 points and 7-3—5 points.

Win the game of Pennies from Heaven by being the first team to reach 20,000 points.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.