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853

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853 Card Game Rules (popularly known as Sergeant Major)

Overview

853 is a popular trick taking game in India, Canada, and the British Air Force where players try to be the first to win 12 tricks in a single round. 853 is played with 3 players.

Ranking of Cards

In 853, Aces are high and 2s are low.

Summary

Presets

Play Multiplayer 853 Online

The Deck and the Deal

853 is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Each player is dealt a hand of 16 cards. The remaining 4 cards are placed face down in a pile called the 'kitty'.

The dealer selects the trump suit, discards 4 cards from their hand and replaces them with the kitty.

How to Play

Starting with the dealer and going clockwise, players place cards in the middle of the gameplay. The player with the highest ranked card wins the trick and leads the next one.

In each round, each player has a different target number of tricks to win. The dealer needs to win at least 8 tricks, the second player (going clockwise) 5 tricks and the last player 3 tricks.

When the whole round has been played, the dealer position rotates clockwise.

Players who win more tricks than their target choose cards (equal to the number of additional tricks won) to give to the other players. For each card received, the recipient must pass back his highest value card of the same suit.

If two players exceeded their target, then the player with the higher target exchanges cards first.

Play then proceeds to another round of tricks.

Scoring

Players do not accumulate points over the course of rounds in 853. Instead, players try to be the first to win 12 tricks in a single round.

Winning

If a player wins 12 tricks in a single round, they win the game. The number of tricks required to win can be changed to 10, 15 or 16.

Variations

CardzMania supports several customizable rules and options so you can play 853 exactly how you like or how you grew up playing with your friends and family. In addition to the classic way of playing, we often have new creative options for you to try to spice up the game if you are interested in trying different spins for fun.

Points

Players determine a set amount of points when the game ends.

Rounds

Players determine a set amount of rounds (also known as hands or deals) that the game will go to (instead of the points selection above).

Timer

Players only have a set amount of time to make their turn after which a turn is automatically played for them and the game proceeds: Fast is 7 seconds, Standard is 15 seconds, Slow is 30 seconds, and Very Slow is 60 seconds. Players can also choose to disable the timer, but that is only for private tables.

Accumulated

When enabled, players gain points over a series of rounds, rather than having to meet the target score in a single round. Players receive points for tricks exceeding the contract.

Kitty

If disabled, the dealer does not exchange cards in hand with the kitty.

Draw before Discard

When enabled, the dealer picks up the 4 kitty cards before deciding which 4 cards to discard.

Trick Basics

Trick Taking games center around having the highest ranked card in a draw. Typically, players of trick taking games sit in a circle, sometimes in teams and sometimes playing solo, and are dealt a hand of cards. Given the specific game's card ranking (and trump - special suit that beats other suits), players draw a card from their hand in hopes that it outranks the other cards played. The player who outranks the others wins the trick for that round and gameplay is repeated until the cards are exhausted. Typically the player or team with the most tricks wins the game.

In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand. Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

After all cards have been dealt, normal trick taking commences. Remember all cards of the suit declared as trump (trump cards) beats any other suit. Whichever team wins seven tricks out of thirteen wins the round, winning all thirteen tricks is referred to as court. If the dealers team achieves this feat, its called a goon court. In single sir, winning the first seven consecutive tricks constitutes a court.

After cards dealt, depending on the trump, you have to figure out your strategy for the game whether to play trump first or not. In single sir / single sar winning the first seven tricks constitutes as a court or a goon court, so the strategy is very different than double sir / double sar. Whichever team (dealers team or trump callers team) wins seven tricks wins the deal and the opposing team becomes the dealer. In double sir, you have to win two consecutive tricks, so the strategy is totally different as you need to keep another high card to win the pile. Note that the second and the second last trick cannot be won, so you have to be extra careful about that too. This game is played in many variations so you have to be extra careful about the rules.

Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

Hand

The cards that a player is dealt forms their hand. Each round, a player selects one of the cards in their hand and plays them into the pile. In most trick taking games, all players are dealt the same number of cards and the hand is hidden from the other players, but in some games, like 500, a player can reveal their hand for bonus points.

Pile

The pile is the spot where players place their chosen card for the round. The player with the highest ranked card receives all of the cards in the pile and sets them to the side. In most trick taking games, the individual cards in the pile have a specific point value that is given to the winner.

Dealer

The dealer is chosen at random and passes out the deck of cards to form each player's hand. In most games, the dealer position rotates to the left once the deck needs to be re-shuffled and re-dealt.

Trump

Arguably the most important part of any trick taking game, the trump suit is the highest ranked suit in the game. Every game has its own method of selecting trump. Some games leave the selection up to the winner of the bid while some games make the suit of the lead card the trump suit.

Order

The ranking of the cards is dependent on the game. Ace is usually considered the highest in trick games, but some games from Europe, like Klaverjassen, have the Jack of trump the highest card.

Auction/Bidding

Most trick taking games contain an auctioning/bidding phase at the beginning of gameplay. During this time, players take turns bidding how many tricks they expect to win in the game. The player with the highest bid leads the first trick and decides the trump suit in most games. Often times, if the winner of the bid, sometimes called the declarer, fails to win the amount of tricks they bidded, they receive a lot of penalty points

Lead Card

The Lead card is the first card in the trick. In most trick taking games, subsequent players need to play the suit of the lead card if they can.

Card Game Basics

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K). Some games include the two Jokers found in a standard deck but most games don't.

Feedback

Would like to discuss new features or variations for 853? Need a custom rule? Have a question? Got a suggestion? Don't see a game you want to play? Please contact us by email, facebook or twitter - we really value your feedback and love hearing from all of you!

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