Hearts and Other Trick-Taking Games

Hearts and Other Trick-Taking Games


HEARTS
(Black Lady)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
4(3, 5-7) 52 clip_image002clip_image004clip_image002[1]clip_image002[2]clip_image002[3]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[4]clip_image002[5]clip_image002[6]clip_image004[1]clip_image002[7]
Luck – Skill

Many trick-taking games are not directly related to Bridge or Whist. Perhaps the foremost one is Hearts, which is truly one of the greatest card games ever devised for four players, each playing individually. The game is fairly easy to play, yet there is plenty of scope for high strategy.

Number of Players. Three to seven people can play, but the game is absolutely best for four, each playing for himself. Two players may play Domino Hearts; more than seven should play Cancellation Hearts. These versions are described later.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

clip_image005

The Draw, Shuffle and Cut. Each player draws one card from a shuffled pack spread face down. The highest card deals first, and thereafter
the deal passes to the left. After the shuffle, the player on the dealer’s right cuts.

clip_image006The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards one at a time, face down, clockwise. In a four-player game, each is dealt 13 cards; in a three-player game, the clip_image002[8]2 should be removed, and each player gets 17 cards; in a five-player game, the clip_image002[9]2 and clip_image0072 should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards. For the six-player game, the clip_image002[10]2, clip_image002[11]3, clip_image007[1]3 and clip_image007[2]4 are removed, so that each player gets eight cards. Finally, with seven players, the clip_image002[12]2, clip_image002[13]3 and clip_image007[3]3 are removed so that each player gets seven cards. However, if you have more than five players it is best to have two tables of 3 for six players and a table of 4 and a table of 3 for seven players.

The Pass. After looking at his hand, a player selects any three cards and passes them face down to the player on the left. The player must pass the three cards before looking at the cards received from the right. There is a passing rotation of left, right and across. With more than four players the passing rotation should be left and then right. A recent popular passing variation is to designate the fourth hand of every deal as a keep or hold hand where no cards are passed.

Object of the Game. The goal is to avoid winning in tricks any heart or the clip_image009Q (called Black Lady or Black Maria). Or, to win all 13 hearts and the clip_image009[1]Q (referred to as “Shooting the Moon”). Ultimately, the object of the game is to have the lowest score when the game ends.

The Play. The player holding the clip_image007[4]2 after the pass makes the opening lead. If the clip_image007[5]2 has been removed for the three handed game, then the clip_image007[6]3 is led. This is now the standard rule. Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player is void of the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be discarded. The highest card of the suit led wins a trick and the winner of that trick leads next. There is no trump suit. The winner of the trick collects it and places it face down to form a neat “book” or stack of cards. Hearts may not be led until a heart or the queen of spades has been discarded. The queen does not have to be discarded at the first opportunity. The queen can be led at any time.

Scoring. A separate column on a score sheet is kept for each player. At the end of each hand, players count the number of hearts they have taken as well as the queen of spades, if applicable. Hearts count as one point each and the queen counts 13 points.

Each heart: 1 point

The clip_image009[2]Q: 13 points

The point totals are then entered in each player’s column. The aggregate total of all scores for each hand must be a multiple of 26. Note: The number of tricks a player wins does not count per se; the scoring is based solely on who wins tricks containing hearts and/or the queen of spades.

The game is usually played to 100 points (some play to 50). When one player hits the agreed upon score or higher, the game ends; and the player with the lowest score wins.

The Evolution Of The Game Of Heartsclip_image010

George S. Coffin, who was a bridge expert and the inventor of Trio (a bridge game for three players), reported that the game of Hearts evolved from Revers’e, a card game played in the mid-1700s in Spain. In that game, the clip_image012J was called the quinola grande, “big quinola” and the clip_image012[1]Q was the quinola peque’a,”little quinola.” These cards scored negative points in a player’s tricks, and that rule became the basis for the game of Hearts. Only in the last century or so has Hearts added rule variations, which are now standard to the game: shooting the moon, no leading a heart until the suit is broken, the mandatory clip_image007[7]2 lead on the first trick, and no discarding a heart or the clip_image013Q on that trick. As Coffin pointed out, “Various embellishments have enlivened many card games, and so the variation of yesterday becomes the standard of today.”

“Shooting the Moon.” One of the great thrills of the game, shooting the moon or making a “slam”, is when a player takes all 13 hearts and the queen of spades in one hand. Scores will differ dramatically. Instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.

Scoring Variations.

1) Instead of a score sheet, chips are used. Each player pays one chip for each heart, thirteen chips for the clip_image013[1]Q, and the lowest score for the deal takes all. Players who tie split the pot, leaving any odd chips for the next deal.

2) In this version called Sweepstakes, each player pays one chip for each heart and 13 chips for the clip_image013[2]Q. If one player alone scores zero, he takes the pot; if two or more players make zero, they split the pot. If every player earns 1 point or more, the pot remains for the next deal,
or until it is eventually won.

Irregularities. Misdeal. If the dealer exposes a card in dealing, or gives one player too many cards and another player too few, the next player in turn deals.

Play out of turn. A lead or play out of turn must be retracted if another player demands it before all have played to the trick. After everyone has played, a play out of turn stands without penalty.

Quitted tricks. Each trick gathered must be placed face down in front of the winner, and tricks must be kept separate. If a player so mixes his cards that a claim of revoke cannot be proved, he is charged with all 26 points for the deal, regardless of whether the alleged revoke was made by him or another player.

Revoke. Failure to follow suit when possible, or to discard the clip_image013[3]Q at the first opportunity (when this variant rule is in force), constitutes a revoke. A revoke may be corrected before the trick is turned and quitted. If not discovered until later, the revoke is established, play is immediately abandoned, and the revoking hand is charged with all 26 points for the deal. If a revoke is established against more than one player, each is charged 26 points. However, the revoke penalty may not be enforced after the next deal has started.

Incorrect hand. A player discovered to have too few cards must take the last trick, and if his hand is more than one card short he must take in every trick to which he cannot play.

Omnibus Hearts

This version adds two features to standard Hearts whereby a player may actually score plus. The play of the cards takes on heightened
interest, since it combines “nullo” play (to avoid gathering hearts and the clip_image013[4]Q) with positive play to win plus points.

Number of Players. Four to six people can play. The game is best for four participants, each person playing for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

The Plus Card. The hearts and the clip_image009[3]Q are minus cards, as in standard Hearts. In addition, the clip_image002[14]10 counts plus 10 for the player who wins it. (In some localities, clip_image002[15]J instead of clip_image002[16]10 is the plus card.)

Slam. When a player wins all fifteen counting cards – the thirteen hearts, clip_image009[4]Q, and clip_image002[17]10 – it is called a slam and he scores 26 plus (instead
of 16 minus).

Cancellation Hearts

Number of Players. Seven to ten people can play.

The Pack. Two standard packs of 52 cards are shuffled together.

The Deal. The cards are dealt around as far as they will go evenly. Any remaining odd cards are placed face down for a widow.

The Play. No cards are passed before the play. The player to the dealer’s left makes the opening lead, and the rules of play are the same as in Four-Hand Hearts, with the following additions:

1) The widow is added to the first trick.

2) Cancellation: Two cards of the same rank in the same trick cancel each other, and neither can win the trick. If all cards played to a trick are paired, the trick goes to the winner of the next trick.

Hearts Without Black Lady

Hearts may be played without scoring clip_image009[5]Q as a counting card, so that there are 13 points in play. In this version, players do not pass off three cards to each other, but play their original hands. Settlement is usually by the Howell method: For each heart taken, the player puts up as many chips as there are players besides himself; he then removes as many chips as the difference between 13 and the number of hearts he took. Example: In a four-hand game, a player who won seven hearts puts in 21 chips and takes out six.

Domino Hearts

Number of Players. Two to seven people can play.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

The Deal. Each player receives six cards, dealt one at a time. The remainder of the pack is placed face down in the center of the table, forming the stock.

The Play. The player to the dealer’s left leads first. The rules of play are the same as for Four-Hand Hearts, except that a player who cannot follow suit to the lead must draw cards from the top of the stock until he can play. After the stock is exhausted, a player unable to follow suit may discard. The game continues until all cards have been won in tricks, with each player dropping out as his cards are exhausted. If a player wins a trick with his last card, the turn to lead passes to the first active player on his left. The last survivor must keep all the cards remaining in his hand.

Scoring. The same as in Four-Hand Hearts, except that the clip_image009[6]Q is usually not scored.

Auction Hearts

This game is the same as Hearts Without Black Lady, except that players bid after the deal for the privilege of naming the suit to be avoided. In bidding, a player names the number of chips he will put up as a pot, if allowed to name the suit. Bidding begins with the first hand dealt and rotates to the left, each player being allowed to bid only once. A player must either bid higher than the preceding bid or pass.

The highest bidder puts up his chips and names the suit. He leads first, and thereafter play proceeds as in the regular game.

The Play. When the hands are played out, each player adds one chip to the pot for each card he has taken of the forbidden suit. The player taking no cards of the forbidden suit wins the pot; if two players score no minus points, they divide the pot. If an odd chip remains, it is left for the next pot. If more than two players take no cards of the forbidden suit, or one player takes all 13, or each player takes at least one, no player wins; the deal passes, and the successful bidder on the original deal names the suit to be avoided, without bidding. The play then proceeds as before, and at the end of the hand, each player puts up a chip for each card of the forbidden suit he has taken. If no player wins on this deal, a new deal ensues, and so on, until the pot is won.

Joe Andrews, author of “Win at Hearts,” and founder of the American Hearts and Spades Players’ Association (AHSPA), has generously added to portions of the Hearts section. Card players interested in joining AHSPA and who would like to enjoy a good game of Hearts in their city, or on the Microsoft Hearts Game Zone at http://www.zone.com, may E-mail Mr. Andrews at heartsmoon@aol.com.

LOO

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
5-9 52 (32) clip_image002[18]clip_image002[19]clip_image002[20]clip_image002[21]clip_image004[2]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[22]clip_image002[23]clip_image002[24]clip_image004[3]clip_image002[25]
Luck – Skill

Two or three centuries ago, Loo was the leading card game in England, “a favorite alike of the idle rich and industrious poor,” reported Albert H. Morehead. He went on to say that Loo is mentioned in English literature more than any other card game, although since then, Whist, Bridge, and Poker have largely displaced it. Loo takes its name from the French lanterlu, a refrain from a popular 17th-century song.

Number of Players. Though the game can be played by more or less people, Loo is best for five to nine participants. Each person plays for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used. However, if fewer than five people play, a stripped deck is used. It consists of 32 cards with the sixes down through deuces removed.

The Draw, Shuffle and Cut. Any player takes a shuffled pack and deals it around. The first player receiving a jack is the first dealer, and thereafter, the deal rotates clockwise. The dealer has the right to shuffle last, and the pack is cut by the player to his right.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards to each player, one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to the left.

Stakes. The dealer antes three chips into the pot, and, at times, the pot is increased by units of three chips at a time. Thus, it can always be divided evenly into three parts, one for each trick. A deal that begins with only three chips in the pot is called a “single”; with more chips in the pot, it is a “double.”

The Play. The player to the dealer’s left leads. Players must follow suit if possible, and must play a higher card in the suit. If he has no cards of the suit led, the player may trump, and must trump higher if a previous player has trumped. The winner of a trick leads next. Note: The cards of a trick are not gathered together; each is left face up in front of the owner.

Single Pot. Should all hands fail to follow suit to each of the three leads, no trump suit is fixed. However, the first time any player fails to follow suit, the current trick is completed, and then the top card of the pack is turned up to fix the trump suit; that trump is in effect for the trick just played as well as for subsequent tricks.

Settlement. One-third of the pot is collected for each trick won. If a player fails to win one of the three tricks, it is called “loo,” and that player must put three chips into the next pot, thereby making it a “double.”

Double Pot. For a round with a double pot, an extra hand, called the “miss,” is dealt to the right of the dealer. After the deal, the next card is turned up for trump, and prior to the opening lead, the dealer asks each player in turn to state his intentions. Each player must pass, stand, or take the “miss.”

If a player passes, he is out for that deal, and his hand is placed immediately face down under the pack. A player who “stands” remains in the game. A player who takes the “miss” (and thus commits to standing), places his original hand under the pack. If all other players pass except either the dealer or a player who has taken the “miss,” the lone player takes the pot and the cards are abandoned for that round. If only one player ahead of the dealer stands, the dealer must either stand and play for himself, or must take the “miss” and “defend the pot.”

In the double-pot game, the leader to each trick must lead a trump if he can, and must lead the ace of trumps at the first opportunity, or the king, if the ace was turned up.

Settlement. All players who did not pass participate, and the pot is divided into three parts, one for each trick. When there is a loo, the player looed pays three chips to the next pot; and when the dealer is forced to “defend the pot,” he neither collects nor pays, since settlement is made only by his opponent.

Flush. A hand of three trumps is a flush and wins the entire pot without play. If two or more players hold flushes, the hand closer to the dealer’s left is the winner. Flushes are announced after the dealer has declared, and all hands of players who have stood (or taken the “miss”) are looed.

PREFERENCE

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
3 (4+) 32 clip_image002[26]clip_image002[27]clip_image004[4]clip_image002[28]clip_image002[29]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[30]clip_image002[31]clip_image002[32]clip_image004[5]clip_image002[33]
Luck – Skill

Preference is played in parts of Europe, including summer resorts in Russia and the Ukraine. There are several versions of the game.

Number of Players. Three people can play this version.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is stripped to remove the sixes down through the deuces, leaving a 32 card-deck.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7.

Rank of Suits. Hearts is the highest suit, followed by diamonds, clubs, and then spades which is low. Hearts is known as the “preference suit.”

The Draw, Shuffle, and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The highest card deals first, and thereafter the deal passes to the left.

Any player may shuffle, the dealer last. The player on the dealer’s right cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards clockwise in packets of three, face down, clockwise, to each player. The dealer then deals a widow of two cards, face down, to the center of the table. Finally, the dealer deals each player a packet of four cards and another packet of three cards. Each player should have a hand of 10 cards, so that along with the two-card widow, all 32 cards are distributed.

Object of the Game. Each player attempts to make the highest bid and then fulfill it.

Stakes. Chips are used and the players must agree beforehand how many chips will be placed in the pot, how many chips will be paid from the pot to the successful bidder, and finally, how many will be paid to the pot by a bidder who fails to fulfill his contract.

Bidding. The bidding in this game is only for the right to name the trump suit, not for the number of tricks expected to be won.

Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, each player either bids a suit or passes. A player bids the suit he would prefer to use as trumps in order to make at least six tricks. Players bid only once, and any subsequent bid must be in a higher-ranking suit. If all the players pass on the first round, there is a second round of bidding. For this extra round, a player either passes or, in turn, places extra chips in the pool. The person who puts in the highest number of chips wins the bid and names the trump suit. The winning bidder then has the option of discarding two cards and picking up the two-card widow to add to his hand. (When a bid is made on the first round, the widow is left unused.)

The Play. The player to the left of the winning bidder leads first. A player must follow suit if possible. If not, he may trump or discard. The highest trump or the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The winner of a trick leads next. When all 10 tricks have been played, the players settle their scores.

Settlement. If the bidder fulfills his bid by taking six or more tricks, he receives the agreed-upon amount of chips from the pot. If the player fails to take at least six tricks, he puts an agreed-on number of chips into the pot.

FIVE HUNDRED

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-6 (7,8) 33-63 clip_image002[34]clip_image002[35]clip_image002[36]clip_image004[6]clip_image002[37]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[38]clip_image002[39]clip_image002[40]clip_image004[7]clip_image002[41]
Luck – Skill

In the early part of this century, Five Hundred was the favorite social game of the United States. It was finally eclipsed by Bridge but is still played worldwide by millions, particularly in Australia. It was devised and introduced in 1904 by the United States Playing Card Company, which held the copyright for 56 years but never charged anyone for its use. Five Hundred can be thought of as a combination of Euchre and Bridge.

Number of Players. Two to six people can play. The three-hand game is particularly interesting. Four people can play in two partnerships, or with three active players plus one player (the dealer) who sits out each game. Five people can play in two partnerships, three against two, or can cut to decide which three or four play the first game while the other sits out. Six people can play in two partnerships of three each.

The Pack. The size of the pack varies with the number of players. For two or three players, it is 33 cards – A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 in each suit, plus a joker. Four players use a 43-card pack: ace (high) to 5 (low) in each suit, plus the clip_image0144, clip_image002[42]4 and the joker. Five players use 53 cards: the standard 52-card pack plus a joker. Six players use a special 62-card pack that includes spot cards numbered 11 and 12 in each suit, and 13 in each of two suits; 13 hearts and 13 diamonds. By agreement, the joker may or may not be included.

Rank of Cards. The joker is always the highest trump. Second best is the jack of trumps (“right bower”); third best is the jack of the other suit of the same color as the trump (“left bower”). The rank in trumps is: Joker (high), J (right bower), J (left bower), A, K, Q, 10, 9, down to the lowest card. In each plain suit, the rank is A (high), K, Q, J,10, 9, down to the lowest card.

The bidding denominations rank: No trump (high), hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades.

Drawing. Each player draws a card from a pack spread face down. The player with the lowest card deals first. In drawing for deal only, ace ranks low, below the deuce, and the joker is the lowest card of the pack.

clip_image015

Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player on the dealer’s right. The cut must leave at least four cards in each packet.

The Deal. Each player is dealt 10 cards, face down, clockwise, starting with the player on the dealer’s left. In distributing the cards, the dealer gives each player three cards at a time, then deals a widow of three cards (two cards, if the joker is not used), then deals each player four cards at a time, followed by a final packet of three cards at a time.

Bidding. Each player in turn, beginning with the player on the dealer’s left, has one opportunity to bid. A player may pass or bid. A bid must name a number of tricks, from six to 10, together with a denomination, which will establish the trump suit (such as, “Six Spades”). If there has been a previous bid, any subsequent bid must be higher. A player must bid more tricks, or the same number of tricks in a higher-ranking denomination. (Optional rule: If the Original or Inverted schedule is used, as shown in the table, a bid tops the preceding one if its scoring value is higher, or if it requires a greater number of tricks with the same scoring value.)

“Nullo” Bid. Some rules permit the bid Nullo, which is a contract to lose all the tricks at no trump. The nullo bid has a scoring value of 250. On the Avondale schedule it overcalls a bid of eight spades or lower and it is outbid by eight clubs or higher. If nullo becomes the contract in a partnership game, the contractor’s partner or partners abandon their hands and the contractor plays alone against the others. If the contractor wins a trick, the penalty is to be set back the 250 points, and each opponent scores 10 for each trick the contractor takes.

Passing. If all players pass, the deal is abandoned without a score. Optional rule: A passed deal may be played as no trump, and each player plays for himself. The player to the left of the dealer leads first. Each trick won counts 10 points. Since there is no contract, there is no setting back.

The Play. The high bid becomes the contract. In three-hand play, the two other players combine in a temporary partnership against the contractor.

The contractor takes the widow into his hand, without showing it, then discards any three cards face down without showing them.

The contractor leads, and may lead any card at any time. The other players must follow suit if they can. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump, or if a no-trump card is played, it is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads next. All of the contractor’s opponents take in and keep the tricks they win.

The Joker. When there is a trump suit, the joker belongs to that suit, and it becomes the highest trump card. It must be played if necessary to follow suit, and it may be played only when a card of the trump suit can legally be played.

In a no-trump contract (or nullo, if played), the joker is a suit by itself but is also the highest card of any suit and wins any trick to which it is legally played. The holder of the joker may not play it if he can follow suit to the suit led. If not, the joker may be played and wins the trick.
If a player leads the joker in a no-trump (or nullo) contract, he must specify the suit that others must play to, but the joker wins the trick.

Scoring. If the contractor wins as many tricks as bid, he scores the number of points called for in the scoring table being used (see p. 175). There is no credit for extra tricks over the contract except that, if the contractor wins all 10 tricks, he scores a minimum of 250.

Select Scoring System. Three scoring schedules are popular for the game: the Original Schedule from 1904, the improved Avondale Schedule, and the optional Inverted Schedule. The Avondale schedule is recommended because it contains no two bids of the same numerical value, and it more nearly equalizes the value of the suits. (See chart next page.)

If the contractor fails to make the contract, the value of the bid is deducted from his score. It is possible for a player to have a negative score which is referred to as “in the hole” because of the common practice of drawing a ring around a minus score

Whether the contract is made or defeated, each opponent of the contractor scores 10 for each trick he takes

Game. The player or side that reaches a total of 500 points first wins the game. A player or side that goes 500 in the hole loses. (If one player in a three-hand game becomes minus 500, he cannot win the game but continues to play until another player wins; if he happens to make 500-plus points first after scoring minus 500, no one wins the game.) If the contractor and an opponent reach 500 on the same deal, the contractor wins.

clip_image016

In a three-hand game, if the contractor does not reach 500, but both opponents do, the first opponent to reach 500 wins. If the contractor could not reach 500 by making the bid, the opponent who is first to reach 500 may claim the game as soon as his tricks score 500. At the time he makes the claim, the player must show his remaining cards. If he does not have the 500 points, the game continues with that player’s remaining cards exposed (see Irregularities).

Another option is to require 1,000 or 1,500 for game. The scoring is speeded up by awarding points for cards won in tricks: 1 point for each ace, 10 for each face card or ten, the pip value for each lower card, and zero for the joker. These points have no bearing on whether the contractor makes the bid, which depends solely on the number of tricks that player takes.

Four-Hand Five Hundred

The four-hand game is played with fixed partnerships; the partners sit opposite each other. The pack is 42 or 43 cards, made by discarding the twos, threes, and black 4s from a standard 52-card pack, and adding a joker if desired. Many people play without a joker. Each player receives 10 cards, and the remaining cards go to the widow. If one side’s score reaches minus 500, the opponents win the game. All other rules are the same as in Three-Hand Five Hundred.

Two-Hand Five Hundred

The pack and the deal are the same as in the three-hand game, except that the hand to the dealer’s left is dealt face down on the table and is “dead.” With these 10 cards out of play, the bidding is largely guesswork. Not to be left “at home” by a bold opponent, a player is bound to be forward in bidding and to speculate on getting the cards he needs from the widow. If a player’s score reaches minus 500, his opponent wins the game.

Two-Hand Five Hundred may also be played with a 24-card pack, with the nine as the lowest card. The widow is then four cards, and no extra hand is dealt.

Five-Hand Five Hundred

Five players use a standard 52-card pack, usually with the joker added, so that each player receives 10 cards and the widow has three cards, as in the the three-hand version. After the bidding, the high bidder may select any other player to be his partner. If the player bids eight or more tricks, he may name any two partners. In some games, the high bidder selects a partner by naming a card, as in Call-Ace Euchre. (See p. 183.)

Six-Hand Five Hundred

For six players, there is a special 62-card pack available that includes spot cards numbered 11 and 12 in each suit and 13 in each of two other suits. The joker may be added, making a 63-card pack. This permits a deal of 10 cards to each player and three cards to the widow. There are two partnerships of three players on each side. The partners are seated so that each has an opponent on his left and right. (A special deck is available from The U.S. Playing Card Company)

EUCHRE

Number of Players

Number of Cards

Game Play

Skill Level

4 (2-7)

32

clip_image002[43]clip_image002[44]clip_image004[8]clip_image002[45]clip_image002[46]
Easy – Complex

clip_image002[47]clip_image002[48]clip_image002[49]clip_image004[9]clip_image002[50]
Luck – Skill

Euchre is an offshoot of Juckerspiel, a game that became widely popular throughout Europe during the Napoleonic era. In the 1800s, it became one of the most popular card games in America and Australia. Euchre (and its variations) is the reason why modern card decks were first packaged with jokers, a card originally designed to act as the right and left “bowers” (high trumps). Although later eclipsed by Bridge (as with so many other games of this type), Euchre is still well known in America and is an excellent social game.

Number of Players. From two to seven people can play, but the game is best for four participants, playing two against two as partners. Therefore, the rules for the four-hand version are given first.

The Pack. Special Euchre decks are available, or the standard 52-card pack can be stripped to make a deck of thirty two cards (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 of each suit), or 28 cards (7s omitted), or 24 cards (7s and 8s omitted). In some games, a joker is added.

Rank of Cards. The highest trump is the jack of the trump suit, called the “right bower.” The second-highest trump is the jack of the other
suit of the same color called the “left bower.” (Example: If diamonds are trumps, the right bower is clip_image002[51]J and left bower is clip_image017J.) The remaining trumps, and also the plain suits, rank as follows: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7. If a joker has been added to the pack, it acts as the highest trump.

The Draw. From the shuffled pack spread face down, the players draw cards for partners and first deal. The two players with the two lowest cards play against the two players with the two highest cards. The player with the lowest card deals first. For drawing, the cards rank: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, A. Players drawing equal cards must draw again. Partners sit opposite each other.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player to the dealer’s right. The cut must not leave less than four cards in each packet.

The Deal. The cards are dealt clockwise, to the left, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player receives five cards. The dealer may give a round of three at a time, then a round of two at a time, or may give two, then three; but the dealer must adhere to whichever distribution plan he begins with. After the first deal, the deal passes to the player on the dealer’s left.

The Turn-up. On completing the deal, the dealer places the rest of the pack in the center of the table and turns the top card face up. Should the turn-up be accepted as trump by any player, the dealer has the right to exchange the turn-up for another card in his hand. In practice, the dealer does not take the turn-up into his hand, but leaves it on the pack until it is played; the dealer signifies this exchange by placing his discard face down underneath the pack.

Making the Trump. Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, each player passes or accepts the turn-up as trump. An opponent of the dealer accepts by saying “I order it up.” The partner of the dealer accepts by saying, “I assist.” The dealer accepts by making his discard, called “taking it up.”

The dealer signifies refusal of the turn-up by removing the card from the top and placing it (face up) partially underneath the pack; this is called “turning it down.”

If all four players pass in the first round, each player in turn, starting with the player to the dealer’s left, has the option of passing again or of naming the trump suit. The rejected suit may not be named. Declaring the other suit of the same color as the reject is called “making it next”; declaring a suit of opposite color is called “crossing it.” If all four players pass in the second round, the cards are gathered and shuffled, and the next dealer deals.

Once the trump is fixed, either by acceptance of the turn-up or by the naming of another suit, the turn-up is rejected, the bidding ends and play begins.

Playing Alone. If the player who fixes the trump suit believes it will be to his side’s advantage to play without the help of his partner’s cards, the player exercises this option by declaring “alone” distinctly at the time of making the trump. This player’s partner then turns his cards face down and does not participate in the play.

Object of the Game. The goal is to win at least three tricks. If the side that fixed the trump fails to get three tricks, it is said to be “euchred.” Winning all five tricks is called a “march.”

The Play. The opening lead is made by the player to the dealer’s left, or if this player’s partner is playing alone, it is made by the player across from the dealer. If he can, each player must follow suit to a lead. If unable to follow suit, the player may trump or discard any card. A trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, or, if it contains trumps, by the highest trump. The winner of a trick leads next.

Scoring. The following table shows all scoring situations:

Partnership making trump wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Partnership making trump wins 5 tricks 2

Lone hand wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Lone hand wins 5 tricks 4

Partnership or lone hand is euchred, opponents score 2

Game. The first player or partnership to score 5, 7 or 10 points, as agreed beforehand, wins the game. In the 5-point game, a side is said to be “at the bridge” when it has scored four and the opponents have scored two or less.

Keeping Score with Low Card Markers. An elegant and widespread method of keeping score is with cards lower than those used in play. When game is 5 points, each side uses a three-spot and a four-spot as markers. To indicate a score of 1, the four is placed face down on the three, with one pip left exposed. For a score of 2, the three is placed face down on the four, with two pips left exposed. For a score of 3, the three is placed face up on the four. For a score of 4, the four is placed face up on the three.

Rubbers. Many Euchre games are scored by rubber points, as in Whist. The first side to win two games wins the rubber. Each game counts for the side winning; 3 rubber points if the losers’ score in that game was 0 or fewer, 2 rubber points if the losers’ score was 1 or 2, and 1 rubber point if the losers scored 3 or more. The winners’ margin in the rubber is 2 points bonus, plus the winners’ rubber points, minus the losers’ rubber points.

Railroad Euchre

Railroad Euchre is the name given to any number of versions designed to speed up the scoring. Some of the features that have been added in various localities are as follows:

Joker. The joker is included and ranks as the highest trump.

Defending alone. Either opponent of a lone player may call “alone” and defend alone against the player. Euchre of a lone hand by a lone opponent counts 4.

Calling for best. A lone player or defender may discard any one card and call for his partner’s best card as a replacement. The partner complies by choosing what he judges to be the most advantageous card and passes it, face down, to the lone player.

Laps. Points scored in excess of those needed to win the game are credited toward the next game.

Slam. A side is credited with two games if it reaches game before the opponents have scored a point.

Three-Hand Euchre

(Cutthroat Euchre)

This version is played like Four-Hand Euchre except that the two other hands combine in play against the player who fixes the trump. The scoring:

Maker of trump wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Maker of trump wins 5 tricks 3

Maker of trump euchred, each opponent scores 2

In applying the laws for irregularities, the maker of trump is deemed a lone hand and the other two a partnership.

Two-Hand Euchre

The pack is reduced to 24 cards by discarding the 7s and 8s. The rules are as in the four-hand game, except that there can be no declaration of alone and the score for “march” is 2 points. Laws regarding irregularities omit penalties for errors that do not damage the opponent. For example, there is no penalty for the exposure of cards or for leading out of turn.

Auction Euchre

Number of Players. Five, six or seven people can play.

The Pack. For a five-hand game, 32 cards are used, as in Four-Hand Euchre. For six players, 36 cards are used – the usual pack with sixes added. For a seven-hand game, 52 cards are used. In each instance, the joker may be added if desired (and it will rank as the highest trump).

The Draw. The players draw cards, and the lowest card designates the first dealer. The player with the second-lowest card sits on the dealer’s left, and so on.

The Deal. In five-hand and six-hand games, the deal is the same as in four-hand, except that after the first round, the dealer deals two cards face down for a widow. In a seven-hand game, each player is dealt seven cards; a round of three cards at a time, then a round of four, or vice versa. After the first round, three cards are dealt face down for a widow (or four cards if the joker is used).

The Bidding. Starting with the player on the dealer’s left, each player in turn may make a bid or pass. There is only one round of bidding, and the highest bidder names the trump suit. Each bid is for a number of points, and it must be higher than the preceding bid.

The Widow. The maker of trump may take the widow into his hand and discard an equal number of cards, unless he has contracted to play without the widow.

Partners. In the five-hand game, the player who fixes the trump chooses his partners after seeing the widow. A bid of three tricks entitles him to one partner, a bid of four or five tricks, to two partners. The maker of trump may choose any player, regardless of where the player sits. The six-hand game is usually played by set partnerships of three against three, and the partners’ seats alternate with their opponents’. In the seven-hand game, the maker of trump chooses partners after seeing the widow. A bid of four or five tricks entitles him to one partner; a bid of six or seven tricks, to two partners.

The Play. The play is the same as in Four-Hand Euchre.

Scoring. The following tables show the various numbers that may be bid and the obligation of each bid.

Five-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

3 Maker must win 3 tricks with help of one partner.

4 Maker must win 4 tricks with help of two partners.

5 Maker must win 5 tricks with help of two partners.

8 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, using the widow.

15 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, without the widow.

Six-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

3, 4, 5 Side making trump must win number of tricks named (widow taken by maker of trump).

8 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, using the widow.

15 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, without the widow.

Seven-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

4, 5 Maker must win number of tricks named with help of one partner.

6, 7 Maker must win number of tricks named with help of two partners.

10 Maker must play alone and win 7 tricks, using the widow.

20 Maker must play alone and win 7 tricks, without the widow.

If the side making trump wins the number of tricks bid, it scores the value given in the table. There is no credit for winning more tricks than necessary. If the side making trump is euchred, the opponents score the value of the bid. In six-hand partnership play, only two accounts need be kept, one for each side. However, with five or seven players, the full amount to which a side is entitled is credited to each member individually.

Call-Ace Euchre

In this version for four, five or six players, partnerships are determined in secret. Trump is made as in the four-hand game by acceptance of the turn-up as trump, or declaration of another trump if the turn-up is rejected. The maker of trump calls a suit, and the holder of the best card in that suit becomes his partner, but must not reveal the fact until the card is duly played.

Cincinnati Euchre

This version of Euchre borrows from many of the other Euchre games. It is for four players – two partnerships – determined by agreement among the players. Trump is made as in Auction Euchre, by bidding.

The Pack. A standard pack is used with 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s and 8s removed, or a Euchre pack is used with the 7s and 8s removed, producing a 24-card pack.

Partners. Unlike Auction Euchre, the partners are fixed for the duration of the game. Any player winning the bid plays in cooperation with his partner and all tricks taken by the partnership count toward making the bid.

The Bidding. As in Auction Euchre, the bidding starts with the player on the dealer’s left, and each player in turn may make a bid or pass.
The minimum starting bid is three. There is only one round of bidding, and the highest bidder names the trump suit or notrump. Each bid must be higher than the preceding bid. If no player bids (all pass), the dealer must accept a “Force bid” of three.

If any player believes he can win all six tricks he may call “Moon.” A Moon, if successful (all tricks taken), scores 12 points. If the next player also believes he can win all six tricks, he may “Double Moon”; if successful he scores 24 points. Any third player believing he can also win all tricks may “Triple Moon” and, if successful, scores 32 points. If the last player to bid is equally convinced, he may bid “Quadruple Moon”; if successful, he scores 48 points. Any Moon bid won by a player is played alone. The partner of the player with the moon bid lays his hand face down, and his hand is not played.

Any bid may be unsuccessful if the number of tricks bid are not taken. When such a bid is not made, the partners are “set” and the number of tricks bid is deducted from their score.

The Play. The play is the same as in four-hand Euchre.

Scoring. The points are equal to the number of tricks successfully taken by a partnership. The partnership which first reaches 32 points wins the game. It is possible for the partnership score to become negative. Example: If a player “Moons” and does not make the bid (six tricks), the partnership has 12 points deducted from their score. If the partnership score was zero, their score become -12 points.

NAPOLEON
(Nap)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-6 52 clip_image002[52]clip_image004[10]clip_image002[53]clip_image002[54]clip_image002[55]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[56]clip_image002[57]clip_image004[11]clip_image002[58]clip_image002[59]
Luck – Skill

Napoleon is a deceptively simple bidding and trick-taking game. Although it is relatively easy compared to more sophisticated games like Bridge or Whist, what Napoleon lacks in finesse it makes up for in fast pace and player interaction. The scoring system, using chips, also lends itself well to wagering. The delightful difference of using “Wellington” and “Blucher” in the bidding refers, of course, to other famous generals of Napoleon’s day; but the card game itself is said to date back only to the late 1800s – well after the French leader’s death.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each of the players draws a card. The player with the lowest card deals first, the ace ranking below the two for the draw only.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player on the dealer’s right.

The Deal. Each player receives five cards, dealt in a round of three at a time, then a round of two at a time, or first two and then three.

Bidding. Each player in turn, beginning to the dealer’s left, may make one bid or pass. A bid is the number of tricks, out of five, that the player thinks he can win with a particular suit as trump. A bid of all five tricks is called Nap. (Variation: A bid of Nap can be overcalled by Wellington, and that in turn by Blucher. These latter calls are also bids to win five tricks, but incur greater penalties if the bidder fails.)

The Play. The highest bidder indicates the trump suit by making the opening lead, which must be a trump. Other players must follow suit if possible. A player who cannot follow suit may trump or discard at will. A trick is won by the highest card played of the suit led, or, if it contains a trump, by the highest trump. The winner of a trick leads next.

Scoring. There is no credit for extra tricks won either by the bidder or by the opponents beyond what was needed to make or defeat the bid. If the bidder makes the bid, he collects from all the other players. If the bidder is defeated, he pays every player.

Bid Bidder Wins Bidder Loses

Less than 5 11 for each trick 11 for each trick

Nap 10 15

Wellington 10 10

Blucher 10 20

The usual way of settling scores is to distribute an equal number of chips to all players before the game and then settle in chips after each deal.

Irregularities. Misdeal. If a misdeal is called for any of the usual causes, the same dealer redeals.

Incorrect number of cards. A player dealt the wrong number of cards must announce the error before bids or passes; otherwise he must play on with the incorrect hand. A short hand cannot win a trick on which it has no card to play. If a bidder’s hand is correct and an opponent’s incorrect, the bidder does not pay if he loses but collects if he wins. If the bidder’s hand is incorrect and all others are correct, the bidder does not collect if he wins but pays if he loses.

Play out of turn. There is no penalty for a lead or play out of turn by bidder, but the error must be corrected on demand if noticed before the trick is completed, otherwise, it stands. If an opponent leads or plays out of turn, he must pay three chips to the bidder but collects nothing if the bidder loses.

Revoke. Failure to follow suit when possible is a revoke. If a revoke is detected and claimed before settlement for the deal, play is abandoned and settlement is made at once. A revoking bidder must pay all opponents as though he had lost. A revoking opponent must pay the bidder the full amount he would have collected had the bidder won. The other opponents pay nothing.

Pool Nap

A scoring variation is to create a “pool” (pot) of chips which is won by the first player to successfully take five tricks on a Nap bid. Each player puts in an equal number of chips to begin the pool; and thereafter, each dealer in turn adds the same number of chips each hand. The pool may be further increased by requiring a player revoking to contribute five chips, and for a lead out of turn, three chips. A player bidding Nap and failing to take five tricks must double the pool.

Peep Nap

In this version of Pool Nap, one card only is dealt to make a widow, usually on the first round. By adding one chip to the pool, any player may “peep” at this card before bidding or passing. The highest bidder may take the widow card but must discard one card to reduce his hand to five cards before play begins.

Sir Garnet

In this a popular version of Nap, an extra hand of five cards is dealt to the right of the dealer’s location.

Instead of making the usual bid, each player in turn to the left may pick up the extra hand and place it with the five cards he originally had. From these ten cards, the player picks out any five and discards the others without revealing them. The player is then obliged to bid Nap, but if he fails to make the bid, that player must pay double the normal penalty.

SPOIL FIVE
(Five Fingers, Twenty-Five)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
5-6 (2-10) 52 clip_image002[60]clip_image002[61]clip_image002[62]clip_image004[12]clip_image002[63]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[64]clip_image002[65]clip_image004[13]clip_image002[66]clip_image002[67]
Luck – Skill

First described in 1674 as “Five Fingers” (which, in this game, is a slang term for the five of trumps), Spoil Five is ancient and features elements that date back much further in time. The game’s long popularity attests to its excellent play value. One variation, Twenty-Five, is a prominent game in Ireland. Yet another version, Forty-Five, is extremely popular in Nova Scotia.

Number of Players. While two to 10 people can play as individuals, the game is best for five or six.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. The ace of hearts is always third-best trump. There are 13 trumps when hearts are trump, 14 when any other suit is trump. Rank of spot cards is different in red and black suits.

Rank in trump suit:

Spades and clubs: 5 (high), J, clip_image017[1]A, A, K, Q, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Hearts: 5 (high), J, A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2.

Diamonds: 5 (high), clip_image002[68]J, clip_image017[2]A, clip_image002[69]A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2.

Rank of cards in plain suits (no trump):

Spades and clubs: K (high), Q, J, A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Diamonds: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

Hearts: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The rule to remember is, “Low in black, high in red.” (Diagram next page)

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player shuffles the pack and deals the cards face up, one at a time to each player in rotation, beginning with the player at his left, until a jack is turned up. The player who gets the jack deals first. Thereafter, the turn to deal passes from each player to the player at his left. The dealer may shuffle last, and the player at the dealer’s right cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals five cards to each player clockwise – three, then two (or two, then three) in rotation, to the left, beginning with the player on his left. After the deal is completed, the next card is turned over to indicate trump.

clip_image018

Robbing the Trump. The player holding the ace of the trump suit may exchange any card in his hand for the turned card. If the player does not choose to make this exchange, he must ask the dealer to turn down the trump card, thus announcing who holds the ace (otherwise that player’s ace becomes lowest trump, even if it is the ace of hearts). If an ace is turned, the dealer may discard at once and take the ace into his hand after the first trick, or may play with his original hand, announcing
this intention.

Object of The Game. The goal is to accumulate the most chips by winning tricks.

The Play. The player on the dealer’s left leads any card. Each player, in turn, must follow suit if possible, or trump. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card.

When a lower trump is led, a player is not required to follow suit with the five or jack of trumps or the ace of hearts.

A trick containing a trump is won by the highest trump played. Any other trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads next.

Scoring. Before every hand, players put one chip each into a pot. The pot may be taken by the first player to win three tricks in any deal. However, that player also has the option of continuing to play after winning three tricks. In that case, he must win all five tricks. If he does, that player wins the pot plus one chip from each opponent. If he does not win all five tricks, the player wins nothing, and the pot “rolls over” to the next hand.

Irregularities. Misdeal. There is a misdeal if too many or too few cards are dealt, if the dealer exposes a card in dealing, if the deal begins with an uncut pack (provided a new deal is demanded before the deal is completed), or if the dealer counts the cards on the table or in the pack. If there is a misdeal, the deal passes to the player on the original dealer’s left.

Irregular hand. A hand with an incorrect number of cards is dead, and the other players continue play. However, if a player has won three tricks with an irregular hand before it is discovered, he wins the pot.

Revoke. If there is an illegal exposure of a card after any player has won two tricks, the offender’s hand is dead, and he does not receive cards until the pot in progress is won. However, he must still add to the pot when other players do.

Forty-Five

This is a variation of Spoil Five for two, four (two against two), or six (three against three) players. The game is scored by points. The side taking three or four tricks scores 5 points; five tricks, 10 points. An alternative system is that each trick counts 5 points, and the score of the side taking the fewest tricks is deducted from that of the side taking the most tricks. Thus, three tricks count 5; four tricks, 15; five tricks,
25 points; 45 points is game.

Auction Forty-Fives

This variation of Spoil Five and Forty-Five is one of the most popular games in Nova Scotia. The number 45 is no longer relevant to the game.

Number of Players. Four people playing two against two as partners, or six (three against three as partners), seated alternately.

Bidding. The player on the dealer’s left bids first, and the turn passes to the left. Bids are in multiples of 5 points, and the highest bid is 30. Each bid must be higher than the preceding bid except that the dealer is allowed to beat the previous bid merely by saying, “I hold”; if he does, each player who did not previously pass gets another turn, and the dealer again may take the bid without topping it. A side that has scored 100 points or more may not bid less than 20.

Discarding and Drawing. The high bidder names the trump. Then each player discards as many cards as desired, and the dealer restores the hand to five cards from the top of the pack. The player to the left of the high bidder leads first.

Scoring. Each trick won counts 5 points, and the highest trump in play counts an additional 5, making 10 points in all for the trick it wins. If the high bidder’s side makes its bid, it scores all it makes; if it fails, the amount of the bid is subtracted from that side’s score. The opposing side always scores whatever it wins in tricks. A bid of 30 (for all five tricks) is worth 60 if it is made, and it loses 30 if it fails. The game is won by the first side to reach 120.

AUCTION PITCH
(All-Fours, High-Low-Jack, Set Back)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
3-5 (2,6,7) 52 clip_image002[70]clip_image002[71]clip_image004[14]clip_image002[72]clip_image002[73]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[74]clip_image002[75]clip_image004[15]clip_image002[76]clip_image002[77]
Luck – Skill

All Fours is a game of English origin and dates from the 17th century. Once known to virtually every card-playing American, it survives today, principally as Auction Pitch. It is still a popular game in the United States and has also evolved into Seven-Up, Cinch, and other games. There are many versions of Auction Pitch, and while the rules have changed greatly over the years, the essential feature has always been the scoring of high, low, jack, and the game.

Number of Players. Two to seven people can play, but the game is most often played by three to five people, with four players being the most popular number of participants. Each person plays for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

clip_image005[1]

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The player with the highest card deals and has his choice of seats. His opponents may sit where they please, and in case of any question, the player with the next highest card has preference.

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer’s right cuts, leaving at least five cards in each packet.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time clockwise, in rotation, beginning with the player to his left, until each player has six cards. After each hand, the deal passes to the left.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the first player to reach a total of 7 points. Points are scored as follows:

High. One point for holding the highest trump in play.

Low. One point for being dealt the lowest trump in play, no matter who wins it in a trick. (Variation: In many games, Low counts for the player winning it.)

Jack. One point for winning the trick on which the jack of trumps was played.

Game. One point for winning tricks with cards scoring the greatest value, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, each jack 1.

If the trump jack is not in play, no one counts it. If two or more players tie for game, no one counts the point for game.

The Bidding. The player on the dealer’s left bids first. Each player in turn may either bid or pass. The lowest bid is two, and each successive bid must be higher than any preceding bid, except the dealer, who can bid and play for the amount of the preceding bid. However, if any player bids four, he is said to “smudge,” and the bid cannot then be taken away from that player.

The Jack and the Knaveclip_image019

Auction Pitch evolved from All Fours, an English pub game that dates back to the 17th century. It is the first game that used the term “jack,” which is now the name used for the third-ranking face card in a standard 52-card pack. Previously, this card was known as the “knave.” As the popularity of All Fours spread, the special role of the jack in scoring usurped the term knave. Today, the term knave has been relegated to an alternate name for jack.

The Play. The “pitcher” (highest bidder, or the dealer if he assumes the contract at the highest preceding bid) leads first. The suit of the card “pitched” indicates the trump suit. On a trump lead, each player must follow suit if possible. On any other lead, a player may either follow suit or may trump. When unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. The player of the highest trump – or the highest card of the suit led if the trick contains no trump – wins the trick and leads next.

Scoring. When all six tricks have been played, the points due each player are tabulated. Usually a score is kept with pencil and paper. Each player except the pitcher scores whatever points he makes. The pitcher scores whatever points he makes if the score at least equals the bid contract. However, if the pitcher has not scored as many points as were bid, he is “set back” by the amount of the bid – that is, the number of points bid is deducted from his score. Thus, a player may have a net minus score, which is called being “in the hole.” The score for a player in the hole is indicated on the score sheet as a number with a ring around it.

The first player to reach a plus score of 7 points wins the game. The pitcher’s score is counted first, so that if the pitcher and another player reach 7 points on the same hand, the pitcher wins, even if the other player has a higher total score. If two players other than the pitcher are able to reach 7 points on the same hand, the points are counted in this order: High, Low, Jack, Game.

A player who smudges and who makes the bid by winning all 4 points wins the game immediately – unless he was in the hole (in which case the smudger only receives the 4 points).

The winner of the game receives one point from each player whose score is 1 point or more, and 2 points from each player whose score is zero or minus (in the hole). (Variation: In some games, the winner receives an additional point from each player for each time that player has been set back.)

Irregularities. Misdeal. It is a misdeal if an ace, jack, or deuce is exposed during the deal. Since the deal is an advantage, a misdeal loses the deal.

Revoke (failure to follow suit or trump, when possible). A play once made cannot be withdrawn, so a revoke stands and play continues to the end. If the pitcher revokes, he cannot score and is set back the amount of his bid, while all the other players scores what that player makes. If any player except the pitcher revokes, all players except the revoker score what they make (including the pitcher, even if he does not make his bid); the revoking player cannot score and has the amount of the bid deducted from his score.

Error in bidding.A bid not higher than a previous bid, or a bid out of turn, is void, and the offender must pass.

Error in pitching. Once the pitcher plays a card, the trump cannot be changed. If a player pitches before the auction closes, he is assumed to have bid 4 and play proceeds. However, any player before the pitcher who has not had a turn to bid may himself bid 4 and pitch when it is his turn, whereupon the card illegally pitched, and any card played to it, must be withdrawn. If the wrong player pitches after the auction is closed, the pitcher may require that that card and any card played to it be withdrawn. In addition, when it is the offender’s turn to play first, the pitcher may require him to play the highest or lowest card of the suit led, or to trump or not to trump. Exception: If the pitcher has played to the incorrect lead, it cannot be withdrawn and the pitcher must immediately name the trump, which he must then lead the first time he wins a trick.

Pitch

(Smudge)

One of the most popular forms of Auction Pitch, this game was formerly called Smudge. Now, it is usually called Pitch by those who play it.

This version is the same as Auction Pitch, except for the following changes: winning all 4 points in one hand constitutes a smudge by any player, whether he is the pitcher or not, and it wins the game immediately regardless of that player’s previous score. The dealer is not permitted to take the contract unless he bids more than any previous bid. Low is scored by the player winning it in a trick, not necessarily by the player to whom it was dealt. In case of a misdeal, the same player deals again.

It is customary for every player to start with a score of 7. When a player is set back, the points he bid are added to his score. Points a player wins are subtracted from his score, and the first player to reach zero is the winner of the game.

Auction Pitch with a Joker

An enhanced version of Auction Pitch may be played with a 53-card pack, which includes the joker. There are 5 points in play, with the joker counting as 1 point to the player who wins it in a trick. The joker is the lowest trump in the play, but does not score for Low; that point goes to the holder of the lowest natural trump card. If the joker is pitched, it is a spade. The first player to score 10 points wins the game.

In counting points to determine the winner, the order is High, Low, Jack, Joker, Game. However, the pitcher’s points are always counted first.

Sellout

In one of the popular early forms of Auction Pitch, the player on the dealer’s left has the right to “sell” the right to pitch. The player on the dealer’s left may either assume the contract for a bid of 4, or give each player, beginning on his left, one bid as in Auction Pitch. The player on the dealer’s left may then sell to the highest bidder, in which case that player becomes the pitcher, and the player on the dealer’s left immediately scores the amount of the bid; or that player may become the pitcher at the highest bid made, in which case the high bidder immediately scores the amount of the bid.

A player is not permitted to make any bid high enough to put the player on the dealer’s left out if he sells, and the player on the dealer’s left is required to sell if he would put the high bidder out by refusing to do so. The game is to 7 points.

CINCH
(High Five, Double Pedro)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
4 52 clip_image002[78]clip_image002[79]clip_image004[16]clip_image002[80]clip_image002[81]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[82]clip_image002[83]clip_image004[17]clip_image002[84]clip_image002[85]
Luck – Skill

Once the most popular game of the All Fours family, Cinch eventually gave way to Auction Bridge and finally to Contract Bridge among serious card players.

Number of Players. Four people can play. Each may play for himself, but Cinch is almost always played by partners, two against two, who face each other across the table.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. In trumps, the rank A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 (“Right Pedro”), 5 of same color as trumps (“Left Pedro”), 4, 3, 2. In the other two suits, the rank is A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Shuffle and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, all players draw, and in a partnership game the two high cards play against the two low. The person with the highest card has the choice of cards and seats. Any player may shuffle; the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer’s right cuts, leaving at least four cards in each packet. The deal passes to the left after each hand.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time to each player clockwise, beginning with the player on his left until each player has nine cards.

The Bidding. The player on the dealer’s left bids first, and each player has one turn to bid (or pass). Each bid must top the preceding bid. The highest possible bid is 14, which represents all the points in play.

Drawing and Discarding. The high bidder names the trump, and each player then discards all cards but trumps from his hand. The dealer gives each player in rotation enough cards to fill out each hand to six cards. Then the dealer discards and “robs” the pack – that is, he looks through the undealt cards and selects any cards there to fill out his own hand to six cards.

Each player except the dealer must discard all cards but trumps (though there is no prescribed penalty for failure to do so). If a player is forced to discard a trump, due to having seven or more trumps, he must show the discarded trump to the other players, after which the card is out of play.

A player may change his discard until he has looked at any card dealt to him in the draw, but thereafter the discard may not be changed. If he has discarded a trump, it must be shown, and then becomes a dead card. (If a scoring card is discarded in error by an opponent of the high bidder, it is later scored for the high bidder’s side.)

Object of The Game. The goal is to win tricks with the scoring cards, each of which counts for the side or player winning it, as follows: High, 1; Low, 1; Jack, 1; 10 of trumps (Game), 1; each pedro, 5; making a total of 14 points.

The Play. The high bidder leads first and may lead any card. Each player must follow suit to a trump lead, if possible. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. On any other lead, a player may follow suit or trump, as desired. Any trick containing a trump is won by the highest trump played; any other trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.

Scoring. If the bidding side wins at least as many points as it has bid, the side with the higher count scores the difference between the two counts. Thus, either the bidding or the non-bidding side may score. If the bidding side does not make its contract, the non-bidding side scores 14 plus the number of points by which the bidding side fell short. Example: The bid is 6, and the bidding side wins 6 points, and the opponents win 8 points. The opponents score 2 points for that hand. Another example: The bid is 8, and the bidding side wins 7 points, and the opponents win 7 points; in this case, the opponents score 15 points.

Game is won by the first player or side to reach 51 points.

Irregularities. New deal. The same dealer deals again if a card is found face up in the pack; or, on demand of an opponent, if a card is dealt face up; or if the shuffle or cut was improper, provided this is noticed before the deal is completed.

Misdeal. The dealer loses the deal, which passes to the left, if he gives too many or too few cards to any player and this is discovered before the first bid is made.

Incorrect hand. A player with too few cards must play on; a player with too many cards must offer the hand, face down, and an opponent draws out the excess cards, which are shuffled back into the pack.

Bid out of turn. Neither member of the offending side may bid thereafter, but any bid previously made stands.

Lead or play out of turn. The card must be withdrawn on demand of an opponent if neither opponent has played to the trick. If a lead out of turn was made when it was the offender’s partner’s turn to lead, the offender’s right-hand opponent may require him to lead or not to lead a trump.

Revoke. Play continues, but the offending side may not score in that hand, and if the offender is an opponent of the bidder, the bidder cannot be set.

SEVEN-UP
(All-Fours, Old Sledge)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-4 52 clip_image002[86]clip_image002[87]clip_image004[18]clip_image002[88]clip_image002[89]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[90]clip_image002[91]clip_image004[19]clip_image002[92]clip_image002[93]
Luck – Skill

This is an Americanized version of All-Fours, the classic English pub game.

Number of Players. Two or three people can play, or four may play as partners, two against two.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The player drawing the highest card deals and has his choice of seats. In a partnership game, the players with the two high cards play against those with the two low cards.

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer’s right cuts, leaving at least five cards in each packet.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time to each player clockwise, beginning with the player on the left, until each player has six cards. The next card is turned up and placed on top of the undealt cards which form the stock. If the upcard is a jack, the dealer scores 1 point immediately.

Making the Trump. If the player on the dealer’s left stands, the suit of the upcard becomes trump, and that player leads first. If he “begs” (proposes to the dealer that three additional cards be dealt to each hand and that a new card be turned up as trump), the dealer may say, “Take it,” whereupon the player scores one point for “gift.” The gift is always awarded to the player on the dealer’s left when he begs and the dealer rejects. The other alternative for the dealer is to “run the cards,” accepting the beg by giving three more cards to each player and turning up another card as trump. If this new upcard is of a different suit from the first one, it becomes trump without further option; and if it is a jack, the dealer again scores 1 point. If the second card turned up is of the same suit as the first one, that card and the three cards dealt to each player are laid aside, and the dealer runs the pack again, continuing to do so until a new suit is turned up or until there are not enough cards to go around. In the latter case, there is a new deal by the same dealer.

There may also be a new deal by the same dealer if, when the second trump is turned, any player suggests “Bunch.” This means that if no other player insists that the hand be played, the present deal is abandoned, and the cards are shuffled and dealt again.

If the cards have been run, once a trump is decided, each player discards enough cards, face down near himself, to bring his hand down to the original six.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all his chips.

The Play. The player on the dealer’s left leads first. Each player, in turn, must either follow suit or play a trump if possible. The winner of each trick leads next. If unable to follow suit to subsequent leads, the player may play any card, and is not required to play a trump.

Scoring. At the start of the game, each player has seven chips, and each time the player scores a point he puts one chip in the pot. In addition to the points for turn of jack and for gift, other points are scored as follows:

High. One point for being dealt the highest trump in play.

Low. One point for being dealt the lowest trump in play.

Jack. One point for winning the trick containing the jack of trumps.

Game. One point for winning in tricks the greatest total in counting cards, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, and each jack 1. In case of a tie for game, in two-hand play, the non-dealer scores it. In three- or four-hand play, no one scores it.

The first player to get rid of all his chips wins the game. If the winner is not determined until the end of a hand, and two or more players are able to go out, the points are counted in this order: High, Low, Jack, Game. (In some games, 10 points instead of 7 constitute game.)

Irregularities. Misdeal. If the dealer gives any player an incorrect number of cards, he loses the deal, which passes to the player on his left. If the dealer exposes a card, the player to whom it is dealt may decide to let the deal stand or ask for a new deal by the same dealer.

Revoke. The offender cannot score for Jack or Game; each opponent scores 1 point if the jack is not in play and 2 points if the jack is in play.

CALIFORNIA JACK

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2 52 clip_image002[94]clip_image004[20]clip_image002[95]clip_image002[96]clip_image002[97]
Easy – Complex
clip_image002[98]clip_image002[99]clip_image004[21]clip_image002[100]clip_image002[101]
Luck – Skill

This game is a variation on the All Fours theme with the following twist: players replenish their hands from the stock after each trick, and the stock, unlike virtually all other card games, is always face up instead of face down.

Number of Players. The game is designed for two players.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Shuffle and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. High card deals. The dealer shuffles the cards, and the opponent cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards either one or three at a time, beginning with his opponent, until each player has six cards. The remaining cards are squared and turned face up in the center of the table, serving as a stock. The top card is the trump suit for that deal.

The Play. The player on the dealer’s left leads. The card led loses the trick to a higher card of the same suit or to a trump, but wins the trick otherwise. The winner of each trick leads next. The second player to each trick must either follow suit or trump, if possible. If unable to follow suit or trump, he may play any card.

The winner of each trick draws the top card of the stock, and the loser takes the next card. Since the top card of the stock is always exposed, an object of play frequently is to win or lose a trick depending on whether the player wishes to draw the top card of the stock or take a chance on what the next card will be. When the stock is exhausted, the last six cards of each player’s hand are played out until all cards have been played.

Scoring. One point each is scored for taking the tricks that contain: High (ace of trumps), Low (deuce of trumps), Jack of trumps, and Game (the greatest number of points in counting cards, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, each jack 1).

The first player to score 10 points wins the game. If both players reach 10 in the same hand, the points count in order: High, Low, Jack, Game.

Shasta Sam

Shasta Sam is the same game as California Jack, except that the stock is kept face down so that the winner of each trick does not know what card will be drawn. Before the deal, a card is cut or turned from the pack to determine the trump suit for that deal.

Advertisements

답글 남기기

아래 항목을 채우거나 오른쪽 아이콘 중 하나를 클릭하여 로그 인 하세요:

WordPress.com 로고

WordPress.com의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 / 변경 )

Twitter 사진

Twitter의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 / 변경 )

Facebook 사진

Facebook의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 / 변경 )

Google+ photo

Google+의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 / 변경 )

%s에 연결하는 중