OBJECTIVE OF CHINESE TEN: The objective of Chinese Ten is to beat a certain score to win.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 Players

MATERIALS: Standard 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Fishing Card Game



Chinese Ten is a fishing card game for 2 to 4 players. The number of players changes the cards in hand, the cards that score, and how many points are needed to win. The goal of the game is to score points, but players can achieve this by playing cards out of their hand to take and score cards from the table. 


The setup for Chinese Ten differs for different numbers of players. A dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player their hand. For a 2-player game, a hand of 12 cards is dealt. For a 3-player game, a hand of eight cards is dealt. For a 4-player game, 6 card hands are dealt. 

After hands have been handed out the dealer takes the remaining deck and places it in the center of the play area. Then four cards are flipped faceup from the top of the remaining deck. Once this is completed the game can begin. 

Card Rankings 

Card suits and ranking do not matter to this game. Though if unfamiliar, a player should view the numbers and face cards of the deck.

For this game, Aces have a numerical value of 1. The remaining numerical cards are numbered 2 through 10, but 10s have special rulings that make them closer associated to face cards. This will be described more in the gameplay section below. Face cards in this game include jacks, queens, and kings. 


The first thing when the game begins is players will look at the layout. Two special circumstances might occur that changes the way the game is played. If the layout includes three of the following King, Queen, Jack, 10, or 5s, then when the 4th card of that type is played it will score all the matching cards. If the layout consists of a four of a kind, the dealer will score all four of those cards automatically. 

If neither of these occurs, then the game may begin traditionally. Any player may start the game, as long as some sort of turn order is constructed. On a player’s turn, they will do two things. First, they will play a card from their hand and capture a card if able, and second, they will flip the top card of the remaining deck and capture a card if able. 

When a player plays a card from their hand they will see if they can capture any cards from the layout. If any card pairs with theirs to equal a sum of 10 they may capture it. If a player is playing a 10 or face card, then they are looking to find a matching card of rank. A player can only capture one card this way, so multiple choices means only one card can be captured. If a card is captured both the captured card and the played card are taken by the player and placed in a facedown pile next to them. If a played card does not capture anything then it remains in the layout to be captured later. 

Once a card has been played from their hand the player will flip the top card of the remaining deck. The same as above occurs to see if that player captures a card. If not, the card remains in the layout.

This way of play continues until all cards have been captured.


Once all cards have been captured then players may score the cards in their capture piles. The scoring changes for the number of players. For a 2-player game, only the red cards are scored. In a 3-player game, red cards and the ace of spades is scored. For 4-player games, the red cards, ace of spades, and ace of clubs are scored. 

For red cards 2 through 8 their numeric value is their point value. For 9s through Kings, they are worth 10 points. For the red Aces, they are worth 20 points. When applicable the Ace of spades is worth 30 points, and the Ace of clubs is worth 40. 

Once players have their scores, they can compare it to the score needed to win. In a 2-player game, any player scoring higher than 105 points has won the game. In a 3-player game the score needed is 80, and 70 in a 4-player game.


The game can be won by the player with the highest score or wins can be tallied for multiple games to determine a winner that way.  

Amber Crook
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