How to play 30 Cents – the card game

30 Cent – How to play the Card Game 

The following is instruction on how to play a really fun card game with friends and family!

It takes strategy, planning, budgeting and a little luck.

30 Cent, the Card Game – What you need:

2 packs of cards – you will use all 54 cards (Jokers) x 2 for 108 cards total.

I card holder, if you have one

A good table for playing cards on

Chairs with cushion’s – it takes about one (1) hour per game

Each play needs 1 quarter and 6 Nickels

A small container to hold the money spent during the game on cards (5 cents each) because winner takes this pot on 1 x 6

A pen or pencil

A pad of paper or single sheet

Setting up to play 30 Cent

Designate someone to keep score. Scoring is explained below. Get comfy, grab some snacks and drinks and have fun.

Create a score pad a create a table for four or more

HandPlayer 1

Player 2

Player 3Player 4
2 x 3
1 x 4
2 x 4
1 x 5
2 x 5
1 x 6

How to play

Goal of the game –

With six hands to be played, your goal is to win each hand by getting rid of all your cards before anyone else. By winning a hand your score will be -0-. Although an overall score of zero is possible, it is unlikely.

When the first person lays down all of their cards, the other players then count the card value in their hand and that is their score for that hand.

Cards are valued in the following point sequence:

Wild Cards – 20 points Jokers and 2’s are wild cards

Ace – 15 point

King’s to 10’s – 10 points

9’s – 3’s – 5 points


How to spend you nickels – your 6 nickels can be spent any time. Most seasoned players may not “buy” until the third or fourth hand. When you purchase cards, your nickel goes into the coin container.

If you burn through all six of you nickels before the final level, then you are playing “naked” and are at the mercy of the “luck of the draw”.

When to buy a card –

If you need a card(s) during any hand, the best time to buy is when a card from another player is discarded that meets your need. Eligibility to buy the discarded card is determined by the order you are sitting in.

If a player announces their desire to buy the discarded card and is the next player in order of play, they pay a nickel and get the face up discarded card and two (2) cards from the face down stack.

However, the right to purchase the discarded card can be passed on.

So, the option is passed to the left or next player, who can buy the card or pass the option until it reaches the announced buyer. If it is not your turn to play, and you are cleared to buy the card, you are buying the face up card you can see and one (1) card on top from the face down stack.

The person whose turn to play next then draws a single face down card from the new card stack. They can lay down any appropriate cards and then discard a single card face up.

Shuffle both decks together. At first, if they are new packs of cards, they will be stiff. Flex them a bit to get them a little flexible. The Score Keeper does the initial shuffling. Four to six players is fun but you can play 3 or more.

Start dealing a single card to each player starting with the person on your left, with the first spade dealt determining the first dealer.

Person to dealers left will then cut the stack with all card stacks face down.

Everyone Ante’s Up – each player drops their quarter into the coin container.

Begin by  dealing 11 cards to each player.

Take the remaining cards from the dealing and place them on the remaining card stack, face down. Flip the top card over face up.

All players need to arrange their cards, grouping like cards together. If someone wants to purchase the first card turned up, refer to the process of buying cards above. If the buyer is not the next player in line, when their card purchase is complete, play starts with the initial player.

First hand is 2 sets x 3 like cards. This is the easiest hand to play. Each hand is harder.

The goal is to get 2 sets of 3 of the same cards.

Example – 3 7’s + 3 Kings

Play begins with the first player drawing a single face down card OR buying, for a nickel, the face up card AND 2 face down cards.

As the hand progresses, the first person who can “Lay Down” 2 sets of 3 can do so and get those cards out of their hand. They can also play any additional sets of three (3) or more cards, OR a suited run of three (3) or more cards. Example King, Queen, Jack of Hearts.

Wild cards can be used to be any card you wish. In order to end the hand, you must have laid down all your cards and still be able to discard a single card. IMPORTANT – the last card you discard can not be a wild card.

Laying down on other player’s “Down Cards” and stealing “Wild Cards”.

Once you have laid down the mandatory hands for the level you are on, and other players have also laid down cards, you can lay down cards from your hand on their down cards when it is your turn. If you have two (2) matching cards in your hand and a card that matches any of their sets they have created containing a Wild Card to complete their set, you can steal/replace the wild card by laying your matching card on their set. You can then use their wild card to create the three-of-a-kind to lay down,

NOTE: This can’t be done on a straight of any kind. You can play your card on their straight but can’t steal Wild Cards from the straight.

As play progresses, each hand is scored and added to the previous score.

Game is over on 1 x 6 level when the first person lays down all of their cards and does the final discard. The winner wins all of the money in the coin container.

The Twist! The winner of the pot may not have the lowest overall score! The lowest scorer can win too! Here is how it works.

Overall lowest score is 100 Other players scores are 200, 300 and 400 points

You subtract the low score from each of the other scores and divide the remaining amount by the number of players.

So, with four players it would look like this.

Player 1 was lowest at 100

Player 2 had 200 so 200 – 100 = 100 / 4 = .25 cents paid to player 1

Player 3 had 300 so 300 – 100 = 200 / 4 = .50 cents paid to player 1

Player 4 had 400 so 400 – 100 = 300 / 4 = .75 cents paid to player 1

Player 1 made $1.50