Seven Up is a straightforward trick-taking card game that can be played with 2 to 4 Players. Seven Up is a meld-making game such as All Fours, where there is only a single meld: The 7-Up.
In order to form this meld, Players will draw from a stock in the center of the Play area, and attempt to make the required meld.
How to Play Seven Up?
Seven Up is a fairly simple game that can be explained to new Players within five minutes. The game is largely based on luck, with very little skill involved. This makes it a good game for low-stakes wagers or as a time waster.
Seven Up uses one of the standard Anglo-American 52-card decks, regardless of the number of Players in the game.
The Dealing position does not have any special role outside of dealing at the start of the game, and so it can be a designated role, chosen randomly, or move across the board in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion.
To start the game, the Dealer, once decided, will deal out 7 cards face down to each Player, one at a time. No Player will be allowed to look at these 7 cards, they must remain face-down. These cards should be placed distinctly from one another, and numbered in order from left to right, 1-7.
Once each Player has their requisite cards, the Dealer will place the remaining cards in the middle of the play area.
The game will then start with the Player to the immediate clockwise of the Dealer. That Player will draw one card from the stock, and based on that cards rank (Ace, 2-9, J, Q, K) will flip over the face-down card that corresponds to that numbered face-down card they were dealt before.
- Player 1 draws a card from the stock, and it is a 5. Suits (♥♦♣♠) do not matter in Seven Up.
- Player 1 then flips the 5th face-down card in front of them, and sees if they can add it to the “line-up” or not.
- Assuming the 5th face-down was a 4, then Player 1 may take the 4 and place it above the 4th face-down. This second row of cards will form the line-up, or the 7-Up.
In order to win the game, a Player must achieve the total 7-Up, placing the 7 cards above the 7 original cards they were dealt at the start of the game.
Ace counts as 1, which means a player must achieve a straight, regardless of the suit, of Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
If the card drawn from the stock is 8 or higher, or if the face-down card is revealed to be 8 or higher, that Player must discard those cards and end their turn.
If a card is drawn from the stock that is valid, but the face-down card is revealed to be invalid, the Player may add the valid card to the 7-Up line-up, and then discard the invalid card.
The discard pile should be next to the stock, placed face-up. Players may draw the top card from the discard pile. This means a card that is useless to one Player can be obtained by another Player.
If Player 1 draws a 3, and then next turn draws another 3, that card is invalid for their 7-Up and will be discarded. This means if Player 2 needs that 3, then they may take it on their turn.
7 Up Rules
- Achieving 7-Up ends the game. The first Player to form it is the winner.
- Seven Up may be played by 2-4 Players
- Suits do not matter.
- Players may not reveal their face-down cards unless they draw the corresponding card from the stock. Drawing a 3 reveals the 3rd face-down, drawing an Ace reveals the 1st face-down, etc. Each Player only reveals their own face-downs on their own turns, another Player drawing from the stock will not reveal your face-downs.
Seven Up is not scored by a point system or with a score-sheet. The game is a one-off, that is not normally played in rounds. Each game is an individual unit that has no bearing on other games.
It is possible to determine house rules for successive games. For example, demanding that all “complete” games of Seven Up are won best two-out-of-three, or three-out-of-five.
Hands in Seven Up are different from other card games, as the Player is not aware of the cards they were dealt at the start of the game. Imagine these are the possible 7 cards dealt at the start of the game:
7♦, K♣, 6♠, 3♥, Q♦, 2♣, Q♥
In this case, drawing an Ace, a 3, a 4, or a 6 from the stock would be advantageous to the Player, as these cards correspond to the 7♦, 6♠, 3♥, and 2♣, all of which are valid for the 7-Up Meld. Drawing a 2, 5, or 7 from the stock, conversely, will be useless as those cards are invalid for the game winning meld.
- Seven Up inherently does not have much strategy, as it is almost entirely a game of chance. There is little agency on the behalf of the Player, aside from their decision to draw from the stock, or to draw from the discard pile.
- Drawing from the discard pile can be considered a corresponding card for the face-downs. This means, if a 3 is discarded, and you draw from the discard pile, you will be allowed to reveal your 3rd face-down as well.
- Try to consider the other visible cards on the board. Although card-counting is difficult, it isn’t too difficult to keep track of which cards are on the board. If you know, for example, that all four 6 cards have been played or discarded, then you must try to only draw from the discard pile, in an effort to reveal the 6 you need at the top of the discard pile during the start of your turn.