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304 Card Game Basics & Guide To The Sri Lankan Card Game

Playing Cards

304, or “Three Point Four,” is a popular card game in Sri Lanka. It is primarily designed for four players, although there are versions for six or eight players. The game uniquely involves four players who form partnerships and engage in bidding. It elevates the rank and value of the Jack and Nine above the Ace, aligning it with the Jass family of card games that originated in the Netherlands. Dutch traders introduced the game to Sri Lanka in the 17th or 18th century.

Unlike in Dutch Jass, where only the trump suits are highly valued, in Sri Lankan 304, all suits carry significant value. This characteristic is also found in the Indian card games 28 and 29, which are believed to have developed from a simpler form of 304. Similarly, another card game called Thunee is popular among the South Asian community in South Africa.


Maharashtra version

In this Maharashtrian version of the game, “marriages” between a king and queen of the same suit are introduced. A trump marriage scores 40 points, while a non-trump marriage scores 20 points. The points from a marriage influence the team’s bid depending on who declares it. Winning the final hand adds an extra 10 points, affecting the bid outcome. The cards range from 7 to Ace, with a unique ranking order. Initially, four cards are dealt to each player, with the option to call a half-court to win all four tricks. After the deal, players bid from 160 to 304 points. The highest bidder selects the trump suit and a partner by naming a specific card, strategically using the trump to win tricks.

Tamil Nadu version

In the Tamil Nadu variation of the game, the player count can be expanded to six or eight, in addition to the standard four-player setup. For six players, the “3” card is added, valued at 50 points, increasing the total game points to 504. With eight players, the “2” card is also introduced, valued at 100 points, bringing the total to 904 points. Despite the increase in player count, the game maintains two teams, with players seated alternately to form a circle.

In the standard four-player version, if a team wins the first five tricks, they have the option to “double up” when leading the sixth trick. This challenges them to win all eight tricks. If successful, their points for the trick are doubled; if they fail, their point loss is also doubled.

Sri Lankan version

The game in Sri Lanka has a strategic depth similar to that of chess. Players can often predict the outcome in advance, similar to predicting a checkmate. When a player realizes that their team can win all 32 cards, regardless of their opponents’ actions, they can place their cards on the table in the order they were played and declare a “cap”.

About players and cards

Card Games

304 Two teams of two players are required to play the game and the teams must sit opposite each other. The groups are often referred to as North and South versus East and West. Here, both the deals and the game are played in a counter-clockwise direction.

The game uses a standard 32-card deck, which includes the cards 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K), and Ace (A). Each card has specific point values, such as spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts, and the card ranking from top to bottom in all suits is established as follows. The game is named “304” because the total number of points in the stack is 304.

CardPointsAlternative Scoring


In this card game, any player can start dealing, and the deal rotates to the right after each hand. The dealer shuffles the cards. The player on the left may cut them but is not required to do so. Initially, each player is dealt four cards from the dealer’s right in a counter-clockwise direction. Players then bid on the points they believe their team can win. After bidding, the dealer deals out the remaining cards, ensuring that each player has eight cards. In Sri Lanka it is customary to shuffle cards minimally between hands to preserve the order somewhat. It can be countered by the opponent with a smart cut. Stirring and cutting should be visible and the deck should not be manipulated. The integrity of the game setup must be maintained.

Bidding and choosing trumps

Bidding with four cards:

After the dealer deals four cards to each player, bidding begins with the player to the dealer’s right and proceeds counterclockwise. Each player bids in multiples of 10 points, starting with a minimum of 160 points, which represents half of the deck’s total points. Bidding continues until one player’s bid remains unbeaten after a full round.

Choosing a Tramp Dress:

The winning bidder of the first round, now known as the trump maker, chooses one of their four cards as the trump indicator card and places it face up. The suit of this card, unknown to others, becomes the trump unless rejected by an eight-card bid.

Bidding with eight cards:

After the trump is selected the dealer deals four more cards to each player. A second bidding round begins with the previous highest bidder. The minimum bid is now 250 which must exceed the last bid from the opening round. Players cannot assign bids in this round, and you must pass if the highest previous bid is from your partner.

If a new bid does not exceed the highest bid in the first round, play continues based on that bid. However, if an eight-card bid is placed and accepted, it overrides the four-card bid, and the new highest bidder selects a new trump index card.

This process allows players to formulate strategies based on the entire hand and aims to control the game by predicting and claiming the majority of available points.

Sri Lanka’s 304 game is a popular, strategic card game that includes unique elements of bidding, trump selection and dynamic gameplay. Player’s bid based on the strength of their hands. Players strategically choose trump cards and compete to win tricks. The game offers both open and closed trump game options, enhancing the tactical depth. Players can declare “caps” to win all tricks, adding a competitive twist. Each round of this game is exciting and challenging, a game of strategy and anticipation.

For those looking to play 304 online, Mega Casino World (MCW) Srilanka stands out as the best platform in Sri Lanka. MCW is a leading, popular online gaming website known for providing a safe and private environment. The integrity of its gaming experiences is backed by advanced security measures and continual auditing of games and processes to ensure fair play. MCW is committed to maintaining user confidentiality in strict adherence to its privacy policy, making it a secure and trustworthy site for enjoying your favourite card game.