September 24, 2023
Learn how to play the popular card game 31 with this comprehensive guide. From the rules and gameplay to tips and tricks, this article has everything you need to master the game and improve your strategy.


If you’re looking for a fun and challenging card game to play with friends and family, look no further than 31. Also known as Scat, Blitz, or Ride the Bus, 31 is a popular game that has been enjoyed for generations. The game is easy to learn but difficult to master, making it a favorite of casual and serious gamers alike. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to play 31, with tips, tricks, and strategies to help you improve your gameplay.

The Ultimate Guide to Playing 31: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

The Rules of 31

The objective of 31 is to form a hand that has a sum total of 31 points, or as close as possible to this number. Aces are worth 11 points, face cards are worth 10 points, and all other cards are worth their face value. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and each player is dealt three cards. The remaining cards are placed in a stockpile, with one card face-up on top.


Each turn, a player can choose to either pick up the top card from the stockpile or the discard pile. The player must then discard one card from their hand, face up on the discard pile. The game continues until a player has a hand that totals 31 points, at which point they can knock on the table. All other players then have one more turn to improve their hand, after which all hands are revealed. The player with the highest hand total wins the round.

Scoring System

Players earn one point for each round that they win. If a player knocks and has the highest hand total, they earn two points. If a player has a three-card hand that has three cards of the same suit, they earn four points, or five points if they have a three-card hand with three aces.

Variations of 31

There are many variations of 31 that players may encounter, such as changing the number of cards dealt, allowing players to exchange cards with the discard pile, or using different scoring systems. It’s important to establish the specific rules before starting to play.

Mastering the Game of 31: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Strategy

General Tips

To become a better 31 player, it’s important to pay attention to the cards that have been played and discarded. This can give you a sense of which cards are still in play and which cards your opponents may be holding. It’s also helpful to keep track of the discards to avoid discarding a card that might complete an opponent’s hand.

Specific Strategies

One strategy to consider is knocking early in the game to force other players to reveal their hands. This can also give you a sense of how close other players might be to a 31-point hand. However, knocking too early can also give your opponents extra turns to improve their hands.

Another important strategy is to learn when to hold onto certain cards and when to discard them. For example, holding onto a pair or three of a kind can be helpful, but holding onto low cards can be detrimental if they’re not part of a potential 31-point hand.

31 for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Helpful Insights and Recommendations for New Players

If you’re new to 31, it’s helpful to practice with friends or family to get a sense of the gameplay before playing for points. Watching professional players can also be a helpful way to learn strategies and see how the game is played at a more advanced level.

Basic Guidelines and Strategies

As a beginner, it’s important to focus on building hands that are as close to 31 points as possible. This can be done by holding onto cards that are worth 10 or 11 points and discarding low cards. It can also be helpful to keep track of the discards to avoid discarding a card that might be needed later.

The Art of Bluffing in 31: How to Psych Out Your Opponents

What Bluffing Is and Why It Can Be Useful

Bluffing is a strategy that involves making your opponents think you have a better hand than you actually do. In 31, this can be useful for getting other players to knock early, giving you extra turns to form a stronger hand.

Tactics and Strategies for Bluffing

One tactic for bluffing is to act confident, even if your hand is weak. This can make your opponents think you’re holding a strong hand and discourage them from knocking. Another strategy is to deliberately discard cards that suggest a different hand than the one you’re holding, such as discarding high cards when you have a low hand.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Playing 31

Common Mistakes

One common mistake is holding onto low cards that can’t be used in a 31-point hand. This can take up valuable space in your hand and prevent you from forming more valuable hands. Another mistake is discarding high cards too early, which can prevent you from forming a 31-point hand later in the game.

How to Avoid Mistakes

To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to keep track of the cards that have been played and the discards that have been made. It’s also important to consider the value of each card in your hand and how it can contribute to a potential 31-point hand.

Advanced Strategies for Playing 31: Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Counting Cards and Calculating Probabilities

Advanced players may use techniques such as counting cards or calculating probabilities to improve their gameplay. Counting cards involves keeping track of the specific cards that have been played and using this information to determine the likelihood of certain cards being available in the remaining deck. Calculating probabilities involves using mathematical formulas to determine the likelihood of certain outcomes based on the cards that have been played and the cards that are still in the deck.

Examples and Scenarios

To apply these strategies in gameplay, it can be helpful to consider specific examples and scenarios. For example, if you know that a certain card has already been played, you can use this information to determine the likelihood of the same card being available later in the game. Similarly, if you have a certain combination of cards in your hand, you can calculate the likelihood of forming a 31-point hand based on the cards that are still in the deck.


31 is a classic card game that offers endless fun and entertainment for players of all ages and skill levels. With this comprehensive guide, you now have all the tools you need to master the game and improve your strategy. Remember to pay attention to the cards, keep track of the discards, and practice your gameplay to become a skilled 31 player.

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