OBJECTIVE OF 3UP 3DOWN: Be the first player to shed all of their cards

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 6 players

CONTENTS: 84 cards

TYPE OF GAME: Hand shedding

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


3UP 3DOWN is a simple hand shedding card game for 2 – 6 players.  In this game players are working to get rid of all the cards in their hand as well as the cards in their 3UP 3DOWN piles.  The first player to do so is the winner.


The 3UP 3DOWN deck is composed of 84 playing cards.  There are three colors, and each color has two copies of cards 1 – 10, Clear, and Clear +1.  The green suit also includes two copies of Clear +2. 

Shuffle and deal three cards to each player.  These cards are kept face down and should not be looked at by the player.  Next, deal six cards to each player.  Players choose three cards to place face up on top of the three face down cards.  This leaves each player with a hand of three cards.  The rest of the cards are placed face down on the table in the center.


Each turn consists of a discard and a draw.  The game does not begin with a discard pile.  The player who goes first begins the pile with a card or cards of their choice.


A player begins their turn by discarding cards to the discard pile.  The card(s) they play must be equal to or greater than the top card showing (not including the first play of the game which can be any card or set of cards). 


If a player has two or more of an eligible card for play, they may play all of the cards at once. 

Clearing the Pile

A player can clear the discard pile (removing the discard pile from play) a few ways.  First, when three or more of the same numbered card is played, the discard pile is cleared.  That means three cards from one player, or three of the same card played by different players.  Either way, the discard pile is cleared.

Clear cards can also be used to remove the discard pile from play.  The standard Clear card simply removes the discard pile from play.  The Clear +1 removes the discard pile from play AND allows the same player to discard again.  The player has the option to draw from the draw pile prior to their second discard.  Finally, the Clear +2 card removes the discard pile from play and gives the same player TWO extra discard actions.  Again, the player has the option to draw prior to their initial extra discard action.  They cannot draw before the third and final discard action.

If the Clear +2 card gets played from the player’s face up or face down pile, and the third discard is lower in value than the second discard played, that player must pick up the entire discard pile.

Unable to Play

If a player is unable to discard a card to the pile, they must pick up the entire pile and add it to their hand.  This ends your turn.


Once a player has finished discarding, they draw back up to a hand of three cards.  If a player picks up the discard pile and has a hand with more than three cards, they do not draw until their hand size becomes less than three cards.


The piles of cards in front of the player are known as 3UP 3DOWN piles.  Cards from these piles cannot be played until the draw pile is depleted, and that player’s hand is empty.  All three face up cards must be played before the three face down cards can be turned over and played. 

If a player is unable to discard from their 3UP 3DOWN piles, and they pick up the discard pile, they cannot play from their 3UP 3DOWN pile until their hand is again empty.


Play continues until one player has discarded all of the cards from their hand and 3UP 3DOWN piles.  That player is the winner.

Mark Ball
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