Tres y Dos

Tres y dos (Spanish for 'three and two') is a simple draw and discard game of the rummy type played in the Dominican Republic. Humbernio Lockward learned it as a child, and writes that most Dominicans who have ever played cards know this game.


Players: Anywhere from 2 to 7 players can play, but is perhaps best for 3 to 5 players.

Cards: A standard 52 card deck is used, without jokers. The cards have no ranking order and the suits have no significance. The ranks are merely used for matching purposes. Two or more cards of the same rank are considered to match.

The Deal: The dealer deals the cards one at a time starting with the player on the dealer's left, until each player has 5 cards. The remaining cards are placed in a stack face down to form the stock. The top card of the stock is turned over and placed face up next to the stock to start the discard pile. Cards in the discard pile are to be face up in a single stack so that only the topmost card can be seen.

Objective: The object is to be the first player to form in their hand a "full house": one triplet of 3 matching cards and one pair of 2 matching cards, such as K-K-K-8-8 or 3-3-3-5-5 (thus the name tres y dos), through the process of draw and discard.

Game Play

Play commences with the player to the left of the dealer taking a turn and continues clockwise until the hand ends.

Players do the following actions when it is their turn:

  1. Draw: The player first draws a single card, either from the stock pile or the discard pile.
  1. Discard: The player then chooses one card to remove from his or her and and places it face up on the discard pile. If the player drew a card from the discard pile that card can not be discarded in the same turn.

Depleted Stock

If the stock becomes empty, all its cards having been drawn, players keep playing their turns until someone wants to draw from the stock. Once this happens the dealer picks up the discard pile, shuffles it, and places it face down to form a new stock. The player who wished to draw from the stock must now do so, then discard a card, starting a new discard pile in the process. The game then continues as usual.

End of Hand

A player who forms tres y dos (a full house) may place his or her hand face up on the playing surface for all the other players to see. The game ends immediately and this player is the winner. The first player to show a winning hand is the winner, no matter if he or she was dealt a winning hand before anyone took a turn or if another player or players have winning hands but do not notice. In the case that a player shows his or her hand but it is not a winning hand, this player takes back their hand and play continues as usual.

On rare occasions more than one player may try to show a winning hand at the same time. For example this could occur if two players were dealt a full house as their initial hand. If it is not possible to agree who showed first, the winner is the player among those who showed winning hands whose turn would have come first, starting with the player to the dealer's left and going around clockwise, with the dealer considered last.

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