OBJECTIVE OF ARIZONA NINETY-EIGHT: The objective of Arizona Ninety-Eight is to not be eliminated.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or more Players

MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, two jokers, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Adding Card Game



Arizona Ninety-Eight is an adding card game for 2 or more players. The goal of the game is to be the last player remaining.


The deck is shuffled, and 4 cards are dealt to each player. The remaining cards form a stockpile in the center of the play area. Leave room next to the stock for a discard pile.

Some play that the dealer then flips a card to start the discard pile, and any special abilities of the card go into effect immediately.

Card Abilities

The different ranks of cards affect the discard pile differently.

Numeric cards 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 add only their numeric value to the pile. The other ranked cards, however, have special abilities attached to them.

Aces increase the value of the discard pile either by 1 or 11. The player may choose when discarding the card which value is added.

9s do not add any value to the pile, but they reverse the direction of play.

Jacks reduce the discard value by 10 points.

Queens and 4s add no value to the discard pile.

Kings change the value of the pile to 98 points.

Jokers also change the pile value to 98, but the next player must either play two cards to the pile, one after the other, or play the other joker. If a player is eliminated by a joker, the unmet requirements of the joker are passed to the next player.


The game starts with the player left of the dealer and proceeds around the table clockwise. On a player’s turn, they will choose one of the 4 cards in their hand to discard to the pile. After the player discards, they state out loud the new value of the discard pile. After stating the new value, they will draw a new card into their hand from the stockpile.

If you hold in your hand multiple cards of the same rank, you may play as many of those cards as you wish to the discard pile. The pile’s value is increased by the total value of the cards played. At the end of your turn, you will draw back up to 4 cards in hand and your turn is passed.

As players play cards to the discard it will fluctuate. If at any time a player cannot add to the pile without the value of the pile exceeding 98 points, that player is eliminated from the game. The next player’s turn begins, and play proceeds as normal.

If the stock is exhausted play continues without drawing. If a player has no cards in hand and needs to play to the pile, they are eliminated. There is a variation that before dealing, the dealer takes a good card from the deck and places it face up as the last card of the draw pile. this is thought of as a reward to the last player able to replenish their hand.


The game ends when only one player remains. They are the winner. 

Amber Crook
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