OBJECT OF PLAY OR PAY: The object of Play or Pay is to be the first player to empty your hand. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 or more players. 

MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, chips or money, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Layout Card Game



Play or Pay is a layout card game for 3 or more players. The goal of the game is to be the first player to completely empty their hand.

In Play or Pay, players will play cards from their hand to a layout by following rank and suit.   


The dealer is chosen at random and shuffles the deck. Then the dealer will deal each player as even as a hand as possible. Some players may end up with an additional card.

Card Ranking

The ranking for this game is continuous meaning once it kits the highest it starts again from the lowest. The ranking is King (high), Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low).


The player left of the dealer will start the game. This player may play any card. The card they do play will start the layout. The suit of the first card played must be finished before a new suit can be started. If the first player started the game by player a 5 of clubs for example. The following player will need to play all clubs in order before being able to start a new suit. The order the cards must be played in for this example is 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, 2, 3, and 4. Once the four is played the player who finishes the suit will get to play any card from their hand to start the next suit.

If a player cannot play a card on their turn, they will need to play a chip into the center pot.

The game continues until a player plays out their final card of their hand.


The game ends once a player manages to completely empty their hand. the first player to do so wins the game and collects all the chips placed into the pot for the round. this game can be played as a single round or multiple rounds to a game. players will need to pass the dealer to the left and follow the above setup instructions to play multiple round games.

Amber Crook
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