66 Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

66, also often spelled as Sixty-Six, is a popular card game where players aim to earn 66 points faster than their opponents. My 66 card game rules explain it in detail.

I love trick-taking card games, but I cannot play them as often as I’d like to since most of them are intended for (or best when played with) a larger group of players.

Luckily, there are some awesome trick-taking games for two players, too, including 66. This game with German origins has many similarities with Pinochle (see Pinochle rules).

Nevertheless, it is easier to learn and faster to play since you only use less than half of the traditional card deck. 

The game’s name, referring to the desired score goal, can also remind you of 99, but these two games are quite different (see full 99 card game rules for a comparison).

This 66 card game rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is 66?
  • What you’ll need to play 66
  • 66 card game rules
  • How to play 66 (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to 66 (our guides)

Read on for complete instructions on how to play 66.

What is 66?

66 Card Game Info Image

Fast, dynamic, easy to learn, and a joy to master. Those are some of the main traits of 66, a trick-taking fun for a pair of buddies, partners, or relatives who enjoy playing card games.

If you’re familiar with other trick-taking games, 66 will feel familiar. It involves trumps, points collection, and even some undemanding tactics, so everyone has a chance at winning. 

Number of Players: 2

Ages: 12+

Difficulty: Easy to intermediate

Length of Play: 20 – 60 minutes

Category: Trick-taking card game 

Similar to: Pinochle, Whist, Schnapsen 

Main Objective: Collect 66 points before your opponent by winning tricks and melding pairs.

Why We Love It: Sixty-Six combines tricks and melding into a fast-paced competitive game for two players.

What You’ll Need to Play 66

The 66 card game can be played with any standard 52-card pack. You will, however, have to sort out some cards from it before playing, as I’ll explain shortly.

Since the game centers around points collection, you should also have a pen and a piece of paper to write down the running totals.

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66 Card Game Rules and Instructions

Trick-taking card games can sometimes be pretty complicated, but that’s not the case with 66. The game, however, has some specifics that set it apart from other similar games.

Let’s start with the essential preparation that needs to be done before you start playing.

Starting the Game

As I’ve already noted, to play 66, you need to sort out some cards from the deck:

Take out all cards except the 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A of each suit. This will leave you with 24 playing cards, which is all you need for this game.

One of the players takes on the role of a dealer and shuffles the cards thoroughly. Then he provides each player with six cards distributed in two batches of three.

Flip the top card of the remaining deck over: This is the trump suit for the following round. Place the card on the table, and cover it partly with the down-facing pile of remaining cards.

Now you’re ready to start playing.

How to Play 66

The first to take their turn in 66 is always the player who did not deal the cards. They can play any of their cards to the center of the table, leading the first trick.

The opponent responds by playing one of their cards, aiming to beat the other card and win the trick, as this will earn them points.

Earning points

A trick is won either by a higher-ranking card of the leading suit or a trump (in case the trick was led by a trump, the higher-ranking trump wins it).

Some tricks are, however, worth winning more than others. See how many points you can get with various cards. Note that this is also the effective card ranking in the game:

  • Jack = 2 points
  • Queen = 3 points
  • King = 4 points
  • Ten = 10 points
  • Ace = 11 points

As you can see, winning Nine is rather pointless, whereas winning Ten or an Ace in a trick gets you to your goal score pretty fast. 

However, one thing can earn you points even faster: melding. There are two types of melds (called marriages in this game) you can form:

  • Standard suit marriage = 20 points
  • Trump suit marriage = 40 points

In both cases, a marriage is formed by the Queen and King of the same suit. To meld, simply lead a trick with one card from the pair and announce the marriage.

End of the round

The players should always have six cards in their hands, so after each trick, both draw one card from the pile (starting with the one who won the trick).

Whoever won the previous trick starts a new one. Continue until you have drawn all the cards from the pile (including the face-up trump at the bottom).

When there are no more cards to draw, continue playing with the cards in your hands. 

Note, however, that the rules slightly change for the last six tricks: Now, you must follow the lead suit whenever possible. Whoever wins the last trick also gets ten extra points.

66 Card Game Scoring 

Record the points you have earned as you’re winning tricks on a piece of paper. If one of the players has 66 points, the round ends immediately. Play as long as needed to achieve this.

The player who earns 66 points first wins the round and scores one game point for it. The player who accumulates seven game points wins the entire game.

How to Play 66 Card Game – Video Tutorial 

66 Card Game Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swap your cards in 66?

No, but there’s one exception: After winning a trick, the player with Nine of the trump suit can swap this card for the up-facing suit card under the draw pile.

Does Queen win over Ten in 66?

No. Although Queen typically ranks higher than Ten, since Ten is worth more points in the game of 66, it is considered a higher-ranking card and wins over Queen in tricks. 

Are you obliged to play your trump card in 66?

No. If you have a trump card in your hand but feel that the trick on the table is not worth winning, you can play any other card instead. Mind that your opponent will win it, though.

Other Similar Games to 66 (Our Guides) 

Do you enjoy playing this game? Check out our guides to the following 66 card game alternatives and find your new favorite:

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