How to Play the Card Game Sixty-Six

By Dana Severson

The game of Sixty-Six is a trick-taking game for two players. It is played with a reduced deck for as many rounds as it takes for one player to hit a certain number of points. You and your challenger are each dealt a hand of cards, trump is then turned over and you try to take tricks worth points. Actually, you try to take all the tricks, but that’s neither here nor there. As you take these tricks, you must keep track of their value mentally since the round ends when one player believes they’ve taken a total of 66 points. If you’re correct, you earn points towards your score. If not, then your challenger takes them.

Reduce the size of your deck by removing the 9 through the 2 of each suit. For the game of Sixty-Six, you’ll be using a deck of only 20 cards.

Deal out the deck until you and your opponent have a total of five cards in your hands. The unused portion of the deck is placed toward the center of the table, and the top card is flipped over to indicate trump. Set this card aside as you’ll need to use the rest of the deck later in the game.

Play a card from your hand. Follow suit when possible. Highest suited card takes the trick. If you are unable to follow suit, you may throw off of play trump. Highest trump card takes the trick. In either case, the winner of the trick leads the next.

Earn points towards your score as you take the tricks. Each trick’s point value is based on the two cards within it—aces are worth 11, tens are worth 10, kings are worth 4, queens are worth 3 and jacks are worth 2. Points are not written down and must be tallied mentally (this comes into play later in the game).

Draw a card from the unused deck if you’ve won the trick. The next card is taken by the other player.

Continue to play until you believe you have at least 66 points within the tricks you’ve taken. Play stops; you’ll earn 1 point toward your score if you’re correct and are ahead by less than half, 2 points if you’re correct and are ahead by more than half, and 3 points if you’re the only player to have scored any points.

Win the game of Sixty-Six by being the first player to rack up a total of 7 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.