9 Card Brag, Rules & Complete How to Play Guide

9 Card Brag is a traditional British card game. Nowhere near as popular as 3 card brag, but never the less it was played in many homes up and down the Country. Card games brought families together at Christmas, millions played traditional games with everyone involved.

9 card brag seems a little complicated, rest assured it really isn’t. Here a breakdown.

9 Card Brag Quick Quick Rules Guide

  • Play always moves clockwise
  • Players are dealt 9 cards face down in turn
  • Each player splits their cards into 3 x brag hands
  • 4 bets are placed, 1 for each hand and 1 to the main pot
  • Each hand is shown 1 at time, best to worst
  • Every hand won wins that hands ante
  • If a player wins all 3 hands they also win the main pot
  • The main pot keeps building every round until someone wins all 3 hands.

9 Card Brag Deal and Betting

Each player is dealt 1 card face up. The player with the highest card is the dealer.

If 2 or more players have the same value card, those players are dealt a further card to see who is the dealer.

Ante’s and betting: Each player places 4 bets on each game of hand. 1 bet for each hand and a further bet to “the pot”. the best way to view this is as 4 separate pots.

Split the ante’s or bets into 4 separate pot i.e Pot 1, pot 2, pot 3 and let’s call the last a bonus pot.

Dealing the cards: Each player is dealt 9 cards, face down, the action is always clockwise and cards are dealt 1 at a time.

How to Play 9 Card Brag

Each player splits their 9 card into 3 x 3 card brag hands.

9 Card brag is almost 3 games in one. Starting from the left of the dealer each player shows the best of their brag hands, the highest wins pot 1

The second round follows the same – Starting with the winner of round 1=  each player shows their second-best brag hand, highest hand wins pot 2

3rd and final round – Starting with the winner of round 3 = all players show their final and worse 3 card brag hand – highest hand wins yet again.

Should a player win all 3 rounds in a game of 9 card brag, he or she also wins the bonus pot.

Hand rankings in 9 card brag

The hands rank the same as in all brag games, 3 card brag being the most popular. 3 x 3s is the highest hand as the whole game revolves around the number 3, 3 of a kind is known as a prial. The 3 card is only really important in a prial, a running flush or a run. Hands lower than this just play on face value.

Hands best to worst

  • A Prial: 333 highest then AAA, KKK and 222 being the worst
  • Running Flush: 3 cards in number order and the same suit. A23 is the highest followed by AKQ the lowest is 234.
  • Run: 3 cards in number order. Again A23 is the highest followed by AKG, KQJ down to the lowest of 234
  • A Flush: All cards of the same suit. card value does count so AKJ id the highest flush and 235 is the lowest.
  • A Pair: AA is the highest pair and all run in value don to 22 the lowest pair in brag.
  • High card: Ace high is the best high card hand i.e AKJ is the highest. All 3 card play as an example AK9 would beat AK8

9 Card Brag strategy and tips.

The real skill in 9 card brag is deciding which way to split your hands! You can go for a guaranteed winner in round 1. Or perhaps break that up to make 2 stronger hands? could this give you a better chance of winning 2 and maybe all 3 pots.

The decision on splitting hands is a hard one. The best way to see it is that in round 1, any running flush should be good enough,. that said Prials are quite common in 9 card brag. For this reason, you may be quite often beaten in round 1, but successful in rounds 2 and 3.

It just takes time and practice.

The main thing to pay attention too is the way the other players split their cards. You will see a pattern which will give you an advantage over them by knowing how they tend to think.