Three Hags

Designed by Mark S. Ball


Three Hags is a hand shedding and climbing game for two players.  Play combos to the discard pile in ascending order and be the first to empty your hand.  Use hags, brooms, and imps to form more powerful combos.  Play hags in your final combo to earn bonus points.

Strip a standard 52 card deck down to aces up through kings in spades, hearts, and clubs.  

Grab a piece of paper and pencil to keep score.

Deal 13 cards to each player.  The remaining cards form the stock.  Place it face down near the center of the playing space.

The non-dealer begins the discard pile.


The person who begins the discard pile is called the lead.  The lead may play any combo from their hand.  They end their turn by drawing from the stock.


The opposite player can play a higher valued combo of the same type or pass.  For example, if the lead begins the discard pile with a twosie, the next player must play a higher value twosie or pass.  Players must draw to end their turn whether they add to the pile or pass.

Each player takes turns, and the discard pile continues to grow until one player passes.  The person who added cards to the pile last clears it away and becomes the lead.

The round ends once a player empties their hand.


Each player draws one card from the stock after they have played or passed.  If the stock runs out of cards, continue play without drawing.

If a player sweeps the discard pile with a J♣, a flier, or a coven, they will draw twice in a row - once after playing the combo, and a second time after beginning the new discard pile.



Each card in the deck has a rank and a suit level.  A card’s rank is determined by the number or letter on the card: (low) Q K A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J (high).

Suit levels range from: (low) ♠ ♣ (high).


Cards A-10 in each suit are number cards.  They make up the majority of the deck.


Queens are hags.  They are the lowest ranking cards, but they can be used to form more powerful combos. 


Kings are the shapeshifting imps. When played on their own, they sit just above the hags in rank.  When played in a twosie or threesie with other number cards, they become a number card in their suit. They cannot become a hag or a broom.  See USING IMPS for more details.


Jacks are brooms, They can be combined with hags to make a more powerful combo.


The simplest combo type, a onesie is a single card.  Its value is determined first by its rank and then by its suit.  For example, if the lead plays a 4 to begin the discard pile, the next player would have to play the 4♣ or a higher rank.

Example pile: 4, 4♣, 7♣, 9♠, 9, 9♣

The J♣ is the highest ranking onesie.  When played, that player immediately sweeps away the discard pile and begins a new one.   


A twosie is two cards of the same rank.  It can only be beaten by a twosie of a higher rank.  For example, 44♣ is beaten by a 5♠5 or higher.

A hag and broom of the same suit is a special twosie called a flier.  This allows the player to immediately sweep the discard pile and begin a new one.

Example pile: 44♣, 5♠5, 8♠8♣, QJ  


There are three levels of threesie combos: set, run and coven.  

A set is three cards of the same rank like a 9♠99♣.  To beat this, the next player must play a higher ranking set, a run, or the coven.

A run is three cards of the same suit in sequential order like a 456.  This can be beaten by a run of the same suit with higher number cards or a run of a higher suit level.  

For example, a run of 456is beaten by a run of 789or higher.  It is also beaten by any run in clubs such as 3♣4♣5♣ because clubs are more powerful than hearts. It can also be beaten by the coven.  

The coven is all three hags played at once.  It is the most powerful threesie combo.  After playing the coven, that player sweeps the discard pile and leads a new one.

Example pile: 4♠44♣, 8♠9♠10♠, A23, Q♠QQ♣    


Imps are mischievous shapeshifters that can help you play more powerful combos.  When played on their own, imps only rank above hags.  When played in a twosie or threesie with number cards, each imp can represent any number card in their suit.

Example combos: K10, or 2K2, or 56K

Imps have some limitations on their power.  They may not be used in a combo that contains the card it is representing.  For example, K55♣ is illegal.

The first player to empty their hand wins the round.

The round-winner earns points for the cards their opponent still has in hand.  

Aces - 10’s = 5 points each

Brooms = 10 points each

Imps = 15 points each

Hags = 20 points


The round-winner earns a 20 point bonus for each Hag they play in their final combo.

The first player to earn 75 points or more wins the game.

Free PDF of Three Hags

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