What Are the Rules for the Card Game Blitz?

By Shea Laverty
the game, Blitz, this hand, instant victory
playing cards tricks focuses image by Alexandr Shebanov from Fotolia.com

The lure of a good card game often brings people together to play, converse, and compete. Blitz, also known as 31, Scat, and Ride the Bus, is a fast-paced, draw-and-discard game for players of all ages.

Necessary Equipment

A standard 52 card deck of playing cards and three pennies or other tokens for each player.

Number of Players

Blitz requires at least two players. The game can be played by upwards of nine or more players.

Object of the Game

Blitz is a draw-and-discard card game using hands of only three cards. The object is to collect cards in a single suit with a point total of 31 or as near as possible.

Card Values

Aces are worth 11 points, and kings, queens, and jacks are all worth 10 points. All other cards are worth their pip value. A hand's value is determined by adding up the value of cards in any one suit. In mixed hands, all like suits can be added together. A mixed suit hand's value is the value of the highest card.

Dealing

The initial dealer can be determined by any means you prefer. The role of dealer rotates clockwise with each new hand. The dealer shuffles and deals the cards, starting to the player on his left and continuing onward clockwise. When everyone has three cards, the deck is placed face down onto the table, and the top card is turned face up. The face-up card forms the discard pile, while the remainder of the deck forms the draw pile. The discard pile must be kept neat so only the top card is visible.

Play

The first turn goes to the player on the dealer's left with turns passing clockwise around the table. At the start of the turn, the player can draw the top card from the draw pile or the discard pile. She must then discard a card. If she drew from the draw pile, she may discard that card. However, if a card is taken from the discard pile, it must be added to her hand. After discarding, the turn ends and moves to the next player.

Knocking

When a player decides they have a winning hand, they can choose to knock instead of drawing a card. This ends their turn. All other players have one last turn to draw and discard, before all players display their cards and select a suit to be their point suit. The player with the lowest score loses a token. If two players tie for lowest, both lose a token. If the tie involves the knocker, then the knocker is safe but the other player loses a token. If the knocker ends up being the player with the lowest score, he loses two tokens.

31

If one of the players attains a value of 31 in their hand, they must immediately show their hand and declare victory. All other players lose a token. This applies even if another player has knocked. In the case of two or more people getting 31 on the initial deal, all players with 31 win and those without lose.

Keeping Score and Winning

Each player has three tokens. When a round is lost, forfeited tokens are placed in the middle of the table. When a player's tokens are exhausted, he is "on his face." A loss while "on your face" ends the game for that player. The winner of Blitz is the last player standing.