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Rules for the Gripe Card Game

Gripe is similar to Rummy 500, in that you put your cards face-up on the table after making runs and sets.
playing cards image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

If you are looking to add a new rummy-style game to your current card game arsenal, try playing Gripe. Unlike with the popular game Gin Rummy, with Gripe you do not keep your sets--or three or more-of-a-kinds--and runs--or groups of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit--in your hand. Instead, you place them face-up on the playing surface when you achieve certain goals that are required for each round. Gripe works best with four players and requires the use of two joker-free decks.


According to the Thinking Blogger Award-winning blog One More Thing, a standard game of Gripe lasts for 10 rounds or hands, and in each hand, your primary objective is to achieve a particular configuration of sets and runs. The rules predetermine what these configurations are: Hand 1 requires two sets of three cards; Hand 2 requires one set of three and one run of four; Hand 3: two sets of four; Hand 4: three sets of three; Hand 5: one set of three, one run of seven; Hand 6: two sets of three, one run of five; Hand 7: three runs of four; Hand 8: one set of three, one run of 10; Hand 9: three sets of three, one run of five; and Hand 10: three runs of five.


Twos are wild in Gripe, which means you can substitute them for any card of any suit. For example, if you have two 8s and a 2, you can make a set of three 8s using the 2 as an 8. Alternatively, if you have the 6 of spades and the 7 of spades, you can use a 2 as the 8 of spades to make a run.

Starting Play

The dealer starts by giving each player 11 cards, putting the remaining stack in the center of the table, face-down, and then flipping over the top card. The player to the left of the dealer can either take the card that is showing, or take a face-down card from the stack. In either instance, he must discard of one of the cards in his hand afterward, and put it face-up next to the stack. Play then continues clockwise in this fashion.


If a player, during his turn, passes on one of the face-up cards next to the stack, another player can buy it by taking a card from the top of the stack in addition to the face-up one. However, you only get three buys in each of the first nine hands, and four in the final hand.

Going Down

Once you achieve the card configuration required of a particular hand, you go down by placing these cards face up in front of you. Your new objective is to discard what cards you have remaining, which you can accomplish by adding to your own runs and sets, as well as to the runs and sets of other players that have gone down.

Going Out

When a player is able to get rid of all of her cards, she goes out, and that hand is over. The winning player gets a score of zero, while all other players must add up the point values of the cards they have left. After 10 hands, the player with the lowest score wins.

Card Point Values

Threes through 8s are worth five points, 9s through kings are worth 10 points, aces are worth 15 points and 2s are worth 20 points.

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