Klaberjass (Bela)

Klaberjass (Klabberjaß), also known under a variety of alternate names and spellings, such as Kalabrias, Clobyosh, Clob, and Bela, is a two-player melding and trick-taking game that likely originates from the Low Countries. It is particularly commonly played in Scotland and in Jewish communities worldwide.

Klaberjass heads up a family of games known as the Jass or Jack-Nine games, so named because the jack and 9 are the highest trumps in the game. This family also includes the popular French game Belote. Klaberjass, whose name is derived from clover Jack (i.e. the J♣), bears some similarity to Piquet, but with more emphasis placed on the game’s trick-taking aspects.

Object of Klaberjass

The object of Klaberjass is to be the first player to score 501 or more points by forming melds and taking tricks.

Setup

Klaberjass is played with a stripped 32-card deck identical to that used in Piquet. Starting from a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all the 2s through 6s, leaving the aces through 8s in all four suits. You’ll also need something to keep track of the score with, such as a pencil and paper or score-keeping app on a smartphone.

Determine the first dealer by some random method. Shuffle and deal six cards to each player, in two batches of three. Place the deck stub in the center of the table and turn one card, the upcard, face up next to it.

Card ranking

One of the distinguishing features of Klaberjass is its idiosyncratic card ranking. As in Pinochle, the 10 ranks higher than the face cards, just under the ace, giving a full ranking of (high) A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7 (low). In the trump suit, however, the jack and 9 are elevated to the highest and second-highest trumps, and are known as jass and menel respectively. In the trump suit, the cards rank (high) J, 9, A, 10, K, Q, 8, 7 (low).

Note that although these rankings apply to most aspects of the game, for the purposes of sequences, the “natural” order still applies, with ace high (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7). So the highest four-card sequence would be A-K-Q-J, not A-10-K-Q or J-9-A-10 in trump.

Game play

Establishing trump

Selecting the trump suit in Klaberjass comes with a fair degree of danger. The player that chooses the trump is essentially declaring that if they get the chance to choose the trump suit, they will win the hand; if they fail, then any points they scored are attributed to the opponent instead! Therefore, it’s quite important to not agree to choose trump lightly.

The non-dealer gets first opportunity to select the trump suit. They may either accept the suit of the upcard as trump or reject it by passing. They may also schmeiss (see below). If they pass, the dealer then has the opportunity to accept the upcard’s suit as trump, pass, or schmeiss. If both players pass, then it goes back to the non-dealer, who then has the option to declare any one of the other three suits trump, pass, or schmeiss. If they pass, the dealer gets the same option. If the dealer passes, then the hands are discarded, the pack shuffled, and a new hand is dealt by the same dealer.

A schmeiss is an offer to throw the hands in and have the same dealer deal a new hand. The opponent says “yes” or “no” to this offer. A “yes” results in a redeal. If the response is “no”, then the player who called schmeiss is compelled to either accept the trump suit as turned up (in the first round of bidding) or name one of the other suits (in the second round).

The player who eventually declared the trump suit is called the maker. After the trump suit is determined, each player is dealt three more cards, giving them each a total of nine. If the upcard was used to determine the trump suit and a player holds the 7 of trump, called the dix (pronounced deece), they have the option to lay the dix on the table and take the upcard into their hand instead.

Melding

After trump has been established, the players may declare any melds they have in their hand. There are two possible melds in Klaberjass, the twenty (so called because it’s worth 20 points), which is a sequence of three consecutive cards of the same suit, and the fifty (50 points), such a sequence of four or more. (Note that any sequences of five or higher do not score any extra points, unfortunately.)

Melds are declared through a series of formalized messages designed to allow the pertinent information to be collected without unduly revealing the contents a the player’s hand to their opponent. The non-dealer declares their highest sequence first, saying either “I have a twenty” or “I have a fifty.” If the dealer cannot or does not wish to declare a better sequence, they simply say “Good”, and the hand proper begins. If the dealer unquestionably has a higher sequence (as would happen if the non-dealer had a twenty while the dealer holds a fifty), they reply with “Not good”.

If the dealer holds a sequence of the same length as the non-dealer, more information is needed to ascertain whose sequence is better. If so, the dealer asks “How high?” The non-dealer replies with the highest card in their sequence. If the dealer cannot best it, they say “Good,” with precedent going to the non-dealer. Otherwise they say “Not good, mine is [rank] high,” establishing the dealer as the one with the best meld. If the dealer’s sequence has a high card of the same rank, they say “I have also.” The non-dealer then declares the suit of their sequence. The dealer does likewise; if either of these sequences are in trump, then the trump sequence wins. Two non-trump sequences simply tie and no melds are scored for that hand.

After the first trick has been played, but before the second begins, the player who was established to hold the higher meld reveals all of the melds in their hand. These points are not actually added to the hand score until this player wins a trick, however.

Note that declaring sequences is entirely optional. If there is a decent chance that the maker may not win the hand, they may choose to forego any points available from melding to avoid risking the opponent scoring them.

Play of the hand

The non-dealer leads any card to the first trick. The dealer then must follow these rules in determining their response:

  • On a trump lead, they must play higher trump if possible.
  • If they can follow suit, they must.
  • If they cannot follow suit, but can trump, they must.
  • If they cannot follow suit or trump they may play and card.

The highest trump wins the trick, or the highest card of the suit led, if there was no trump played. The winner of the trick collects the cards into a won-tricks pile in front of them, then leads to the next trick.

The king and queen of trump form a meld called bela. Bela is not declared at the beginning of the hand with the other melds. Instead, the player simply calls “bela” when the first card of the combination is played, and “from the bela” when the second card is played. Bela is then added to the hand score, with a value of 20 points.

Scoring

The hand ends when all nine tricks have been played. The players then total up the point values of all cards in their tricks won, as follows:

  • Jass: 20.
  • Menel: 14.
  • Aces: 11.
  • Tens: 10.
  • Kings: 4.
  • Queens: 3.
  • Jacks (other than jass): 2.
  • Last trick: 10.

These scores are added to the amount scored through melds on that hand to arrive at the final hand score. The maker and the opponent’s hand scores are then compared. If the maker’s score is higher, both players score their respective hand scores to the game score. If they are tied, the opponent scores their hand score. If the opponent has the higher hand score, then the maker is said to have gone bate, and the opponent scores both their own hand score and the maker’s.

The winner of each hand deals the next one. Game play continues until one player scores 501 points or more. The player with the higher score is the winner.

 

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Sixty-Six

A US-66 sign.Sixty-Six is a two-player game that dates back to the seventeeth century. From it, the European game Bezique was derived, which, with modifications, became the American classic Pinochle.

As a result of its heritage, Sixty-Six plays like a much-simplified version of Pinochle. In Sixty-Six, the only meld possible is the marriage, which is only one of the many melding options available in Pinochle. But like Pinochle, melding isn’t the only thing to do in the game—there’s tricks to be won, too!

Object of Sixty-Six

The object of Sixty-Six is to be the first player to reach and declare a hand score of 66 by melding marriages and winning tricks.

Setup

Sixty-Six is played with a 24-card stripped pack. Starting from a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all 8s through 2s, leaving aces through 9s in each of the four suits. You will also need something to keep score with. Since there are hand scores and game scores (victory points) to keep track of, pencil and paper will probably be the best way to go. If you prefer, you can keep track of victory points with chips or other counters; place a bank of about twenty chips in the center of the table, which the players will draw from as they score victory points.

Shuffle and deal six cards to each player in two batches of three. Deal one card face-up in the center of the table; this card, the upcard, determines the trump suit for the following hand. Place the deck stub next to the upcard, forming the stock.

Card ranking

Sixty-Six uses a slightly different hand ranking than most other card games. Tens rank higher than face cards, so the full ranking of cards, from highest to lowest, is A-10-K-Q-J-9. (This is the same ranking used by Pinochle.)

Game play

The non-dealer leads to the first trick, which the dealer then plays a card to. The trick is won by the person who played the highest card of the trump suit, or the highest card of the suit led if no trump was played. Initially, there is no requirement to follow suit; the second to play to a trick may lay down whatever card suits their fancy. Won tricks are kept in a separate pile in front of each player. Each player then draws a card from the stock to restore their hand to six cards, the winner of the trick first, then the opponent. The winner of the last trick then leads to the next one.

Before leading to a trick, a player may meld a marriage (a king and queen of the same suit) by revealing the two cards, then leading one of the two cards of the marriage. Melding a marriage scores 20 points, with a marriage in trump doubling to 40 points. Marriages are immediately written on the score sheet for the hand score whenever they are melded, with one exception. If the non-dealer wants to declare a marriage and play one of its cards to their first trick, they may do so, but they do not score this marriage until they win their first trick.

Prior to leading to a trick, a player holding the 9 of trump (the lowest trump) may exchange it for the upcard before leading as usual. They are not obliged to lead with this newly-acquired trump.

Either player may begin their turn by turning the upcard face down, thereby closing the stock. No further cards are drawn from the stock after this occurs, and players simply play the six cards from their hand until they are depleted. From this point forward, players are required to follow suit if they can. This also occurs if the stock is exhausted.

Ending the hand

The hand ends either when the players’ hands are exhausted, or when either player declares that they have scored 66 points. (This can be done after declaring a marriage but before leading to the trick if the marriage is believed to have sent the player over 66.) In the latter case, play stops immediately and the hand scores are tallied.

A player’s hand score is calculated by adding the (already recorded) scores for marriages to the total point values of cards won in tricks. The point scores for each card are as follows:

  • Aces: 11.
  • Tens: 10.
  • Kings: 4.
  • Queens: 3.
  • Jacks: 2.
  • Nines: 0.
  • Winning the last trick: 10.

Generally, when the hand ends, one of the players will have scored 66 points. How many victory points are awarded is determined by their opponent’s success during the hand:

  • If the opponent scored between 65 and 33, the player scores one victory point.
  • If the opponent scored 32 or less, it is a schnieder, and the player scores two victory points.
  • If the opponent didn’t win a single trick, it is a schwarz, and the player scores three victory points.

If neither player scored at least 66 points, or both of them did, no victory points are awarded for that hand, and the winner of the next hand will score one extra point.

If a player closed the stock without scoring 66, or declared in error that they had scored 66 points, the opponent scores two points. If a player ended the hand before the opponent won a trick, but failed to score 66, the opponent scores three victory points.

Game play continues until either player has scored seven victory points. Whoever has the higher score at that point is the winner.

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Loo

Pam, the jack of clubsLoo is a gambling trick-taking game that dates back to at least the seventeenth century. It is also known as Lanterloo (of which “Loo” is an abbreviation), which is a meaningless phrase used to fill time in lullabies of the period. The game is a member of the Rams group of trick-taking games, the central mechanic of them being the ability to drop out of the game without risking any money if the player feels that they have a poor hand.

There are two versions of the game, a three-card variant and one played with five cards (the latter is described here). Loo can be played with five to ten players, but is best for six.

Object of Loo

The object of Loo is to win at least one trick, or to determine that your hand isn’t strong enough to win one trick.

Setup

Loo is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If you use Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, we do, of course, highly appreciate it. You will also need something to bet with: poker chips, change, matchsticks, or whatever else is handy. Players should agree as to the monetary value, if any, each of these units represents.

Determine the first dealer by shuffling and dealing one card to each player: the player receiving the highest card deals. The dealer antes five chips to the pot. Deal five cards to each player. Turn the top card of the deck stub face-up; the suit of this card is the trump suit for the next hand. The rest of the stub is placed in the center of the table and forms the stock.

Game play

Cards rank in their usual order, with ace high. The J♣, known as Pam, is the highest-ranking card in the game, outranking even the ace of trumps. Pam is always considered part of the trump suit (and therefore may not be played to a club trick unless clubs are trump, or the player has no other clubs).

Before game play proper begins, each player, beginning with the player to the left the dealer and proceeding clockwise, declares whether they will pass (drop out of the hand) or play. All remaining players may then, in turn, discard as many cards as they desire and draw back up to five.

Either before the discard or immediately after, a player holding a flush may reveal it. A flush is any five cards of the same suit, or four cards of the same suit plus Pam (called a mouche). A player holding a flush is considered to “loo the board”, automatically winning all five tricks and taking the entire pot. If there are multiple flushes, the highest one according to the following ranking (from highest to lowest) loos the board:

  1. A mouche.
  2. A flush in the trump suit.
  3. A flush in a non-trump suit.

If there are multiple flushes of the same type, the one with the highest top card wins the tie; if there ties on the highest card, the second highest is used to break the tie, and so on. If a flush loos the board, its holder takes the pot and all other players who did not also hold a flush or Pam must pay five chips into the pot for the next hand.

The player to the dealer’s left leads to the first trick. Play then proceeds to the left, with all players following suit if possible, playing a trump if they are unable to follow suit, and only playing any other card if both unable to follow suit or trump. Players must also head the trick if possible, i.e. play to win the trick by playing a higher card of the suit led than any played so far, if possible. When playing a trump card, you must overtrump if possible (play a higher trump than any previously played to the trick).

After everyone has played a card to the trick, it is won by the player who contributed the highest trump, or the highest card of the suit led, if nobody has trumped. Tricks are not added to the hand, but kept in a won-trick pile in front of the player. It may be helpful to put each trick at right angles to the previous one to allow for easy identification of how many tricks were taken. The player that won the trick leads to the next one.

If a player wishes to lead the ace of trump to a trick, they may call out “Pam be civil”. The player holding Pam may not then play it to that trick unless there are no other trumps in their hand.

After all five tricks have been played, each player counts the number of tricks they have taken. Each player receives one-fifth of the pot for each trick taken. If a player who stayed in takes no tricks, they are said to have been looed and must pay five chips to the next pot. After the pot has been settled, the deal passes to the left, with the incoming dealer contributing five chips to the pot.

See also

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Linger Longer (a.k.a. Sift Smoke)

Linger Longer, also known as Sift Smoke, is, in many ways, the opposite of Rolling Stone. In that game, the goal is to run out of cards, and failing to follow suit causes you to gain cards in your hand. In Linger Longer, players get cards from the stock as a reward for winning the trick, because they want to gain the most cards and be the last to run out!

Linger Longer is best for three to six players. It is one of the simplest games that involves a trump suit, making it an excellent choice for introducing newer players to games with trumps.

Object of Linger Longer

The object of Linger Longer is to, well, linger longer than anyone else—be the last player with cards in your hand.

Setup

Linger Longer is played with one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. We hope that you’re using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards for your game.

Shuffle and deal to each player the same number of cards as there are players (e.g. for a four-player game, deal four cards, etc.) Place the remainder of the deck in the center of the table, forming the stock. The dealer exposes the last card dealt to them; the suit of this card establishes the trump suit for the hand.

Game play

The player to the dealer’s left leads to the first trick. The player to their left must then play a card of the suit led, if possible; otherwise, they may play any card they wish. This continues around the table to the left. When everyone has played to the trick, the player who contributed the highest card of the trump suit, or the highest card of the suit led if there was no trump, wins the trick. Cards rank in their usual order, with aces high. The player that won the trick (and nobody else) draws one card from the stock, and the cards played to the trick are moved to a discard pile.

The game continues in this fashion until players begin to run out of cards. As they do, they drop out of the game. If the stock runs out before the game is decided, shuffle the discard pile to form a new stock. When all players but one run out of cards, that player is the winner. In the event that multiple players run out of cards on the same trick, the winner of the trick also wins the game.

If multiple hands are to be played, it might be desirable to keep score. If so, the winner of the hand scores one point for each card remaining in their hand.

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Kalooki

Kalooki is a form of Contract Rummy that is played in Jamaica and also Trinidad and Tobago. (There is a separate, unrelated rummy game named Kaluki that is played primarily in North America and the UK.) It shares a lot of similarities with Contract Rummy—each hand has a different requirement for the initial meld, and the winner is the player who has the lowest score of unmatched cards at the end of the game.

Kalooki is normally played with three to five players.

Object of Kalooki

The object of Kalooki is to be the first player to go out by getting rid of all your cards through melding.

Setup

Kalooki is played with a 108-card deck formed by shuffling two 52-card decks and four jokers together. We would be honored if you picked Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards for your game. You’ll also need something to keep score with, like the tried-and-true pencil and paper.

Shuffle, then deal nine cards to each player. The number of cards dealt varies for each hand:

  1. Nine
  2. Ten
  3. Eleven
  4. Twelve
  5. Twelve
  6. Thirteen
  7. Fourteen
  8. Fifteen
  9. Sixteen

Place the remainder of the deck face-down in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn the first card of the stock is turned face up; this card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.

Game play

Drawing

Ordinarily, a player begins their turn by drawing a card from either the stock or the discard pile, as in any other rummy game.

However, if another player who has not laid down any melds would like the top card of the discard pile, they may call it. The active player then has the option to allow or to reject the call. If they allow it, the player who called takes the discard and a penalty card from the top of the stock; the active player then continues on with their turn by drawing from the stock. If the active player rejects the call, they simply take the discard and play their turn as usual.

Calling is subject to certain restrictions. A player who has already laid down melds on this hand cannot call for the rest of the hand. Players are limited to three successful calls per hand (attempted calls that were rejected by the active player are not counted.)  A player who attempts to call more than three times is charged a 50-point penalty for each offense. A player who has been caught calling too many times is also not allowed to score for bending the table (see “Ending the hand”).

Once a player has laid down their initial melds, they cannot draw from the discard pile for the rest of the hand. They must draw from the stock on each turn, and they must allow any calls made by other players on their turn.

If the stock is depleted when a player wishes to draw from it, set the upcard aside and turn the the remaining cards of the discard pile face down, then shuffle them to form the new stock. If this happens a second time, it usually means that the game has deadlocked, with each player holding onto cards the others need. Instead of shuffling again, the hand ends and is thrown out without being scored; a new hand is dealt by the same dealer for the same contract.

Melding

After the draw is settled, the player has the opportunity to meld. There are two different types of meld in Kalooki: the three, which is three or more cards of the same rank, and the four, which is a sequence of four or more cards of the same suit (e.g. 3-4-5-6♣). Threes and fours are equivalent to the sets and sequences, respectively, found in other rummy games. Suits are irrelevant in threes; all cards may be of different suits, or duplicates of the same card may be included. Aces may be either high or low when used for fours, but they cannot be both (K-A-2-3♦ is not a valid meld). A player may not have more than one four of the same suit.

Jokers are wild and may substitute for any card in a meld, with some exceptions. Threes must contain at least two natural cards. In fours, jokers cannot substitute for two consecutive cards (e.g. 7-8♥-★-★ would not be a valid meld, but 7♥-★-9♥-★ would be).

Each player’s first meld of the hand must meet the contract for that hand. The contract is a combination of threes and fours which changes on each hand, as shown below:

Hand No. Threes Fours
1 3
2 2 1
3 1 2
4 3
5 4
6 3 1
7 2 2
8 1 3
9 4

After a player has made their initial meld, they may lay down any additional legal melds they have with it, or any that they can form on subsequent turns.

Tacking on and discarding

A player who has made their initial meld also has the option to tack on (also known as laying off) to any melds already on the table. This is adding additional valid cards to extend a meld. One may do this to a three by adding additional cards of the same rank. Fours may only be extended by adding cards to the high end of the run; cards may only be added to the low end of a four when it has been extended on the high end all the way up to the ace.

If a player has the natural card that a joker is substituting for in a four, they may tack on that card and move the joker to the end of the four. If the meld has already been extended to the ace, the joker moves to the beginning of the meld. For example, with an existing four of 9-10-★-Q-K♠, a player holding the J♠ may add it in place of the joker and move it to the end of the run, such that the ending meld is 9-10-J-Q-K♠-★. If another player is holding the A♠, they could then add it to the end of the meld and move the joker to stand for the 8, i.e. forming a meld of ★-9-10-J-Q-K-A♠. Jokers cannot be tacked on or replaced if it would cause jokers to represent two consecutive cards in a four. Jokers may not be replaced in threes. Jokers cannot be moved from meld to meld, or taken into a player’s hand after being melded.

After a player has melded and tacked on as much as they want, they end their turn by discarding one card. This cannot be a joker, but any other card may be discarded (even the card they just drew or a card that could be melded or tacked on).

Ending the hand

The hand ends when a player manages to successfully get rid of all the cards in their hand by melding, tacking on or discarding. This is referred to as going out. Each of their opponents scores points against them for the cards remaining in their hand, as follows:

  • Jokers: 50 points each
  • Black aces: 15 points each
  • 10s through kings: 10 points each
  • 2s through 9s: face value
  • Red aces: 1 point each

If a player is able to go out on the same turn in which they make their initial meld, this is called bending the table and each opponent scores double points for the cards in their hand. To bend the table, a player draws as normal, lays down their initial meld to meet the contract for the hand, any other melds they can make, tack on to other melds, and finally discarding (if necessary).

The game ends after the ninth hand. Whoever has the lowest total score after this hand is the winner.

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Cinch

Cinch, also known as High Five and Double Pedro, is a game in the All Fours family. It was once one of the most popular card games in play, but sunk in popularity as most serious players turned their attention to the forerunners of Contract Bridge. Cinch is almost always played with four players, in partnerships.

Object of Cinch

The object of Cinch is to be the first partnership to score 51 points by winning tricks that contain certain scoring cards.

Setup

Cinch is played with the standard 52-card deck. If you’re looking for some high-quality, durable plastic cards to play with, choosing Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards should be a cinch. You will also need something to keep score with, either pencil and paper or something more exotic.

Shuffle and deal nine cards to each player. It is customary to deal three cards to each player at a time. Set the deck stub aside; it will be used later.

Card ranking

The cards rank somewhat unusually in Cinch, because, as in Euchre, some cards from outside the trump suit are considered to be trumps as well. While in Euchre, it is the jacks that switch suits and are called bowers, in Cinch, it is the 5s that move between suits and are called pedros. The 5 of the trump suit is considered the right pedro, and the 5 of the same color of the trump suit is called the left pedro and is ranked just below the right pedro.

Therefore, in the trump suit, the cards rank as follows: (high) A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, right pedro, left pedro, 4, 3, 2 (low). Cards rank in the usual order, with ace high, in the other suits (other than the suit of the same color as trumps, which is of course missing its 5).

Game play

The bid and the draw

The hand begins with the bidding. The players, beginning with the person to the dealer’s left, either bid on the number of points they expect to collect or may pass. Possible bids are from one to fourteen. Each bid must be higher than those preceding it. The bidding only goes for one turn; after the dealer has bid, the bidding ends, and the highest bidder names the suit they wish to be trump. The high bid becomes the contract for that partnership, who become the declarers; their opponents become the defenders.

Each player now discards all the cards that are not trumps from their hand. (In the event that a player has seven or more trumps in their hand, they must discard down to six, exposing the discarded trumps, which become dead cards.) The dealer then deals enough cards to each other player to bring their hand to six cards. They then form a hand of six cards themselves by looking through the remainder of the deck stub and drawing whichever cards they desire (known as robbing the pack).

The scoring cards that do not change should never be discarded (namely, the jack and 10 of trump and the two pedros). In the event that they’re discarded by the declarers, nothing happens, but if the defenders discard them, they are scored as if the declarers had won them in a trick.

Play of the hand

The high bidder leads to the first trick, leading any card. If a trump is led, players must follow suit if able. If any other suit is led, they either follow suit or play a trump. Only if the player has neither the suit led nor trumps may they play any other card. Tricks are won by the highest trump played, or if no trumps were played, the highest card of the suit led. Won tricks are not added to the hand; instead, they’re placed in a communal won-trick pile for each partnership.

When all six tricks have been played, the winners of the fourteen points available are determined:

  1. High—playing the highest trump in play during the hand,
  2. Low—capturing the lowest trump in play during the hand,
  3. Jack—capturing the jack of trumps,
  4. Ten—capturing the 10 of trumps,
  5. Right pedro—capturing the right pedro (five points),
  6. Left pedro—capturing the left pedro (five points).

Due to the fact that not all cards are dealt during the hand, the trump counting for High is not necessarily the ace, and the trump counting for Low is not necessarily the two. Likewise, the point for Jack is not always counted, since the jack of trumps is not always in play.

If the declarers made their contract, whichever partnership collected more points scores the difference between the two teams’ point totals (e.g. if one partnership won nine points and the other won five, the partnership that won nine points would score four points to the game score). Note that it is possible fore the declares to make contract and the defenders to score if they won more points. If the declarers broke contract, the defenders score fourteen plus the number of points the declarers were under contract (e.g. if the bid was nine and the declarers scored seven, the defenders would score 14 + 2 = 16 points to the game score).

Game play continues until one partnership scores 51 points. Whichever team has the higher score at that point is the winner.

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Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone, known in French as Enflé and in German as Schwellen (both meaning, approximately, swollen), is a game for four to six players that bridges the gap between the trick-taking games and the Stops games. Players that can’t follow suit have to take the rest of the trick so far into their hand—meaning a player’s hand can keep getting bigger and bigger as the game goes on, explaining the French and German names. Unfortunately, this tendency does mean that the game can go on quite a long time, as the winner is the one who finally runs out of cards!

Object of Rolling Stone

The object of Rolling Stone is to be the first player to run out of cards.

Setup

Rolling Stone uses a deck that varies in composition depending on how many are playing; the game requires that the deck contain eight cards for each player. Starting with a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all of the 2s for a six-player game, the 2s through 4s for a five-player game, and the 2s through 6s for a four-player game. You’ll be left with a 48-card deck (aces down through 3s) for the six-player game, a 40-card deck (aces down through 5s) for the five player game, and a 32-card deck (aces down through 7s) for the four-player game.

Shuffle and deal eight cards to each player.

Game play

Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. They may play any card they wish, face up to the center of the table. The next player to the left must then play a card of the same suit, as does the next play, and so on until everyone has played a card (this sequence of cards constitutes a trick). If all the players manage to follow suit, the cards are moved to a discard pile, and the person who played the highest card leads to the next trick. For the purposes of determining the winner of a trick, aces are considered high, and the other cards rank in their usual order.

If a player is unable to follow suit, they collect all of the cards that have been played so far to the trick and add them to their hand. They then lead to the next trick.

Game play continues until one player has completely run out of cards. That player is the winner.

See also

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