OBJECTIVE OF NINETY-EIGHT: The objective of Ninety-Eight is to not be the losing player.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or more Players
MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Adding Card Game
OVERVIEW OF NINETY-EIGHT
Ninety-Eight is an adding card game for 2 or more players. The goal of the game is to not cause the discard pile to exceed 98.
Ninety-Eight is often played as a drinking game. In this version, the first player to lose takes a drink.
The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player 4 cards. The remaining cards form a stockpile in the center of the play area. Leave room next to the stock for a discard pile.
The different ranks of cards affect the discard pile differently.
Cards with values Ace through 9 will increase the value of the discard pile by the numeric value associated with them. Ace has a value of 1. 10s will decrease the value of the discard by 10 points. Jacks and Queens do not change the value of the pile, and a King sets the value of the pile to 98.
There are a few optional variations for card abilities. Players may play with all, some, or none of the listed variations below.
Aces can be played as a value of 1 or 11 at the player’s discretion.
The Ace of Spades leaves the value of the discard pile the same, and the player chooses another player to eliminate from the round.
The Ace of Hearts leaves the value of the discard pile the same and prevents a player from eliminating you with the Ace of Spades. To use it, you reveal it when being called for elimination, and the card is discarded.
Fours leave the value of the discard pile the same but reverse the order of play.
Nines function as 0, they do not add value but have no other effect.
Tens can be used to increase or decrease the value of the discard by 10 at the player’s discretion.
The Queen of Spades leaves the value of the pile the same but allows you to exchange hands with another player.
All Queens and Jacks increase the value of the pile by 10.
The gameplay is simple. 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.
The discard pile starts at a value of 0 and has no cards in it. As players play cards to the discard it will fluctuate. If at anytime a player adds to the pile and the value of the pile exceeds 98 points, that player has lost. The dealer will collect the cards, and a new round will be started.
If playing as a drinking game, the losing player will now take the drink.
END OF GAME
The game does not have a standard end. Players will decide when to end the game, and players may leave and join between rounds of play. If playing as a drinking game, please play responsibly.