Jul 14, 2011

Tong-its, Filipino's Favorite Pastime Card Game Is Now In Ovi Store!

Tong-its is a three-player type card game that is very popular in the Philippines. Its origin was unknown but it has rules very much similar to the American card game, Tonk. The game gained popularity in the country during the 1990's and is now set to conquer the world with its Ovi Store availability.

The game is played using the standard 52 deck of cards. Objective of the game is to empty players hand of all cards or minimize the count and the scores of unmatched cards that are still on the player’s hand by forming card sets (melds), dumping cards and calling a draw. The player who gets rid of all the cards or has the least number of total points wins the game.

I'm one of the many Pinoy's who love the game, big thanks to Automated Solutions Enablers, Inc, I can now play the game anywhere, anytime on my Nokia N8. But the app is not hone well yet, it has a simple graphics, design and set-up,quite enough actually making it look bland compared to other FREE games. Players has the option to register their level and money earned online via the Chip Leaders Menu option, with a little more tweaks, the developers could add online competition on the equation so users can compete with one another.

I've also notice that it lacks a game save option, what it does is remember users current money and not your pears when you log-out, so every time you reopen the game to play, you opponents money is back to the initial amount. I hope developers can do something about this. What else, maybe a little bigger buttons, more often that not, I get to press "Draw" instead of "Pick New". Maybe developers could also add a bit of background music so players wont get bored and explain the mechanics of Ace, Fight Base and Fight Delta. I honesty am clueless about this because we don't have that here in my place.

How to Play

The game begins after the dealer dumps a card. The next person can either pick up the disposed card or get one from the central stack. Collect hand combinations and dump unnecessary cards. The picking and discarding of cards goes on until someone wins by Tong-its, calls a draw or until the central stack runs out of cards. If this happens, the players tally the points of the cards they have at hand.


Meld is a set of cards of matching cards a player needs to collect in order to win the game. When a player collects a meld, he has the option to either lay it down, or keep it. However, a player must expose at least one meld to call or challenge a draw. If a player fails to lay down a meld and the game ends, the player is considered “Burned” and will not be able to challenge a draw.

Three-of-a-kind: three equally ranked cards (7♣ - 7♦ - 7♠)
Four-of-a-kind: four cards of the same rank/number, also called “Secret” (J♣ - J♦ - J♠ - J♥)
Straight Flush: at least three sequential cards of the same suit (3♠ - 4♠ - 5♠) (8♦ - 9♦ - 10♦ - J♦ - Q♦)

Straight flush composed of 5 or more cards is also called “Escalera."

Ending the Game


If the player is able to use all of his or her cards in combinations, by connecting to opponents’ or your exposed card sets (sapaw), or if the player gets rid of all his cards, then the player wins by Tong-its.


A player with at least one exposed meld and has low points can call a draw before his turn given that no other players connected to his exposed meld before that. Otherwise, the player will have to wait for his next turn to call a draw.[6]

Once a player calls for a draw the opponents can either fold or challenge the draw. Only players who have exposed melds are given this opportunity. A player cannot call for a draw if his exposed hand(s) has been melded (sapaw) by any opponent within the round. Players with no card ets exposed are automatically folded. When a draw has been called, the points are computed and tallied. The person with the lowest points wins. If a tie occurs, the challenger wins. In the event of a three-way tie, the player to the right of the challenger wins.

Deck pile runs out

When the central stack runs out of cards, the game ends. A player with no exposed melds automatically loses. The player with the lowest points in total wins. If there is a tie for the least points, the player that picks up the last card from the deck wins.

A player who does not expose any melds before an opponent calls Tong-its or Draw is considered burned or “sunog”. Burned players at the end of the game automatically loses.

Card Points

All the cards have corresponding points. The Rank goes: Ace 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jack Queen King. Ace is considered one point. All the Jacks Queens and Kings are 10 points each. All the other cards (namely, 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10) match their value.

To download World Tong-its Tour in Ovi Store, CLICK HERE!


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