How to Play Onze

How to Play Onze

One of our favorite card games here at FOSTER is Onze. This has become our family go-to when we all get together and our girls night out game!

Follow our instructions below and learn how to play! 

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How to play Onze:


Onze really started to become popular in France in the late 19000's. Onze literally translates to 'eleven' in French

Set Up:

  • Players: 3 -7 players 
  • Objective: run out of cards or have the lowest amount of points when the game ends
  • Use 2 decks of cards, on the last round (3 Runs) we add in a third deck
  • Wild Cards: Red Aces and Jokers
  • 7 Rounds Per Game with each round having a specific requirement

  • Round 1: 2 Sets

  • Round 2: 1 Set, 1 Run

  • Round 3: 2 Runs

  • Round 4: 3 Sets

  • Round 5: 2 Sets, 1 Run

  • Round 6: 2 Runs, 1 Set

  • Round 7: 3 Runs (deal 13 cards out this round)


Shuffle the 2 decks of cards, the dealer will deal 11 cards to each player facedown. When each player receives 11 cards, players can look at their deal.
The youngest player can start the round and it moves around to the left each round.
The remaining cards are placed in the center of the table in a pile. Flip over the top card to start the discard pile.
Each round you are trying to go out by laying cards down in the round objective (i.e. Round 1: 2 Sets, Round 2: 1 Set, 1 Run, etc.).
The player to the left of the dealer goes first by taking the top facedown card from the stack OR the face up card in the discard pile. Each round if the player cannot lay down all round requirements, they will discard an unwanted card face up into the discard pile.
Play will then continue moving clockwise to the left, with each player discarding a card at the end of their turn. Each turn begins with a draw from the facedown cards or face up discard pile and then ends with a discard.
IF, a player does not wish to draw the discard pile on their turn, the player to the right has first say if they want to take the discarded face up card, if they do not then the next player to the right has the say, and say on. Once the player of turn discards on top of the face up card, the card underneath becomes 'dead'.
When a player has all the requirements of the current round, they will start their turn by drawing a card, then they will "go down", or lay their cards faceup in front of them for other players to see. The player then ends their turn with a discard.
Once a player goes down, their objective becomes to run out of cards. So, each round they can add cards to their own cards laid out on the table, or if other players have gone down, you can lay down cards on that players face up cards. A player who has not "gone down" cannot play cards on other players' round requirements that are face up on the table. 
If a player in Round 1: 2 Sets laid down a 5, 5, 5 and a K, K, K then all players who have also "gone down" can add a 5 or a K in efforts to get rid of all their own cards. 
Remember that Jokers and red Aces are also wild cards. This means that you can use a Joker or red Ace to fill in a missing card. For example, if you have a 3, 4, and 6 of can use a wild card to complete your run (i.e. 3 of hearts, 4 of hearts, JOKER, 6 of hearts).
Following, if a player has the 5 of hearts that is missing in this run, they can replace the JOKER with the 5 of hearts and then use that JOKER to go down on their own. 
This can be done throughout each round. If you have not "gone down" yet, a player can still replace the wild card for the appropriate card, but they must use that wild card to then "go down". If a player has already "gone down" then they can swap another player's joker during their own turn and use the joker to play on their own cards or another player's.
When a player discards the last card they have to go out (or run out of cards) check to be sure that the final discarded card cannot be played. If it can be played then play the card in the appropriate spot and play continues around for one more round.

How to Score:

The player who runs out will receive a score of 0. All other players will count what remains in their hand, only.
2 = 2
3 = 3
4 = 4
5 = 5
6 = 6
7 = 7
8 = 8
9 = 9
10 = 10
J = 10
Q = 10
K = 10
Black Ace = 20
Red Ace = 30
Jokers = 30 
When all rounds are completed, the total lowest score is the winner.
Have fun!
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