A long time ago, my cousin taught me a card game he called "High Nines":

  • It was a trick-taking game, similar to Euchre, though it used the full card deck.
  • Trump cards were worth one point, except for the 9s, which were worth nine.
  • The 2s would stay in the score pile of the person who played them, even if they didn't take the trick.
  • There was a rule that let you double your score for the round, but it could be turned against you, somehow.

Does this game seem familiar to anyone, and can they point me to a full set of rules for it?

  • My family has played high nine for years. It used to be a popular game in Kentucky. I've been looking for an online rules list, but I'm convinced it doesn't exist.
    – Mlh76
    Aug 26, 2016 at 19:22
  • Welcome to B&CG! Would you like to take a stab at writing the rules down here?
    – Pat Ludwig
    Aug 27, 2016 at 0:31
  • Yes, I'm not crazy! Aug 29, 2016 at 18:04

5 Answers 5


Not official, but at least a start:

High 9

  1. Deck of 52 plus 2 Jokers (mark them "Big" and "Little")
  2. 4 players - draw for partners (2 high cards and 2 low cards)
  3. High card deals
  4. Deal 9 cards to each player & keep the rest to pass out to the player who gets the highest bid.
  5. The player to the dealer's left starts the bid anywhere from 9 to 25. Must at least start at 9. Any player can "Shoot the Moon" at the first bid when it comes to their turn. Only the dealer can shoot over. No one else can. The bidder must get all 25 points & you will win the game. If you lose 1 point, then you will lost the game. If you are in the whole or a negative when you "Shoot the Moon", then you will only come to a zero.
  6. When the bidding starts, each player can bid or pass. When you pass, you are out of the bidding. Highest bidder gets to name trumps.
  7. Each player throws away all their cards that are not the trump except for the Off-Jack, Big & Little Joker, and off-nine.
  8. The dealer deals the remaining cards up to 6 per player, then gives the rest to the highest bidder.
  9. The highest bidder keeps all trumps, including the Off-Jack, Big & Little Joker, and Off-Nine and throws the rest away.
  10. If the bidder has more than 6 trumps, he/she can pass all over 6 to his partner. Game starts with the bidder. Bidder may start with a trump card or any off card. You must follow suit. If you do not have suit, you can play any card.
  11. Total of 25 points per hand. Total per game is 52.
  12. Point cards are: Ace=1, Jack=1, off-Jack=1, Big Joker=1, Little Joker=1, Ten=1, Nine=9, off-Nine=9, Two=1
  13. Cards catch in this order: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Off-Jack, Big Joker, Little Joker, Ten, Nine, Off-Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two

From a printed rules with slight modification for formatting & grammar correction

  • That looks a lot like it! (In the variant I was taught, the 2 of trump always gave its point to the person who played it.) Jan 20, 2017 at 19:28

It could also be a variation of Pedro. The first variation on that rules page is called High Five, which sounds similar to your game name "High Nines".

Similarities to your description:

  • uses full deck
  • trump values: trump ace ("high") ... 1 point trump jack ... 1 point trump ten (sometimes called "game") ... 1 point trump five ("pedro") ... 5 points other five of same colour ("low pedro") ... 5 points trump two ("low") ... 1 point
  • If you fail to make your bid, you subtract that amount from your score. Otherwise you score what you take and your opponents do the same.

Nine Card Don has a more pyramidal scoring structure, so I think this is a better fit.


Sounds like you might mean Nine Card Don.


I played a variation of this. The rules we're mostly the same except:

  • Off ace also counts as a point, bringing the total possible points to 26.
  • Bids: minimum bid was 10
  • No shooting the moon.
  • Deal: everyone got 12 cards. The final six cards would go to who ever gets the highest bid and then discard non trumps back to 12.
  • Misdeal: if someone's initial hand didn't contain any cards above nine they could call a misdeal and the hand would be redealt.
  • Scoring: Games went to 100.

Hi those are the basic rules the point cards are ace King both Jack's both joker's the duce which saves it self all worth one point both nine's nine points each if you're in the hole you can shoot the moon but you must get all twenty-five points. I played bthis game when I was growing up in Paducah KY absolutely love it Cinda

  • I suggest that you change this to a comment, otherwise members will downvote you because you are not supplying a complete answer but just adding information to another member's answer... Feb 4, 2021 at 22:12

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