OBJECT OF PETRANGOLA: The objective of Petrangola is to be the last player remaining in the game.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 12 Players

MATERIALS: A 40-card Italian deck, tokens, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Commerce Card Game



Petrangola is a commerce card game playable by 3 to 12 people, though said to be best with 6 or 7. The goal of the game is to outlast your opponents and be the final player remaining.

Petrangola is usually played for stakes and allows for each player to rebuy in if they so choose once per game. Players should determine before the game begins how much a single stake is.


Players will each pay a stake to start the game. The first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the right for future rounds. Each player is also given 3 tokens.

The dealer will shuffle and allow the player to their left to cut the deck. They will then deal each player a hand of 3 cards counterclockwise. The dealer may not look at his hand yet.

 The remaining cards form a stockpile, and the dealer will draw the top 3 cards of the deck and secretly look at them. The dealer may then choose if they would like to keep these 3 cards as their hand for the round or if they would like to keep their unknown hand they were dealt.

If the dealer chooses not to keep the cards, they are flipped face up into the center play area. These cards are called the monte.

If the dealer decides to keep the cards, their unknown hand is flipped face up into the center and becomes the monte. If this option is chosen it also counts as a knock (described below), and the round will only consist of one round.

Card and Hand Ranking

The ranking of cards is Ace (high), King, Horse, Jack, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low).

The hand ranking is Petrangolone (high), sequence, run, and 3-card (low).

A sequence is 3 cards all the same suit in ranking order. To rank sequences the one with the highest card wins.

A run consists of 3 cards all the same rank. This does not include aces as they are a special hand discussed below. To rank runs the lowest ranked set of cards wins.

For a 3-card hand you total the value of the cards of a single suit in your hand. The point value for cards is Aces are worth 11 points, Kings through Jacks are worth 10 points, and all other cards are worth their numeric value. To rank 3-card hands the higher value wins.


Starting with the player to the right of the dealer, gameplay is counterclockwise. On a player’s turn they may do one of a few things. A player may choose to not exchange cards from their hand and knock. They may choose to exchange 1 or 2 cards from their hand with cards from the monte, or a player may choose to exchange their entire hand for the monte and knock.

A knock always triggers the end of the game. The remaining players all have 1 remaining turn to exchange from their hand if they choose to. They may choose in the last turn to exchange 0 to 3 cards from the monte.


After a round is concluded all hands are revealed. The player with the lowest ranked hand is the loser and must lose a token. If players tie for lowest hand, they all lose a token.

Once a player loses all their tokens they are eliminated from the game. A player may choose before the next deal begins to buy themselves back into the game once. If a player does, they get tokens equal to those of the player with the lowest number of tokens still in the game.

A player with a hand of 3 aces has a special hand called Petrangolone. This hand can never lose a round, and the player gains a token. A player may gain more than 3 tokens this way.


The game comes to an end when there is only one player remaining. That player is the winner. Very rarely the last remaining players would all be eliminated in the last round if this occurs the dealer of that round wins.


For a list of possible variations check here.

Amber Crook
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