Tripoley Rules: How to Play Tripoley Card Game

Have you ever been stuck between wanting to play either Poker or Rummy on your card game nights? If so, then learn the Tripoley rules so you can have the best of both worlds.

Often, Poker can be a tad too long for players to keep everyone’s interest and Rummy can be a bit too simplistic. Tripoley offers a good mix of both length and game rules to synergize the two games into something that is not only unique, but tonnes of fun too.

It’s worth brushing up on Poker and Rummy games such as the Pitty Pat card game and the Conquian rules. This is so you are familiar with certain aspects of Tripoley before playing.

If our introduction to Tripoley sounds like a game that you’re interested in learning more about, be sure to continue reading our detailed guide on the Tripoley rules below.

tripoley rules playing image

What Is Tripoley?

Tripoley is a card game that is a modern spin on the ancient European game called Poch. Around the world, the game has different names depending on where you are playing it. Other names for Tripoley include Rummoli, Michigan Rummy, and Royal Rummy.

Number of Players Required: 2 – 9, but best played with 4 – 7 players.

Who Can Play It: Anyone can play, although the gameplay is generally aimed at older people.

Difficulty: Medium difficulty.

Length of Play: 15 – 30 minutes depending on the number of players.

Similar to: Poker; Rummy; Pitty Pat; Hand, Knee, and Foot; Conquian

Main Goal: Be the player who is able to make the highest-scoring combination of cards to be able to rid them to claim the chips in the middle.

Why we love it: If you’re someone who loves card games like Rummy and Poker, Tripoley is the best of both worlds. A tense game that requires a high level of strategy, but also a bit of luck to be able to become the winner.

Playing Tripoley – What You’ll Need

Tripoley is unusual to other games that use a standard 52 card deck as it in fact uses a specific game board for gameplay.

Any good Tripoley game set will include the following:

  • Standard 52 card deck
  • 100 Tripoley chips
  • 2 sided felt Tripoley game mat
  • A table that all players are able to sit around

As Tripoley is such a classic and unique game, finding the correct game board can be tricky. Alex Toys store has a retro looking Tripoley set that has everything needed to play.

Include a pen and paper to write down the stakes as you go to make gameplay easier for everyone playing.

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06/17/2021 10:37 am GMT

How To Set Up Tripoley

To be able to properly follow the Tripoley rules the game needs a little bit of set up before playing.

Place the specialized game board in the middle of players, and divide up the game chips evenly to all players. If there are any remaining, set them aside so that everyone has an equal amount.

Have all players place 1 of their chips on each segment of the game board including the middle, so players should place 9 chips onto the board each.

Shuffle the deck of cards, and then deal out all the cards to players one at a time. It is ok if one or more players have more cards than other players.

Be sure to deal to an invisible player so that there is a spare hand as this is important for gameplay. So if there are 5 players, there should be 6 hands for example.

Tripoley Rules and Gameplay

Ensure that the initial game setup is complete before the game can begin.

Starting the Game

Tripoley begins with the dealer looking at their hand, and deciding whether to keep it or swap with the invisible player. They cannot look at the hand before swapping, and they cannot mix cards from the 2 hands.

If the dealer opts out of swapping the hand, the highest bidder from the remaining players can swap hands instead.

If a player swaps their hand with the invisible player, then their original hand becomes the invisible player’s hand instead.

How to Play Tripoley

Tripoley has 3 separate stages. These are the first stage of collecting stakes, the second stage of Poker, and the third stage called Michigan.

Players keep their originally dealt hands for all 3 stages of the game, making it vitally important to be happy with the hand originally dealt.

First stage – Collecting Stakes

This is the beginning stage where players see if they can increase the number of chips that they start with to use later on in the game.

  • Players look at their cards and take chips from the gameboard if they have a card that corresponds with what is on the game board.
  • If a player has the King of Hearts then they can take all the chips from the King of Heart segment for example and so on.
  • If nobody meets the requirements to take the chips from a certain space then they get left for future games. So the payout is potentially higher if someone has the cards later on.
  • Once all stakes get collected, the game moves onto the second round.

Second stage – Poker

A standard round of poker gets played here, where players use their skills to attempt to maximize their chips if possible.

  • All players select 5 cards from their hand to take part in the poker section of the game, with the other cards set aside until poker is over.
  • Poker has very specific terms, so be sure to have a look at the FAQs for descriptions of these poker terms.
  • Starting from the left of the dealer, players either check or bet by adding a chip into the section of the game board marked ‘Pot’.
  • If all players choose to check, then everyone reveals their cards with the player with the best hand winning what is currently in the ‘Pot’.
  • If a player chooses to check then the next player has 3 choices. They can either fold, call, or raise.
  • Betting continues until either all players but one have folded, or the players who haven’t folded have agreed to put equal stakes into the pot.
  • If more than one player is still in, then they reveal their cards. Whoever has the highest-scoring hand collects the pot.
  • If the hands are equal in value then the pot gets shared between those players.

Third stage – Michigan

This stage is the stage most like Rummy where players make sequences and melds with the cards.

  • Have all players gather up their cards again so that everyone is using the full hand once again.
  • The winner of the poker stage starts this round. If the game ended in a tie, have the ‘winner’ closest to the original dealer start the round.
  • The round begins with the starting player placing the lowest card of a suit in their hand in the middle. It doesn’t need to be the lowest card they have, just the lowest card they have of any suit.
  • The player in the circle who has the next card numerically going up plays that card. This continues until the ace or until nobody can play a card as it is in the invisible hand. The top card of that pile is the stop card.
  • Whoever plays either the ace or the stop card then begins a new pile of the lowest suited card of their choice.
  • This continues until a player runs out of cards, at this point the game immediately stops.
  • The player who runs out of cards wins the chips in the ‘Kitty’ section of the game board. Plus they get chips from other players equal to the number of cards left in that player’s hand.

At this point, players either have a choice of continuing the game starting back at the first stage or ending the game.

Any coins left on the board, keep them on the board if continuing. If the game ends, then play a round of poker with freshly dealt cards to decide who claims them for their final total.

Scoring In Tripoley

Be sure to write down the number of chips that each player has after each game to be able to calculate who wins at the end of the game.

Either choose the player with the most chips at the end of the game as the winner. Or tally up the total chips accumulated after each game.

Choose the scoring system that best fits in with your friends or family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Tripoley rules state that you have to play all stages?

There is a version of the game that you may choose to play that removes the initial first stage.

The collecting stage gets integrated into the third stage instead. Players collect the chips once the card gets added to the sequence to speed up gameplay.

What does the terminology used in the Poker section of the game mean?

Poker has a few specialist terms that may seem daunting when first introduced. But their meanings are fairly straightforward.

  • Check – Stay in the game without raising any stakes. Can only do it until another player raises.
  • Bet – Putting extra chips in the pot.
  • Fold – Admitting defeat and withdrawing from the game of poker. Cannot add or take out chips from the pot.
  • Call – Putting an equal amount of chips into the pot as the previous player.
  • Raise – Puts extra chips into the pot that players must call to stay in the game.

Alternative games to Tripoley

For more card games to play with friends and family, be sure to check out our guides to classic card games like Follow the Queen Poker and Chase the Ace card game.

We even have guides to retro board games that may pique your interest. Rollback the years and revisit the Operation game rules, or learn something a bit more obscure by reading up on the Gaia Project rules.

For any game that you are looking for, we are sure to have a guide to the ideal game that fits your exact needs.