How to Play the Cadillac Card Game

by Robert Godard
The player who believes he is closest to 31 puts his cards down first.

The player who believes he is closest to 31 puts his cards down first.

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Cadillac, also known as 31, is a card game for three to seven players. The goal of the game is to get a hand of cards that is closer to 31 than any of your opponents. The game also includes the use of coins or tokens, which a player must hold on to in order to keep playing. The game play consists of multiple rounds and continues until only one player has tokens remaining.

Items you will need

  • Standard 52 card deck
  • Coins or tokens
Step 1

Deal three cards to each player. The dealer starts to his left and deals around clockwise.

Step 2

Give each player an equal amount of coins or tokens. The more coins or tokens you use, the longer the game will go. A standard amount is four tokens per player, but if you want to play a quick game, use just one.

Step 3

Place the remaining cards in the center of your playing area face down. Take the top card and flip it over and place it alongside the stack.

Step 4

Begin with the player to the left of the dealer. This player may choose to either draw a card from the face-down or face-up pile. After drawing a card, he must place one of his cards in the face-up pile.

Step 5

Move clockwise around the table, as each player selects a card from one of the piles and places down one of his cards face up. Players attempt to get as close to 31 in one suit as possible with their cards. An ace counts as 11 points, and a face card counts as 10 points. The rest of the cards are their face value.

Step 6

Continue playing until one player believes he has the value closest to 31 in a single suit. If a player does reach 31 exactly, the game is automatically over. If a player believes he is the closest to 31, he may knock on the table instead of drawing a card. This indicates that each remaining player has one last chance to draw a card before everyone must put their cards down.

Step 7

Place one token in the middle if you have the lowest score. Shuffle the cards and deal them out. Continue playing until only one player remains with tokens.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not tap too early, you never know what other players might have.


About the Author

Robert Godard began writing in 2007 for various creative blogs and academic publications. He has been featured on multiple film blogs and has worked in the film industry. He attended Baltimore College, earning his B.A. in history.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images