Game Rules

Dou dizhu is a card game from the genre of betting and gambling. It is one of the most popular card games played in China.

OBJECT: The goal of the game is to discard all your cards as quickly as possible.
MATERIAL: Card deck of 52 cards (2 to 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of all 4 playing card colours) + 2 Jokers


Each player receives 17 cards, the remaining three cards are placed face down on the table.

The colours of the cards have no meaning and they are arranged according to their values. Coloured Joker, Black/White Joker, 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3.


Then the bids are made in a similar way to Skat, but only three bids are possible: 1, 2 and 3, which also determines the stake. Players do not have to bid; however, those who want to be players must outbid previous bids. The highest bidder then plays alone ("the liege lord"), the other two players play against him in a team. The player reveals the three cards on the table and then takes them into his hand.


The players take turns playing cards. The player (liege lord) may be the first to lay out one or more cards (combinations) (see below). In China, it is then the turn of the opponent sitting to the right of the player. The opponent may either pass or play the same number of cards of the same category but of a higher value on top of the cards played so far. Whoever has played the highest value when all other players have passed wins the trick and may come out again.


  • Single card: Playing only one card
  • Street: 5 or more cards in a row
  • Pair: two equal cards
  • Street of pairs: 3 or more consecutive pairs
  • Triplet: three equal cards
  • Street of triplets: 2 or more consecutive triplets
  • Triplet + single card: three equal cards with any single card
  • Full House: one triplet and a pair
  • Bomb: four equal cards
  • Quadruplet + single card: four equal cards with one single card
  • Quadruplet + two single cards: four equal cards with two singe cards
  • Quadruplet + pair: four equal cards with a pair
  • Quadruplet + two pairs: four equal cards with two pairs

Exceptions: Each four of a kind (without kicker) can be placed on any combination (bomb) and can only be beaten by a higher bomb.

Both jokers together form the highest bomb (and may also always be played).


You can score by winning tricks.

Trick win:
The trick is only finished when no player can or wants to play any more cards.
With the exception of bombs, only the same number of cards of the same category may be played, for example 8-9-10-B-D on 3-4-5-6-7, but not 4-5-6-7-8-9 on the same street.
The values of the kickers are never relevant, but their presence is: if, for example, a three of a kind with a pair is played, you have to go over with a higher three of a kind and a pair.
The kicker cannot have the same value as the base cards. The 2 cannot be used as part of a straight.

End of game

The first player to discard all cards wins. If this is the capitalist, he receives a payout (money, chips, points) from both opponents. If it is one of the opponents, both opponents receive the payout.

The payout is calculated according to the bid at the time of the bidding. For each bomb played, the value is doubled; if a player still has all the cards, the value is doubled as well.

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