Brag Game Variants

Three card brag is a traditional British card game with roots that date back to the 16th century and like any good card game three card brag has developed spin-off games. There are many brag game variants, some more popular than others, some played for money and some that aren’t.

The rules of these many brag games vary from game to game. Some of these games use as few as four cards per player (just one more than the original three card brag game) and some use as many as fifteen cards per player. The name of most of these brag variants is a good indicator of the number of cards each player is dealt.

Four card brag – Players are dealt four cards, one of which is thrown away with the remaining three being used to make a hand.

Seven card brag – Players are dealt seven cards, one of which is thrown away with the remaining six being used to make two hands, with only the winner of both hands able to win the pot.

Nine card brag – Players are dealt nine cards to make three hands. Four antes are paid to create four pots, one for each hand plus a main pot. The winner of each hand takes a pot and if one player wins all three hands they win the fourth pot, if all three hands aren’t won by one player the fourth pot carries over to the next round.

Thirteen card brag – Specifically, four players are dealt thirteen cards each from which they must choose their best three-card hand to play. Other variations involve throwing one away and making four hands.

Bastard brag – Which involves three cards dealt to each player face down and three cards being dealt face side up, that can be exchanged one at a time by players in turn.

Fifteen card brag – This family-orientated variant of brag is normally played without stakes, where each player is dealt fifteen cards and must make five three-card tricks.

So next time you’re shuffling up and dealing try playing one of these three card brag variants to spice up the game.

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