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How to Play 3UP 3DOWN Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

How to Play 3UP 3DOWN Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

3UP 3DOWN was originally published in 2016 by Ok2Win LLC. The premise behind the game is rather straightforward. Six cards are placed in front of you at the beginning of the game. Your goal is to get rid of these cards before the other players. This is done by playing cards of the same or a higher number than the last played card. If you cannot play a card, you must pick up all of the cards from the discard pile.


Year: 2016 | Publisher: Ok2Win LLC | Designer: NA | Artist: NA

Genres: Card, Family

Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 2-6 | Length of Game: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: High

Components: 70 number cards, 7 Clear cards, 6 Clear +1 cards, 1 Clear +2 card, instructions

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.


Objective of 3UP 3DOWN

The objective of 3UP 3DOWN is to get rid of all of your cards before the other players

Setup for 3UP 3DOWN

  • Shuffle the cards.
  • Deal three cards face down to each player. These cards are referred to as the 3DOWN cards, and should be placed next to one another in front of each player. Players cannot look at these cards.
Down Piles in 3UP 3DOWN
Here are the 3DOWN cards for one of the players.
  • Deal six more cards face down to each player. Players may look at these cards. Each player will choose three of these cards to place face up on top of their 3DOWN cards. These cards are referred to as your 3UP cards.
Up Piles Created
This player has created their 3Up piles by choosing cards from their hand.
  • The other three cards that you were dealt make up your hand.
  • Place the rest of the cards face down in the middle of the table. These cards will be the draw pile.
  • The rules don’t specify who gets to start the game.

Playing Cards From Your Hand

Players will take turns in a clockwise order.

On your turn you will have the opportunity to play one or more cards from your hand. To play a card(s) from your hand, the number on the card must be equal to or higher than the cards currently on top of the discard pile. You may play any card on top of an open/cleared discard pile. If you have a card in your hand that you can play, you must play it.

Play A Card in 3UP 3DOWN
The current player has the three cards at the bottom of the picture in their hand. They are unable to play their two card as it is lower than the three on top of the discard pile. The player could either play the three or nine as they are equal to or higher than the three on the discard pile.

If you have two or more cards of the same number, you can play all of the cards together.

Play Two Cards in 3UP 3DOWN
The cards at the bottom of the picture are the cards in the next player’s hand. This player could choose to play both of the five cards from their hand.

The Clear, Clear + 1, and Clear +2 cards can be played on any other card.

If you can’t play a card on your turn, you must pick up all of the cards from the discard pile and add them to your hand. Your turn then ends.

Can't Play Card
The next player does not have a ten or Clear card in their hand. As they are unable to play a card on their turn, they have to pick up all of the cards from the discard pile.

After you play your card, you will take cards from the draw pile until you have three cards in your hand. If you have more than three cards in your hand (due to having to pick up the discard pile), you will not draw cards at the end of your turn.

Playing Cards From Your 3UP 3DOWN Piles

Once all of the cards have been taken from the draw pile, you have the ability to play the cards from your 3UP 3DOWN piles. To play a card from one of these piles though, you must have already played all of the cards from your hand.

End of Draw Pile
As all of the cards have been removed from the draw pile, players are finally able to start playing cards from their 3UP piles.

You will begin by playing your 3UP (face up) cards. These cards are played in the same way as the cards from your hand. You can play one card from your piles if it is equal to or higher than the card on the top of the discard pile. If you have two or more cards of the same number, you can play all of them at the same time.

Play From Up Pile in 3UP 3DOWN
This player no longer has any cards in their hand. Therefore they can play a card(s) from their 3Up piles. As all of them can be played on top of the three card, the player can choose which of the cards that they would like to play.

After you have played all of your 3UP (face up) cards, you can start playing the 3DOWN (face down) cards. Once per turn you can flip over and play one of your 3DOWN cards.

If you reveal a card that you can’t play, you must pick up the discard pile. If you can’t play the card, you don’t have to reveal what the card is to the other players.

Play From Down Pile
This player revealed a one card from one of their 3Down piles. As this is lower than the seven, they are unable to play it. They will have to pick up all of the cards from the discard pile to add to their hand.

Should you end up having to pick up the discard pile (you can’t play a card on your turn), you can’t play any cards from your 3UP 3DOWN piles until you get rid of all of the cards from your hand.

Cards

Clear Card in 3UP 3DOWN

Clear Cards

There are three types of Clear cards: Clear, Clear +1, and Clear +2.

You can play these three types of cards at any time as they are higher than any numbered card. When you play any of these cards, you will remove the entire discard pile (including the Clear card) from the game.

With a normal Clear card, your turn ends after the discard pile is removed.

Clear +1 Card in 3UP 3DOWN

Clear +1 cards remove the discard pile. The player that plays the cards also has to take one more action. You may either play a card or cards of the same number from your hand. You may choose to draw a card before you play your card for the +1.

Clear +2 Card in 3UP 3DOWN

The Clear +2 card will remove the discard pile cards from the game. The player that plays the card must take two additional actions as well. You must play one card for the +1 and another card for the +2. You may discard multiple cards of the same number which will count as one of the actions that you have to take. Before you take the +1 and/or +2 action, you may choose to draw a card. 

If you play a Clear +2 card from your 3UP 3DOWN pile and the second card that you play is less than the value of the first played card, you will pick up the cards from the discard pile.

Numbered Cards

To play a numbered card on your turn, it must be equal to or higher than the card on the top of the discard pile. You may play multiple cards of the same number on your turn.

The colors on the numbered cards have no impact on gameplay. If you want a quicker game though (for 2-4 players), you can choose to not use some of the colors to create a smaller deck.

If three or more cards of the same number are played consecutively, it will be treated like a Clear card was played. You will remove the discard pile cards from the game.

Clear Discard Pile in 3UP 3DOWN
Three nines were played in a row to the discard pile. All of the cards in the discard pile will be removed from the game.

Winning 3UP 3DOWN

The first player to play their final 3DOWN card wins.

Optional 3UP 3DOWN Rules

These rules are optional. You can choose which of them you would like to use.

After a player wins the game, you can continue to play to see what place the rest of the players get.

You can choose to ignore the rule where you must play a card if you can. Instead you can choose to draw a card instead of playing one.

Number 1 cards can be treated like reverses. With this rule in place, play will change from clockwise to counter-clockwise and vice versa whenever a 1 is played.

You can choose to implement a scoring system to determine who is the winner over several games. Each player will score points for the cards left in their hand at the end of the game. The player with the least points after the agreed upon number of rounds, wins the game. The value of each card is as follows:

  • Number Cards: Face Value
  • Clear: 15 points
  • Clear +1: 20 points
  • Clear +2: 25 points

After you have set up the 3UP 3DOWN pile, you can randomly select players to switch their piles. You may also allow players to choose cards from their hand for the face up cards on other players’ piles.

If four of the same colored cards are played consecutively, without the discard pile being cleared, the player who played the last card can choose to replace one of their 3UP (face up) cards with a card from their hand.

3UP 3DOWN Card Game Review - Geeky Hobbies

Friday 15th of July 2022

[…] you would like to see the complete rules/instructions for the game, check out our 3UP 3DOWN how to play […]

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