How to play Tonj:

Tonj is a card game that includes two players only, and it is played with two decks of 52 standard playing cards (104 card, 52 for each player, jokers are excluded). Each player’s goal is to get rid of the cards in front of him/her.

Game Play

Each player starts with a full deck, of which four cards are placed in columns on the right of each player (called the auxiliary columns), and 13 cards are placed in front on the left, all faced down so that the player would not be able to see them, however, only the first card is faced up which the player can see, the player with the highest card starts the game. The rest of the cards are placed in front of the player on his/her right side.

The player starts by drawing a card from the 13 cards group, and then tries to add it to the auxiliary columns (scroll down to check how cards are added), if the card did not fit the player’s moves to the cards on his/her right, if he/she got a card that also did not fit, it should be placed in the waste pile/Fire pile and the turn shifts to the other player.

Adding Cards

The game starts by adding playing cards on top of the four auxiliary columns, they must be placed in a descending order and in red-black sequences, when the ace card appears, it is placed in the middle empty area between auxiliary columns -the 8 aces are found in playing cards-, cards are built up on the middle column in an ascending order depending on their suit from ace to king:


A player’s turn end when he/she is out of moves or cards to add onto the auxiliary column or the middle column, or on the other player’s set of cards.

If a player draws a new playing card while there was a playing card on the auxiliary column, then it should be placed over the ace card, the player has the right to end his/her opponent’s turn and start his/her own, this process is called “Tonj”.

The game ends when a player’s cards end, whoever gets rid of all of the cards first wins.