Chinese Card Games: Red 10

Red 10(heart and diamond) card game has several variations depend on regions in China and players(mostly 4-6). I will introduce one variation major played in Jilin province, hope it cover the basic playing of this game. The significant part or fun of red 10 shares the same concept of the other Chinese card game – looking for friends(Zhao Peng You), it means you do not have fixed partners during whole game instead of looking for your new companions every round.

red diamond 10 playing card

diamond 10 playing card by en:User:Cburnett

red heart 10 playing card

heart 10 playing card by en:User:Cburnett

Red 10 follows the basic rules of Zheng Shang You with a little different. Who get the red heart 4 go ahead first(Do not need to start with red heart 4 card by the first player).

Playing Card Type

  • Two red 10s are the biggest card type.
  • Single cards:  Red Joker > 3 > Black Joker > 2 > A > … > 4
  • A Pair: Two Red 10s > Jokers > 3 > 2 > …
  • Straight: at least 3 cards in a row, red 10s count as normal 10s.
  • Flush Straight: flush straight beats regular straight.
  • Bomb: Three cards with same value.
  • Atomic Bomb: Four cards with same value, bigger than bomb.

Special Rules

  • Fork: A pair can have privilege if a single card was dealt and that pair has same card value. For example, my left player dealt a red heat 4, I can follow with a pair of 4s.
  • Draw-Back: A concept corresponded to fork, must have fork first then you can use draw-back. For example, I forked a single card 4 with a pair of 4s, my next player draw it back with another single card 4.


The most fun and exciting part of this game, either looking for your co-workers or fight all the other players alone. What makes you a team depends on the red 10 cards, if you get all red 10s, then you are solo hero. If there are too much players, count spade 10s as the members of the red ones. And still, you can play it in light mode or dark mode, light mode means when you get any red 10, you can show it or all of them publicly. Dark mode is no one indicates his identity. The different between those two is when you play light mode, the counting of this turn will be doubled.


Counting is easy, how many values of cards you left are the final scores you would get. And finally, the one who get highest values lost the game. And if you get Shang You(the first one finish all playing cards on hand), then your companion’s scores, even he/she gets Xia You(the last one), will not be counted.

This is one variation or basic playing version of red 10, there are slight different playing out there, but I’m sure you will catch up with them quickly base on this guidance.

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