Stop The Bus Card Game, Rules and How to Play

stop the bus card game

Here’s a guide for the simple stop the bus card game popular in the UK and USA but often referred to as Blitz or Scat. This is normally a fun and family card game not associated with playing for real money like you would 3 card brag for example.

Stop the bus is normally played with 3 or more players and uses a standard deck or pack of 52 cards without any jokers. The idea is simple and can be learned by anyone.

Stop the Bus Card Game Quick Rules

  • Played with 52 cards
  • 3 or more players
  • Play moves clockwise
  • All players dealt 3 cards
  • Deck placed face down
  • Players take turns to pickup 1 card and discard 1 card
  • When you think you have a winning hand say “catch the bus”
  • Other players get 1 more pick and discard
  • Player showdown

How to play Stop the Bus

Each player is dealt 3 cards face down on the table. the dealer can be chosen by any method you wish but more often than not it’s by dealing one card each, highest card is the dealer. As with the majority of card games play moves in a clockwise direction.

Each player is dealt 3 cards face down. The deck is placed face down in the middle of the table and referred to as the pick or pick up pile. Starting from the dealers left players must pick 1 card from the pick up pile and discard one card into another pile. You can pick up and discard the same card.

Each player in turn picks up now from either pile as only the 1st player to act only has the option of 1 pile of cards.

When you have a hand you think can win and it gets to your turn simply say “stop the bus”. Each player has 1 more chance to pickup and discard a card before showdown.

Stop The Bus Hand Ranking

The hands are ranking in the same order as in most brag games.

  • A prial aka 3 of a kind
  • Straight flush A-K-Q as the highest
  • Straight or Run i.e 234, J-Q-K. A-K-Q is the highest
  • Flush – All 3 cards same suit
  • A Pair ie K-K two Aces is the highest
  • High Card I.e K-J-8 would be King high

Alternative Hand Ranks for 31 or Scat

There is a version of stop the bus which is closely related to a card game called scat. In this scoring scenario players have to get their cards to add up to 31 or as close as possible. the hard part is that only cards of the same suit are added together.

this is another great game with a slightly different take on stop the bus. I’m sure another post will made made about that in the near future.

Unfortunately this card game isn’t available to play online, but we are working on it.

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