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Players: 4, as 2 teams
Whist uses a standard deck. Each player is dealt a hand of 13 cards. The last card dealt is turned face up and determines the trump suit, before being taken into its owner’s hand.
Playing tricks follows the standard rules. Tricks can be led with any suit.
A team scores 1 point for each trick won after the sixth trick. E.g winning 8 tricks scores 2 points.
The team which reaches 5 points first wins. The target score can also be set to 7 or 9 points.
The options for selecting the trump suit are:
Players are dealt 12 cards each and the remainder forms the kitty. Each player can declare their bid for the round, consisting of the number of tricks over 6 they intend to win (between 3 and 7) and one of three options: downtown, uptown and no trump.
Bid Whist can be played with or without jokers. When played with jokers, little joker (black) and big joker (red) are the highest trump cards during uptown or downtown rounds but have no value (can't win a trick) in no trump rounds.
Each player must bid higher than the previous player, or pass. No trump bids are considered higher than other bids of the same numerical value. If all other players pass, the last player must bid.
At the start of play, the winning bidder must name the trump suit or in the case of no trump, either uptown or downtown. They also pick up the kitty and must then discard an equal number of cards (which can include cards just picked up). These discarded cards count as the first trick won for the bidder’s team. They also play the first card. Other players must follow suit, if able.
If the bidding team meets their bid, they score points equal to their bid. If they did not, their bid is subtracted from their overall score. The opposing team cannot score points.
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.
Cards Games 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).
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