20 card games
20 CARD GAMES
LIST OF CONTENTS
Whist/Bridge family
English Short Whist
Oh Hell
Hearts
Poker
Rummy games
Rummy
Canasta
Piquet
Five-card family
Ecarté
Five Hundred
Bézique
Auction Pinochle
Banking games
Pontoon
Patience games
Beleaguered Castle
Belle Lucie (Fan)
Canfield (UK: Demon)
Klondike (UK: Canfield)
Miss Milligan
Salic Law
Spider
Sultan
ENGLISH SHORT WHIST
4 players
1 pack (52)
CARDS
Standard 52-card pack, ranking AKQJT98765432.
DEAL
Thirteen each, one at a time and face down. The last (52nd) card is turned face up to determine a
trump suit before being taken up into dealer’s hand.
OBJECT
Players sitting opposite each other are partners. A rubber is won by the first side to win two games.
A game is won by the first side to win 5 points, which may take one or several deals. The object of
play is to win a majority of the 13 tricks, i.e., seven or more. A partnership scores 1 point for every
trick it takes in excess of six (6 tricks constitute a book; those in excess are called odd tricks). Points
are also scored for honours, these being the AKQ and J of trumps. A side scores 4 points for
holding four honours or 2 for holding any three, but these are not credited until the hands have been
played out, and must therefore be remembered.
PLAY
The player at dealer’s left leads to the first trick. Others in turn must follow suit if possible,
otherwise may trump or renounce ad lib. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, or by
the highest trump if any are played. The winner of one trick leads to the next.
SCORE
Whichever side took more tricks scores 1 point per odd trick. Whichever side held three or four
honours, whether in one hand or between the two, scores 2 or 4 respectively – unless, however, they
already have a score of 4 points towards game, in which case the honours are not counted. If both
sides have two honours, no honours are scored.
PENALTY SCORE
The penalty for a revoke (a player failing to follow suit, though able to do so) is 3 points, which the
opponents may either add to their own score or subtract from that of the revoking side. In counting
towards game the score for a revoke takes priority over the score for tricks.
GAME SCORE
The side first to reach or exceed 5 points wins the game (and, if applicable, thereby prevents the
other from scoring for honours). The winning side counts a single game point if the other made 3 or
4 points, a double if the other made only 1 or 2 points, a treble if the other made no score. The side
that first wins two games adds two game points for the rubber. The margin of victory is the
difference between the two sides’ total of game points (as distinct from trick and honour points).
Thus the highest possible game score is 8-0, the winning side having won two trebles plus 2 for the
rubber.
GAME VARIANT: AMERICAN WHIST
The first side to reach or exceed 7 points for tricks wins the game, its value being the difference
between the two sides’ scores. Honours are not counted.
NOTES ON PLAY
Normal strategy is for each side to win tricks in their longest suit – the one in which they hold most
cards between them. First, each partner seeks to indicate his best (usually longest) suit by leading it
at the earliest opportunity or by discarding a low card from it when unable to follow suit to the card
led. Next, they seek to establish their suit by forcing out any high cards the opponents hold in it so
that they cannot win when that suit is constantly led. Having established it, however, they must first
try to clear the trumps out of play so that the opponents cannot beat the established suit by ruffing
and so get into the lead with their own best suit or suits.
It is usually right for the person lying second to the trick to play low unless he is certain of winning
the trick or has only two of the suit led (as explained below). The third should normally play high in
an attempt to win unless he is sure that his partner’s lead is unbeatable. The fourth, of course, is in
the most favourable position and will play as he sees fit.
The player who leads to the first trick has the advantage, besides that of setting the pace, of being
best able to communicate information to his partner about the state of his hand, as his choice of card
is completely free. He must therefore lead from his longest suit to show his partner which one he
thinks they have a good chance of establishing, and his partner, in turn, will normally be expected to
lead the same suit back as soon as he gets the chance – unless he feels he has a better suit. It is
possible, by carefully selecting the rank of the first card played, to convey to the partner what sort
of holding the lead is made from, whether strong or weak. For this purpose some highly elaborate
signals or “conventional leads” were worked out when the game was most in vogue, many of which
have subsequently been carried over into the game of Bridge. They may be condensed and
simplified as follows.
Lead from your longest plain (non-trump) suit, a suit of which you hold four or more cards. From
two of equal lenght, play the one that has the highest cards.
If the top cards of the opening suit form one of the following patterns, lead to the first and second
tricks as indicated below:
AKQJ: lead K then J
AKQ-: lead K then Q
AK-J: lead K then A
A-QJ: lead A then Q
-KQJ: lead J
With any other Ace holding, lead the King if you have it; if not, lead first the Ace and then the
fourth best card of that suit (as it was before the Ace was led). Holding neither Ace nor King, lead
your fourth best of the suit. Example: from Q9873, lead the Seven.
Trumps may be led if you hold five or more, the appropriate signals being:
AKQJ: lead J then Q
AKQ: lead Q then K
AK: lead K then A if holding seven trumps at least. Otherwise, and lacking all these patterns, lead
your fourth best trump.
The lead of the fourth best is not a meaningless convention but enables the partner to get a good
idea of the lie of the cards against him by means of a calculation called the “rule of eleven”. If your
partner leads his fourth best you subtract the value of that card from eleven and the result tells you
how many higher cards are lacking from his hand. By subtracting from that total any you hold
yourself, you learn how many lie with the other side. For example: your partner leads the Seven and
you hold the King and Jack of the suit. Seven from eleven means four cards against him, of which
you hold two. If he were leading from Ace and others he would have led the Ace, so that must be
held by an opponent. So his original holding must have been any four cards out of QT987
(regardless of anything lower), and the opponents hold between them the Ace and any one of QT98.
If you are third hand and your right opponent plays higher than your partner’s lead in a suit of
which you hold the Ace and Queen, it is proper to attempt to win the trick by playing the Queen, in
the hope that your left opponent does not hold the King (the chances are equal that he or your
partner holds it.) This attempt to win a trick with a card that is not the highest in its suit is called a
finesse. If the Queen wins, the finesse succeeds against the King and your Ace/Queen combination
wins two tricks instead of one. The same principle can be extended to other combinations of cards
and other playing situations. By its nature the finesse is a risk and should therefore not be employed
if its failure is likely to lose more than its success would gain. It is applicable to all trick-taking card
games.
Except when trying to win a trick, always play the lowest you can of the suit led. But if you have
only two left in the suit it is proper to play the higher first and the lower to a subsequent trick. This
conventional device is a way of indicating to your partner – if he is awake – that you are thereafter
void in the suit and so able to trump it if led. By extension, any play of an unnecessarily high card
before a lower one in the same suit is a signal (known as the Blue Peter) that you wish him to lead
trumps at his earliest opportunity.
Advantage may be gained from a suit in which you are void (have none left). If the suit is led you
may either seek to win the trick by ruffing or renounce by playing a card of some other suit. A
renounce may be used for one of two purposes. Early in the game, if you have a strong suit but have
not yet taken a trick, you may discard low from that suit in order to draw your partner’s attention to
your best suit. Or, since you nearly always have one or more cards that are certain losers, you take
advantage of the opportunity to throw a losing card on it, possibly for the purpose of voiding yet
another plain suit. When both partners are void in different suits they may be able to set up an
annihilation of the opposition by a process of cross-ruffing: one player leads into his partner’s void
suit, his partner wins the trick by ruffing, and then follows by leading into the first partner’s void
suit...and so on.
In connection with voids, avoid the beginner’s habit of leading from a suit in which he holds only
one card (a singleton) or exactly two (doubleton). The idea is to create an early void in order to start
trumping. But the effort is pointless. For one thing it prevents one from making an informative
opening lead, which is to waste a strong advantage. For another, the short suit will be led eventually
with precisely the same effect, so nothing will be gained.
ILLUSTRATIVE DEAL (ADD HERE TABLE/SYMBOLS from page 65-66, TEXTS BELOW)
West deals, turns up xxxx for trumps.
The hands are:
North: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
East: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
South: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
West: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
North leads; the winning card of each trick is underlined.
N E S W
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Leads from longest suit
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Second conventional lead
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx West leads 4th best of longest
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx East pursues partner’s suit...
...and leads 4th best of his own
North starts to clear trumps
South helps by leading them
Now North has the only trump left
East tries his partner’s suit
But South noted North’s Peter
North can now bring clubs home...
...and, with the suit established
...even the lowest wins a trick
North/South win by nine tricks to four, scoring 3 for odd tricks. Honours divided.
OH HELL
3-7 players (4-5 best)
1 pack (52)
OBJECT
A game consists of several deals, the turn to deal passing to the left. In the first deal each player
receives one card; in the second, two; in the third, three; and so on, the cards being gathered in and
shuffled at the end of each deal. This continues until there are not enough cards to go around for the
next deal, so the number of deals in a game depends on the number of players. At each deal each
player’s object is to take exactly as many tricks as he bid – neither more nore fewer.
PLAY
Deal the appropriate number of cards and turn up the next to establish a trump suit. If no cards are
left over, play at no trump. Starting at dealer’s left, each player announces how many of the tricks
he proposes to win – i.e., none or one in the first deal; none, one or two in the second, and so on.
Dealer notes his bid for future reference and, after bidding himself, announces whether the total of
bids equals, exceeds or undercuts the number of tricks to be played. Eldest hand leads and normal
rules of trick-taking are applied: follow suit if possible; if not, trump or renounce ad lib. The winner
of one trick leads to the next.
SCORE
A player who takes exactly the number of tricks he bid scores that number plus 10; any other result
scores nothing. (Some players vary the score for bidding and taking no tricks – e.g., 5 plus the
number of tricks in the deal.)
VARIANTS
Most variants are concerned only with the scoring. There is, however, a version called Up the River,
Down the River in which, when the maximum card deal has been played, the whole sequence is
gone through again in reverse, so that the last deal is again of one card and one trick. In this version,
too, players bid by simultaneously raising their hands with the appropriate number of fingers
extended. This prevents one from being influenced by another’s bid.
HEARTS
2-10 players
Normally 1 pack (52)
In the basic game of Hearts there is no exchange of cards before play begins and the only penalty
cards are the 13 hearts, counting one each against their takers. Each deal is a complete game and is
immediately settled in chips, counters or coins. The basic method is for each player to pay one unit
to the pool for each heart he has taken, the whole pool being taken by the player who takes none, or
shared between them in the event of a tie. If every player takes one or more hearts or if one has
taken all thirteen, the pool is designated a “Jack” and is carried forward. The Jack pool can only be
taken on a subsequent deal when one player takes no hearts and all his opponents take some, and is
increased by 13 units for each deal when this fails to happen.
A variation of Hearts, known as Howell’s Settlement, makes the following refinement. For each
heart he has captured, each player pays in one unit for each player in the game apart from himself,
and then draws out again one unit for each heart he captured less than thirteen.
POKER
3-10 players
1 pack (52)
POKER HANDS
All forms of poker recognize the same range and relative ranking of card combinations which
determine who has the best or worst hand. A Poker hand by definition consists of five cards (more
may be dealt, but ultimately only five count). If some of these are related by rank or suit in certain
prescribed ways, they form a Poker combination. This may, but need not, involve all five cards.
Any that do not form part of the combination are idle or dead, though they may be called into
account to decide between competing combinations of otherwise equal value. The rank of
individual cards from highest to lowest is always AKQJT98765432, with ace alternatively lowest
on certain occasions. From highest to lowest, orthodox Poker combinations are as follows. The
figures following each are, first, the number of such combinations possible in a 52-card pack with
none wild, and second the probability (expressed as a percentage) of being dealt such a combination
straight from the pack.
STRAIGHT FLUSH (40 = 0.0015 per cent)
Five cards in suit and sequence. Ace may count high, as in A-K-Q-J-T (royal flush), or low, as in 54-3-2-A. As between two straight flushes, the one with the higher-ranking top card wins. A tie is
possible.
FOUR OF A KIND (624 = 0.0240 per cent)
Four cards of the same rank, the fifth idle. One with a higher-ranking set of four beats one with a
lower, and ties are impossible.
FULL HOUSE (3744 = 0.144 per cent)
Three cards of one rank plus two of another. One with the higher-ranking set of three beats one with
a lower. Ties are impossible.
FLUSH (5108 = 0,1956 per cent)
Five cards of the same suit not in sequence. As between flushes, the one with the highest-ranking
top card wins, or the second highest if equal, and so on. An all five-card tie is possible but
extremely unlikely.
STRAIGHT (10,200 = 0,392 per cent)
Five cards in sequence but not of one suit. Ace counts either high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-A).
One with a higher top card beats one with a lower. Ties are possible.
THREE OF A KIND (54,912 = 2,13 per cent)
Three cards of the same rank, the other two idle and unrelated. Three of a higher rank beats three of
a lower. Ties are not possible.
TWO PAIR (123,552 = 4,75 per cent)
Two cards of one rank, two of another, the fifth idle. To break ties, the one with the highest ranking
pair wins, or the second highest if equal, or the higher idle card if still equal.
ONE PAIR (1,098,240 = 42,2 per cent)
Two cards of the same rank, the other three idle and unrelated. Ties are decided in favour of the
highest-ranking pair, or best unmatched card if equal.
NOTHING (1,302,540 = 50,1 per cent)
Also called a “high card” hand because competition between combinationless hands is decided in
favour of the one with the highest-ranking top card, or second highest if equal, and so on.
WILD-CARD HANDS
A wild card is one that may be used by its holder to represent any card he wishes. Originally the
Joker was added as a wild card, but it is now more usual to specify as wild all cards of a particular
rank, most frequently deuces. The effect of even only one wild card is to introduce additional
combinations as follows:
Five of a kind: for example A-A-A-A-W or A-W-W-W-W represents five Aces. Five of a kind
beats everything, though some schools artificially rate a royal flush higher.
Double Ace flush: for example A-J-9-3 of Hearts plus a wild card, in which the wild card is held by
its holder to be another Ace of Hearts in order to beat say, A-K-J-9-3 of Hearts. It beats an ordinary
flush. Although five of a kind is universally accepted, some players refuse to recognize the Double
Ace flush. This point should be agreed before play.
As between tied combinations of the same rank, the one with fewer wild cards wins. Thus 9-9-W-52 (three Nines) beats 8-8-8-5-2 (three Eights) but is beaten by 9-9-9-3-2 (three natural Nines) or JW-W-3-2 (three Jacks). Some hold that any combination with wild cards is inferior to any of the
same type without, by which reckoning the order of those quoted would be, from best to worst, 9-99-3-2, 8-8-8-5-2, 9-9-W-5-2, J-W-W-3-2. The first method of assessment is more logical, the latter
more satisfying, and the point must be decided before play.
COMPETITIVE LOW HANDS
In Lowball and High-Low Poker it is necessary to determine who has the lowest poker hand. The
basic method is simple: decide which of two hands is higher as explained above, and it loses to the
other. By this method the lowest possible hand is a non-flush 7-5-4-3-2 (seventy-five). But it must
be agreed before play which practice to follow in respect of Aces and straights. For example, is A5-4-3-2 a combinationless hand with Ace high, or is its owner obliged to declare it a low straight (54-3-2-A) and inevitably lose? Here are the options: (a) Ace is automatically high unless its owner
wishes to call it low, which he may only do to make a straight. (b) Ace may be counted high or low
as its owner pleases. In this case he may count a pair of Aces lower than any other pair, and the
lowest combinationless hand is a non-flush 6-4-3-2-A. (c) Straights and flushes play no part in the
game, and Ace is high or low ad lib. In this case the lowest possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A (a Wheel, or
Bicycle) even if flush. Option (a) is for purists, (b) is most suitable for High-Low, and (c) for
Lowball, in which there is no competition for high hands.
WILD CARD LOW HANDS
Wild cards in low hands are usually held to create pairs. Hence A-K-Q-J-9 would beat 7-5-4-3-W,
which must be a pair of Threes at least.
FREAK HANDS
Unorthodox Poker combinations such as the blaze, flash, zebra etc., are now little used in serious
play.
STAKES
Poker is properly played with counters or chips as follows:
White = 1 unit
Red = 5 (or 2,5 or 2)
Blue = 25 (or 20 or 10)
Yellow = 100 (or 50 or 25)
Yellows are optional and therefore blue chips are usually the highest (hence the phrase “blue chip”).
Proper practice is for players to buy a fixed amount before play from the banker, i.e., the host or
person running the game. Two hundred chips each should suffice; more, if needed during play,
should be bought from the banker, not from other players. Throughout play, each player must keep
all his chips on the table in full view of the others. Before play it is important to agree limits on
permissible bets.
RUMMY
2-6 players
1 pack (52)
DEAL
If two play, ten each; three or four receive seven each; five or six receive six each. Deal cards face
down and one at a time. Place the remainder face down to form a stock. Take the top card of stock
and place it face up on the table to start the discard pile.
OBJECT
To go out by laying down melds of three or more cards at a time. A meld is a group of cards of the
same rank, or a sequence in the same suit, for which purpose Ace is low (A-2-3 only). If not the
first to go out, a secondary object is to reduce the total face values of cards left in hand. In this
respect Ace counts one and court cards ten each.
PLAY
Each in turn must (a) draw the top card of either the stock or the discard pile and add it to his hand;
(b) meld or lay off one or more cards if able and willing to do so; then (c) discard one card face up
to the discard pile. A player who has drawn the top discard must discard something different.
MELDING AND LAYING OFF
One or more melds and/or lay-offs may be made at the same time. A meld is placed face up on the
table in front of the player making it. A card that extends any meld on the table may be laid off
against that meld regardless of who made it. For example, an Ace may be played to a meld of A-AA, or Five and Nine of Hearts to a meld of Six, Seven and Eight of Hearts.
END OF STOCK
It may happen that no one goes out before the stock has been exhausted. If there are no cards in
stock for the player in turn to draw from, he may either take the top discard in the normal way, or
turn the discard pile upside down to form a new stock, in which case he must continue his turn by
drawing the top card of it.
GOING OUT
The winner is the player who goes out by playing the last card from his hand, whether by melding,
laying off or discarding. The game immediately ends, and each opponent pays the winner an
amount equivalent to the combined face values of all the cards left in his hand (or the winner scores
an equivalent amount).
GOING RUMMY
A player goes rummy by getting rid of his entire hand in one turn, by any combination of melding,
laying off and discarding, but without having melded or laid off a single card in the current deal. In
this event he receives or scores double against each opponent.
GAME
A game may consist of any agreed number of deals or be played up to a previously agreed target
score.
CANASTA
4 players
2 packs (104+)
CARDS
108, consisting of two packs shuffled together with four Jokers.
DEAL
Deal eleven each in ones. Turn the next face up to found the discard pile, and place the remainder
face down beside it to form the stock. Throughout play the discards are kept face up in a squared up
pile, which is known as the pack or the pot. The top card of the pack is called the upcard. If the
upcard is wild or a red Three it must be covered by the next card of the stock, and so on until the
upcard is natural. If anyone is dealt a red Three he must lay it face up before him and draw a
replacement.
OBJECT
Players sitting opposite each other are partners. Each side’s object is to score as much as possible
for making melds and laying cards off against them, the two partners’ melds being kept together on
the table. Play continues until one player, with his partner’s permission, goes out by playing his last
card. Each side then scores positively for cards it has melded (the most valuable melds being
canastas) and negatively for cards left in hand. There is a bonus for going out, but this does not
constitute the main objective of the game.
VALUE OF CARDS
All four Jokers and eight deuces are wild, standing for any desired “natural” card. Threes have
special uses and are not melded except in a sense to be explained later. The values of cards (plus or
minus as the case may be) are:
Joker = 50 each
7654 = 5 each
Deuce = 20 each
Black Three = 5 each
Ace = 20 each
Red Three = 100 each THIS
KQJT98 = 10 each
doubled if all four drawn AND THIS SHOULD BE TIED TOGETHER
MELDS
A meld is a group of cards of the same rank (sequences do not count) and is made by taking the
matched cards from the hand and laying them face up on the table. It must contain at least three
cards, of which at least two must be natural and not more than three may be wild. Melds may be
increased by the addition of one or more cards at a time, either of the same rank, or wild to a limit
of three. One side may not make more than one meld of the same rank. A meld of seven cards,
whether made at once or gradually built up, is called a canasta.
CANASTAS
A canasta carries a bonus value of 500 if it consists entirely of natural cards, or 300 if mixed, i.e.,
containing one or more wild cards. When a canasta is made it is squared up into a pile, with a red
card on top if it is natural or a black card if mixed. Squared up canastas may be extended by the
addition of any number of wild or matching cards, but if a wild card is added to a natural canasta its
bonus value is reduced, and the top card must be changed from red to black to indicate that fact.
Canastas are important not only for their bonus values, for neither side is permitted to go out
without melding at least one canasta.
PLAY
Each player in turn normally draws the top card of stock and adds it to his hand; he may then make
as many melds as he legally can and wishes, and/or lays off cards against melds already made by
his side, and completes his turn by playing a card face up to the pack. In certain circumstances he
need not draw from stock but may instead draw the upcard, provided that he immedialtely melds it
and also takes the rest of the pack. The whole procedure is modified by special rules relating to (a)
minimum initial meld requirement, (b) taking the pack, and (c) use of red and black Threes.
INITIAL MELD REQUIREMENT
The first meld or melds made by a side, regardless of which partner melds, must meet a minimum
face value requirement. The required value varies throughout the game depending on how many
points that side has so far accumulated – as follows:
TABLE HERE (page 322)
TAKING THE PACK
According to circumstance the pack may be frozen or unfrozen. When it is unfrozen the player in
turn may, instead of drawing from stock, take the upcard and either lay it off against one of his
side’s existing melds or canastas, or meld it in conjuction with two or more cards from his hand (but
not with two unaccompanied wild cards). Having done so he must then take up the rest of the pack,
may make as many more melds and/or lay-offs as he wishes, and ends his turn by discarding one to
start a new pack.
FREEZING THE PACK
When the pack is frozen the player in turn may only take it if he can make a new meld by taking the
upcard and adding to it at least a natural pair from his own hand. Furthermore, the resultant meld
must meet the appropriate initial meld requirement if his side has not already made a meld. He then
takes the rest of the pack, melds and/or lays off, and finally makes one discard. The pack is frozen
in the following circumstances:
1. To either side if that side has not yet made a meld.
2. To both sides if it contains a wild card. Whenever a player discards a deuce or a Joker to the
pack he should place it at the bottom of the pack, and projecting sideways from it, so as to
mark the pack as frozen.
3. To one player only if, on his turn to play, the upcard is a black Three. Technically, the pack
is then described as stopped rather than frozen, as there is no way at all in which he can take
the upcard. He must then draw from stock, and his discard automatically unstops the pack to
his left opponent (unless he also discards a black Three).
BLACK THREES
Black Threes may not be melded during the course of play. As described above, the main use of a
black Three is to “stop” the pack to one’s left hand opponent for one turn only. A player cannot go
out if he holds two black Threes, but if he holds one he can go out by melding all his other cards
and discarding the black Three last; and if he holds three or four he can meld them together as part
of the process of going out. Wild cards may not be included in a meld of black Threes.
RED THREES
These odd cards contribute to the score but not to the play. Whenever a player draws a red Three
from the stock he must immediately lay it face up on the table and draw the next card to replace it.
(If the initial upcard was a red Three, whoever takes it along with the pack also lays it face up on
the table.) Red Threes may not be kept in hand or discarded. At the end of the game each side
scores for its red Threes, unless the side has failed to meld, in which case it is penalized for them. If
the last card of the stock is a red Three it may not be drawn, and the game ends immediately.
END OF STOCK
If no one has gone out when the last card has been drawn from stock, play proceeds as follows.
Each in turn must take the previous player’s discard if he can legally add it to a meld, or may take
the discard if he can legally use it to form a new meld. However, a player with only a one card in
hand may not take a pack consisting of a single card. Play ceases as soon as one player in his turn
has failed to take the upcard, whether because he cannot lay it off or because he cannot (or will not)
meld it.
GOING OUT
A player goes out by voiding his hand of cards with or without discarding to the pack. No player is
permitted to go out unless his side has at least one canasta, although it is permitted to make an
initial canasta in the process of going out. It is proper (but not obligatory) for a player who is in turn
and able to go out to ask his parter’s permission to do so. If he does ask he is bound by his partner’s
reply and penalized for disregarding it.
GOING OUT CONCEALED
A player goes out concealed, or blind, if he melds his entire hand of cards without having
previously melded or laid cards off to his partner’s melds. In doing so he must meld a canasta
himself and may not add cards to any of his partner’s melds; but he is not bound to meet the
minimum initial meld requirement, and he may discard one to the pack but is not obliged to do so.
SCORING
The amount to be scored by each side consists of (a) premiums, plus (b) total face values of cards
melded, minus (c) total face values of cards left unmelded. Face values have already been given.
Premiums are credited for:
Going out (unconcealed)
100
Going out concealed
200
Each natural canasta
500
Each mixed canasta
300
Each red Three
100
Or if all four held
200 each
If one side has made no meld at all, the value of any red Threes it may have taken is substracted.
GAME
The turn to deal passes to the left. Play continues until either side has reached or exceeded 5000,
and settlement is made on the basis of the difference between both totals.
PENALTIES
Draw out of turn = 100, and put it back. Or, if the card is added to the hand = 200, and leave it
there.
Two many drawn = 50, and on subsequent turns discard without drawing until the hand is correct.
Taking the pack = 200, for (a) illegally taking the discard pile or (b) taking the upcard into hand
instead of properly using it on the table and in constant view.
Exposed card. If a player exposes a card of his hand which is not properly meldable he must leave it
face up on the table and on each subsequent turn either meld it or discard it.
Illegally melding. For melding in an opponent’s turn = 100, in one’s partner’s turn = 200. For
adding to a meld more wild cards than it may legally include, transfer excess wild cards to other
melds if legally able; if not, treat them as exposed cards.
Insufficent meld count. If a player’s initial meld fails to reach the appropriate value requirement he
may continue melding or adding cards until it does. If unable or unwilling to do so he retracts all
exposed cards and his side’s initial meld requirement is increased by 10 points.
Failure to declare a red Three = 500 points (for being caught with a red Three in hand at the end of
play).
Irregular going out. A player may be forced to go out by his opponents if he asks his partner’s
permission to do so, is told “yes” but fails to do so; or if he exposes any of his cards before his
partner has replied; or if he (or his partner) gives any indication of cards held, by word, deed or
implication, in requesting permission or answering it.
Inability to go out. If a player starts to go out and finds he cannot properly do so he must meld what
he can, leave other cards on the table and treat the latter as “exposed cards” (above).
Immunity. A player who may have committed an irregularity is immune from penalty as soon as his
left-hand opponent draws a card for his turn, and the irregularity stands.
PIQUET (RUBICON PIQUET)
2 players
1 short pack (32)
CARDS
From high to low, AKQJT987 per suit.
GAME
A partie is six deals, each dealing alternately, and is won by the player with the higher score. Points
are counted throughout play and are traditionally announced verbally as the deal progresses. Only
the resultant score of each deal need be recorded.
DEAL
Higher cut decides whether or not to deal first. Deal 12 each in batches of two or three – not both,
and whichever arrangement you use for your first deal you must stick to for your next two. Lay the
remainder face down and slightly spread in the middle of the table. They constitute the talon. Note
that the dealer is known as younger, his opponent elder hand.
CARTE BLANCHE
If either player has been dealt a hand devoid of courts – a rare occurrence – he may claim 10 for
carte blanche and must prove his claim by rapidly playing his cards one by one face up to the table.
If younger has it he announces the fact immediately but waits until elder has discarded before
proving his claim and making his own exchange. If elder has it he announces the fact immediately
and tells younger how many he intends to exchange. Younger then exchanges up to as many as he is
entitled to, then elder proves his claim and makes his own exchange.
THE EXCHANGE
Each player rejects unwanted cards face down from his hand, then draws the same number from the
talon – sight unseen – to restore his hand to 12. The purpose of the exchange is to “improve the
hand” by (hopefully) drawing cards that make up scoring combinations and/or are good for playing
tricks at no trumps. The scoring combinations are:
• Point – greatest number of cards in any one suit
• Sequence – longest run of consecutive cards in one suit
• Set – three or four cards of the same rank, Ten or higher
Elder exchanges first. He must discard at least one and not more than five. He then draws a like
number from the top of the talon downwards, strictly in order. Being entitled to five, he may, if he
exchanges fewer, look at any cards he was entitled to but did not take, without showing them to
younger.
Younger, in turn, must discard at least one and up to as many as are left – usually three, but more if
elder took less than his due. If younger takes fewer than are left, it is his choice whether the untaken
cards be faced or left concealed, but it is not permitted for one player to see them and not the other.
If younger is to exchange first because the elder declared a carte blanche, he draws from the top of
the talon, the number he is entitled to being eight less the number that elder said he was going to
exchange himself.
After the exchange, the eight cards not held in the players’ hands remain unused and out of play,
though each is permitted to refresh his memory by referring to his own discards during the play.
DECLARATIONS
If either player had a carte blanche he announces his score as 10 before declarations begin. Elder
announces, strictly in this order, his best point, his best sequence, and his best set. To each
announcement younger replies “not good” if he can beat it, “good” if he can not, or else “equal”. If
his combination is acknowledged “good”, elder scores for it immediately. Furthermore, if his
sequence is good he may score for any other sequence(s) he may hold, and if his set is good he may
score for any other set(s) he may hold.
TABLE HERE (page 274)
The combinations and their scores.
In announcing point, elder merely states how many cards he has in his best suit. If younger replies
“equal”, elder then declares the combined pip-value of his point suit, counting each Ace 11, each
court 10, and others at face value. Elder then scores for his point if younger declares it “good”, and
not if “not good”. If younger can equalize on this basis, neither player will score for point.
If younger has a sequence equal in lenght to the one announced by elder, the winning sequence is
the one with the higher top card. If there is still equality, neither player may score for any
sequences.
Having made his announcements and totalled his score so far (if any), elder leads any card face up
to the table and adds one point “for leading”.
Before replying to that card, younger scores for any combinations he may hold which are better
than those announced by elder – i.e., in all those classes which he declared to be “not good”. If he
scores for sequence or set he may score for any other sequence or set he may also hold. Having
declared and scored any combinations to which he is entitled, younger plays to the first trick.
PIQUE, REPIQUE
If either player reaches a score of 30 before his opponent has scored anything he adds a bonus of 60
for repique. For this purpose it should be noted that declarations are counted strictly in order: carte
blanche, point, sequence, set. Thus if one player scores for carte blanche, the other cannot score
repique, even if he makes 30 for point and sequence, as the carte blanche is reckoned first. On the
other hand, if there is no carte blanche and one player makes 30 or more on point and sequence
alone, the other cannot prevent it by scoring for set, as point and sequence have priority. Finally,
equality does not save the repique. Even if both equalized on point, and neither scored for sequence,
a player could score repique on two quatorzes and a trio (14+14+3=31, plus 60 for repique 91).
Elder’s 1 for leading does not save him from repique if he previously made nothing and younger
reaches 30 in declarations.
After elder has led his first card, and younger has replied, neither player can score repique. Elder,
however, can score 30 for pique if he reaches 30 during the trick play and younger still has yet to
score. (It is impossible for younger to score pique because elder counts 1 for leading and cannot
therefore enter trick-play with a zero score.) If elder makes 29 in combinations, his 1 for leading
may give him pique but not repique.
TRICKS
Tricks are played at no trump. Suit must be followed; the trick is won by the higher card of the suit
led; and the winner of one trick leads to the next. The winner of a trick scores 1 point if he led to it,
or 2 if his opponent led to it.
THE CARDS, CAPOT
If both players take six tricks the cards are set to be divided and neither scores a bonus. If one
player takes more than six tricks he counts a bonus of 10 “for the cards”. If one player wins all 12
tricks (a rare occurrence) he scores a bonus of 40 for capot. The bonus for cards or capot does not
count towards a pique.
SCORE
At the end of each deal the players note their scores for that deal and their cumulative score for the
partie so far. If the result is a tie at the end of a partie, two more hands are played, each dealing once
more. The winner scores the difference between the two players’ totals, plus 100 for game. If the
loser has failed to reach 100 he is rubiconed (even if the winner also failed to reached it), and the
winner scores 100 for game plus the sum of the two totals.
SINKING AND PROVING
Neither player is obliged to declare a combination or to declare the whole of one. Holding back part
of a combination – e.g., declaring only a trio when you hold a quatorze – is called sinking and is a
legitimate manoeuvre to make when wishing to hide the fact that you hold a particular card. On the
other hand, any combination declared by either player must be considered known to his opponent.
If, therefore, you have declared a sequence of five and your opponent asks which suit it is in, or
what the highest card is, you must tell him. But you are not obliged to reveal anything you have not
declared (sunk).
ECARTÉ
2 players
1 short pack (32)
CARDS
32 cards, ranking KQJAT987 in each suit. Note the position of the Ace. It is convenient to use two
packs so that one may be shuffled while the other is dealt.
GAME
The first to win 5 points wins the game. The best way of recording the score is by means of
counters.
GENERAL IDEA
A trump suit is estalished at random and five tricks are played with ‘strict’ rules of following. A
player scores 1 point for taking three or four tricks, 2 points for winning the vole (all five). The
distinctive feature of the game is that there may be several rounds of changing cards before the play
begins and good judgement is called for in deciding when to stop exchanging and start playing.
DEAL
The deal alternates. Shuffle thoroughly, offer to cut, and deal five cards to each player in batches of
two then three. Place the remainder face down to form a stock. Turn up the top card and place it to
one side. The suit of the turn-up is the trump suit for the deal. If the turn-up is a King, dealer scores
1 point for it. (If this gives him 5 points he wins without further play.)
DISCARDING
Non-dealer may start the play by leading to the first trick, in which case he will be penalized if he
does not win, or he may call for cards (“propose”). If he proposes, leader may either refuse,
insisting that the hands be played out as they stand (in which case he will be penalized if he does
not win), or accept. If dealer accepts, both players must change at least one card.
Cards are exchanged as follows. Non-dealer discards from one to five cards face down and is dealt a
like number from the top of the stock. Then dealer does likewise. The trump turn-up remains
untouched.
Again, non-dealer may lead or propose and dealer may accept or refuse. This continues until nondealer decides to lead, or dealer refuses a proposal, or the stock is exhausted. Neither player may
call for more cards than remain in the stock, and when no more cards remain non-dealer is obliged
to start play.
MARKING THE KING
After the exchange, but before the play, if either player holds the King of trumps he may declare it
and score 1 point. This privilege ceases if and as soon as its holder plays some other card to the first
trick.
TRICKS
Unusual rules of trick-taking apply. Non-dealer leads to the first trick (announcing, as he does so,
what suit he is leading). The second player to each trick must not only follow suit but also win the
trick if he can. If unable to follow he must trump if he can, and only if unable to do so may he
renounce. The trick is captured by the higher card of the suit led, or the higher trump if any are
played, and the winner of one trick leads to the next.
SCORE
If any cards were exchanged the winning of three or four tricks scores 1 for the “point”, the winning
of five 2 for the “vole”. But if non-dealer loses after failing to propose, or dealer loses after refusing
the first proposal, then the winner scores 2 points regardless of the number of tricks he took.
The game is won with 5 points. By agreement, the game is won singly if the loser has 3 or 4, doubly
if 1 or 2, trebly if he has marked no points.
VARIANTS
More than two players may take part in a game of Ecarté but only two are active in each deal.
FIVE HUNDRED
2-6 players (3 best)
1 pack (53)
CARDS
52 plus Joker. Normal ranking from high to low is AKQ(J)T987.
TRUMPS
In the trump suit, established by bidding, the cards rank as follows:
1. Best Bower – the Joker
2. Right Bower – Jack of trumps
3. Left Bower – other Jack of the same colour as trumps
4. Ace of trumps, followed by KQT987.
Hence there are ten cards in the trump suit, seven in the other suit of the same colour, and eight each
in suits of the opposite colour. Note that the Left Bower belongs to the trump suit, not to the suit
marked on its face.
In a “no trump” game there is no trump suit and all the Jacks rank in their normal position between
Queen and Ten. The Joker, however, retains its position as Best Bower and is the only trump in the
pack.
DEAL
Each player receives ten cards dealt as follows: a batch of three to each player, then three face down
to the table, then four each, and finally three each. The face-down cards form the “widow” (or
“kitty” in the UK).
OBJECT
The ultimate objective is to score 500 points before anyone else, whence the name of the game.
This generally takes several deals. In each deal the highest bidder names the trump, exchanges
through the widow, and aims to take at least as many tricks as he bid. The opponents play
cooperatively in an attempt to beat him, but each one also scores for any tricks taken by himself.
BIDDING
Starting with eldest hand, each in turn may pass or make a higher bid than any that has gone before,
announcing either the number of tricks he proposes to win and the intended trump suit, or the value
of the contract in accordance with the contract valuation table. Once a player has passed he may not
re-enter, and once two players have passed the third has no opportunity to increase his bid.
TABLE HERE (page 133)
Five Hundred: Contract valuation table.
Misère is a bid to lose every single trick; open misère to do so with one’s hand of cards exposed on
the table. Both are played at no trumps, except for the Best Bower.
ALL PASS
If all pass, the game plays as follows. The widow remains untouched; eldest hand leads; and tricks
are played at No Trump. Each player scores 10 points per trick won by himself.
THE WIDOW
When two players have passed, the third becomes the solo player and must take at least as many
tricks as he bid in order to win. He is not permitted to increase his bid and gets no credit for taking
more tricks than necessary. He first takes up the widow and adds it to his hand, then discards any
three cards face down to the table, where they remain out of play. Having already announced
trumps or no trumps (“no-ies”) he leads to the first trick. If he is playing an open misère he waits
until the first trick has been captured and then immediately lays the rest of his hand face up on the
table.
TRICKS
Normal rules of trick-taking apply. Players must follow suit if possible; if not, they may trump or
renounce ad lib. The trick is captured by the highest card of the suit led, or the highest trump if any
are played, and the winner of one trick leads to the next. Remember that the Left Bower is the third
highest card of the trump suit, not the fourth highest card of the suit marked on it, and the Best
Bower (Joker) is the highest trump. In a no-trump game the Best Bower may only be used to ruff a
trick if its holder is void in the suit led. If the holder leads it to a trick he must specify a suit to be
played to it, which the others must follow if possible; but he may not specify a suit in which he has
already shown himself to be void (by discarding to it when led).
SCORE
If the soloist makes his contract he scores the value of that contract. He gets no credit for taking
more tricks than contracted, but if he succeeds in taking all ten in a contract worth less than 250, he
scores 250 instead of the lower contract value. If he fails to make his contract his current score is
reduced by the value of the failed contract, which makes it possible for players to be “in the hole”
with negative scores during the course of the game. Whether or not he makes his contract each
opponent scores 10 points per trick captured by himself, except in a won misère. In a lost misère the
soloist is set back by 250 (520) and each opponent scores 10 per trick taken by the soloist.
GAME
Game is either 500 up or 500 down, i.e., the winner is the first player to reach or exceed a score of
500, or the player with the greatest score if and when one player is reduced to minus 500 or more. If
two or more stand to reach 500 in the same deal the soloist scores first and wins if he thereby
reaches the target; or, if both opponents reach 500 but not the soloist, then the winner is the one
who took the trick that gave him 500 first.
REVOKE
A revoke may be corrected before the trick is turned down but the card wrongly played remains
face up on the table and must be played at the earliest legal opportunity. (If made by the second
player the third may retract the card he played and play another.) If an opponent’s uncorrected
revoke is discovered the soloist scores as if he had won the contract, whether in fact he did or not,
and the revoking player may score nothing for tricks. If a soloist’s uncorrected revoke is discovered
he loses the contract value whether he made it or not.
VARIANTS
FOR TWO PLAYERS
Method 1: use 33 cards and deal as if for three players but leave one hand face down and out of
play. Method 2: use 24 cards (nothing lower than Nine) and no Joker. Deal 10 each and a widow of
four; bid and play as in the three-player game.
FOR FOUR PLAYERS
Use 42 cards plus Joker, rejecting from a full pack all Twos, Threes and black Fours. Play in
partnerships. Follow the rules of the three-hand game.
FOR FIVE PLAYERS
Use a full pack of 52 cards plus Joker. Each plays for himself but the highest bidder may either play
alone or call for a partner by nominating a specific card. The holder of that card becomes his partner
and immediately identifies himself. The card called may not be a trump but may be the Joker if the
bid is at no trump. The called partner wins or loses half the appropriate score and each opponent
scores 10 per trick in the usual way.
FOR SIX PLAYERS
Use the special 62-card pack with Elevens, Twelves and red Thirteens, plus Joker; deal ten each and
leave a widow of three in the usual way. Method 1: play in three partnerships of two players each,
each pair of partners sitting opposite each other with two opponents intervening on either side, and
play as in the three-hand game. Method 2: play in two partnerships of three players each, such that
each player sits between two opponents, and play as in the four-hand game.
BÉZIQUE
2 players
2 short packs (64)
CARDS
64 cards, consisting of two 32-card packs shuffled together. Cards rank in this order for trick-taking
purposes: ATKQJ987. Note the position of the Ten.
DEAL
Higher cut deals first, eight cards to each player in batches of 3-2-3. Place the rest face down to
form a stock, then take the top card and lay it face up underneath but projecting from the stock. The
suit of this card is the trump for that deal. If it is a Seven, dealer scores 10 for it.
OBJECT
Tricks are played, each drawing from the stock after each trick to restore his hand to eight. The
winning of a trick entitles that player to declare and score for any card combinations he may hold.
Otherwise there is no merit in winning tricks except that brisques (Aces and Tens) captured in tricks
score 10 each at the end of play.
SCORING COMBINATIONS
The combinations that may be declared and scored are shown in Table 4. The combinations are
divided into various classes: sequences, quartets and béziques. A card used and scored in one
combination may not subsequently be counted in a lower combination of the same class. But, for
example, a Queen used in a marriage may subsequently be counted as a part of a quartet or a
bézique.
TABLE HERE (page 237)
Table 4: Combinations and scores at two-pack bézique.
A royal marriage may not be declared if either card has already been declared in a trump sequence,
but may be declared first and subsequently converted to a sequence by the addition of A-T-J.
If one card of a quartet has been played out, the quartet may not be reformed by the addition of its
duplicate, though any cards left of it may be used in combinations of a different class. Similarly, a
widowed monarch may not remarry.
Double bézique only counts if all four cards are on the table simultaneously. It is permissible to
declare single bézique for 40, then later declare another for 40, and later still declare them double
for 500, provided that all four cards are on the table.
PLAY
Non-dealer leads to the first trick. Unusual rules of trick-play apply: the second player is not
obliged to follow suit but may follow, trump or discard ad lib. The trick is won by the higher card
of the suit led or by the higher trump if any are played. The winner of the trick may declare any one
combination he may hold, within the seven cards left to him by laying those cards face up on the
table before him and marking the appropriate score. He then takes the trick, draws the top card of
the stock, lets his opponent draw the next card, and leads to the next trick. Cards declared in
combinations remain face up on the table but continue to form part of their owner’s hand and may
be played out to tricks as and when desired. Only one combination may be scored at a time. If its
owner is able to convert it into a higher one he must win another trick before doing so. (Of identical
cards in a trick, the first played wins.)
DIX
Whoever holds or draws a Seven of trumps may declare it for 10 points, and the first to do so may
exchange it for the trump turn-up. The declaration and exchange of the Seven may only be made
upon winning a trick and instead of any other declaration; but the declaration only may be made
and scored at any time, usually upon playing the Seven to a trick.
END-GAME
At the end of the 23rd trick there will remain untaken only the turn-up (Seven) and one card of
stock. The winner of that trick takes the top card, leaving the Seven to his opponent, and has this
last opportunity of making a declaration. Both players then take into hand any cards they may have
on the table before them and the winner of the last trick leads to the first of the “last eight” tricks.
Now, however, the rules of play change. The second to play must, if able, play a higher card of the
suit led; if unable, he must nevertheless follow suit; if unable, he must trump if possible; and only
otherwise may he discard from another suit. Finally, the winner of the last trick of all scores 10 for
it.
SCORE
Each player then sorts through his cards won in tricks and scores 10 for each Ace and Ten amongst
them. The winner is the first to reach 1000 points, which usually takes several deals, and he wins
double if the loser fails to reach 500.
AUCTION PINOCHLE
3 active players
2 short packs (48)
CARDS
48 cards, consisting of two 24-card packs shuffled together, no card lower than Nine.
DEAL
Deal a batch of three cards to each player and another face down to the table to form the “widow”
(or “blind”). Deal the remainder around in batches of three until each player has 15.
RANK AND VALUE
From high to low, cards rank in the following order for trick-taking purposes, and score the values
shown to the players capturing them in tricks:
A T K Q J 9
11 10 4 3 2 0
If two identical cards are played to a trick the first beats the second.
OBJECT
The player making the highest numerical bid announces trumps and plays with the object of scoring
the amount he bid against the combined efforts of the other two to defeat him. Points are scored for
(a) capturing counting-cards in tricks as shown above, plus 10 for winning the last trick, making
250 the maximum possible under this heading; and (b) holding certain scoring combinations at the
start of the game. For this purpose the soloist takes the three cards of the widow and makes melding
declarations from all 18 cards he holds, then rejects any three in their place before tricks are played.
Any counters contained in the rejects are credited to him at the end of the play.
TABLE HERE (page 256)
Table 6. Pinochle declarations and scoring features.
BIDDING
Player left of dealer opens the bidding at any level and each in turn must pass or make a higher bid.
A player who passes may not re-enter. If all three pass the cards are thrown in and the next player
deals. All bids must represent multiples of 10. The lowest bid is 300, and the highest is 650.
MELDS
The highest bidder becomes the soloist and must make the amount of his bid in order to win. He
turns up the three cards of the widow so that all can see them before adding them to his hand. He
then scores (and shows, if requested) all the valid melds he can make from his 18 cards. No card
may be counted twice in the same combination or in another combination of the same class – e.g., if
a flush is scored, the royal marriage it contains may not also be scored.
BURYING
After scoring for melds the bidder “buries” three cards by laying them face down before him. He
may not bury a card that he used in a meld; and if he buries any trumps he must announce the fact
that he has done so, without specifying which.
CONCEDING
At any point up to the play of the first trick the bidder may concede defeat without further play, or
his opponents may concede him the game if both agree to do so.
PLAY
Having announced his trump, if it was not already clear from his melds, the bidder leads to the first
trick. Each in turn must follow suit to the card led or, if unable to follow must, trump. If a trump is
led each succeeding player must, if possible, play a higher trump than the previous player.
SETTLEMENT
Scores may be kept but settlement is usually made in chips. If the bidder succeeds he receives the
appropriate amount from each opponent; if he concedes without play he pays the appropriate
amount to each opponent; and if he plays but fails he pays twice the appropriate amount to each
opponent. If four play, the dealer is included in the settlement. The appropriate amount varies
according to which schedule is being followed and whether the lowest bid is 200, 250 or 300.
SCORING
A simulated score may be kept by recording settlements. Alternatively, the bidder scores the
amount of his bid if he makes it, loses that amount once if he concedes, or twice if he plays and
fails, and the game is played up to 1000.
PONTOON
3-10 players (4-6 best)
1 pack (52)
CARDS
Use a standard 52-card pack. Suits are irrelevant: all that counts is the numerical face-value of the
cards. From Two to Ten count 2 to 10 respectively, court cards count 10 each, and Ace counts
either 1 or 11 at its holder’s discretion. It is convenient to refer to cards worth 10 as tenths.
PRELIMINARIES
Pontoon is a banking game and requires counters, chips, coins or other manageable objects. The
banker deals and the punters play against him. Agree beforehand how the bankership is to change
hands, e.g., each player deals/banks in turns passing to the left, or the bank goes to a punter who
beats the banker with a pontoon, or it may be bought at any time for a mutually acceptable sum.
Agree to end play at a particular time.
DEAL
Banker shuffles the cards before his first deal, but not thereafter, so the pack remains unshuffled
until the next takes over. Deal one card each, face down, dealer’s last. All except the banker may
look at their card.
OBJECTIVES
Everyone will get a second card, and more may be bought thereafter. The object is to finish with a
better hand than the banker’s. A hand whose cards total over 21 is bust, and loses. A hand totalling
16 to 21 beats the banker only if the latter has a lower counting or bust hand. There are also three
special hands:
- Pontoon is 21 on two cards, i.e., an Ace and a tenth. This beats the banker, unless he also has a
pontoon, and wins double.
- Royal pontoon is three sevens (=21). The banker can not beat this even with a pontoon.
Furthermore, only a punter counts a royal pontoon: three Sevens for the banker counts as an
ordinary 21 and is beaten by a punter’s pontoon. It wins treble stakes.
- Five card trick. A hand of five cards that is not bust. This beats anything the banker has, except
another five card trick, and wins double stakes.
SECOND CARD
Each punter looks at his first card and stakes upon it an amount that lies within previously agreed
limits, entitling him to receive a second card. The banker deals everybody a second card, the last
going to himself, at which point he now looks at both his cards. If he has a pontoon he shows it and
wins, collecting double everybody’s stakes. If not, he says “play”. If now a punter has a pontoon he
indicates that fact by turning the Ace face up, and receives no more cards.
SPLITTING
If a punter has two cards of identical rank (two different tenths will not do) he may split them and
play two hands if he wishes. He indicates this by separating them on the table and staking on the
second card the same amount as he staked on the first. The banker then deals another card face
down to each hand. Again, if either hand is a pontoon, the punter faces the Ace and, if either is a
pair, he is allowed to split again, and so on. The banker may not split his own cards.
ADDITIONAL CARDS
The banker now addresses himself to each punter in turn, not proceeding to the next until he has
finished transactions with the first. If the punter is satisfied with his cards and requires no more, he
says “stick”; if not, he may acquire more cards until he either does stick, or is bust. In order to stick,
at any time, his cards must total at least 16. He may acquire further cards by buying them face down
or twisting them face up. He may start buying, and then switch to twisting, but once he has twisted
he may not subsequently buy. If he says “buy” he pays not less than the amount for which he
bought his previous card, nor more than his total stakes so far, and receives the card face down. If
he says “twist” he pays nothing but receives the card face up. If he busts he must announce that fact.
If he is trying for a five card trick, the fifth card is dealt face up even if he buys it. If he gets a royal
pontoon he must reveal his cards immediately.
BANKER’S PLAY
The banker does not yet collect the stakes of anyone who has bust but must play first. He turns his
cards face up, and deals himself further cards face up until he is satisfied with his total. If he busts
he collects the stakes of punters who went bust and pays the others the amount they staked (double
for a pontoon or five card trick, treble for a royal pontoon). If he reaches exactly 21 on three or four
cards, he pays only those with pontoons or five card tricks. If he gets a five card trick, he beats a
punter’s five card trick but not a pontoon, and receives double stakes. With anything under 21 he
pays those with a higher count or better hand and collects from those with equal, lower or bust
hands. Cards are then gathered up and returned to the bottom of the pack.
BELEAGUERED CASTLE
1 pack (52)
Arrange four Aces in a column to form the foundations. On each side of each Ace deal six cards
face up in an overlapping row, forming the tableau. The object is to build each Ace up in suit
sequence to the King. At each move transfer the exposed card of a row to a foundation pile if it fits,
or to the exposed end of another row. Rows in the tableau are built downwards regardless of suit –
e.g., place any Six on any Seven, any Five on any Six, etc. An empty row may be filled with any
available card. Even with best play it will not always come out.
BELLE LUCIE (FAN)
1 pack (52)
Deal the first 51 cards face up in 17 fans, each fan consisting of three overlapping cards.
Traditionally, these small fans are arranged in the form of a larger one, and the odd card is dealt
face up to form its handle at the bottom centre. The object is to extract the four Aces as they
become available, place them in a separate row of foundations, and build each up in suit and
sequence to the King. At each turn transfer an exposed card to a foundation pile if it fits, or to the
exposed card of another fan (the odd 52nd card counting as such for this purpose). Fans are built
downwards in suit, e.g., the Six of Hearts on the Seven of Hearts, the Five of Hearts on the Six of
Hearts, etc. An empty fan may not be re-formed. This rule makes the game very hard to get out.
CANFIELD (UK: DEMON)
1 pack (52)
Deal 13 cards face down, square them up and turn them face up so that only the top card is visible.
These form the reserve. Deal the next four cards face up in a (non-overlapping) row extending to
the right of the reserve, forming the tableau. Deal the next card face up above the first of these to
form the first of four foundations. As each other card of the same rank as this becomes available,
place it in line with the first to complete the foundations. The object is to build each foundation up
in suit and sequence until it contains 13 cards (turning the corner at -K-A-2- if necessary).
Turn cards from the stock in batches of three, and transfer them, without disturbing their order, to a
single face-up waste pile. Only the top card of the waste pile is available, but the other cards turned
may be examined. Make all moves possible before turning the next batch. A card may be
transferred to a foundation from the top of the reserve, the top of the waste pile, or from the tableau
if uncovered. Cards may be built on the tableau in descending sequence and alternating colour (red
Six on black Seven, black Five on red Six etc.). A whole column may be cleared out by building on
top of another, provided that the join follows this rule. As soon as a tableau column is emptied it
must be filled with the top card of the reserve, or, if none are left, from the waste pile, in which case
the space need not be filled immediately. When the stock is exhausted turn the waste pile to form a
new one. The game rarely comes out.
KLONDIKE (UK: CANFIELD)
1 pack (52)
Deal seven cards face down in a row. Turn up the extreme left-hand card and deal six more cards
face down along the rest of the row. Turn up the first of these six and deal five more face down
along the rest of the row. Continue in this way until you have seven piles of cards increasing in
number from one to seven from left to right, with only the top card of each pile exposed. These start
the tableau. As each Ace becomes available transfer it to a row above the tableau to start a
foundation. Build each foundation up in suit and sequence to the King.
After making any opening moves that may be possible, turn cards one at a time from the stock,
playing each one to a foundation or to a tableau column if it fits, or face up to a single waste pile if
not. The top card of the waste pile is always available, but the pile is not turned for re-use when the
stock runs out. On the tableau, build columns of overlapping cards on each exposed card in
descending sequence and alternating colour (red Six on black Seven etc.). The exposed card of a
column may be transferred to a foundation if it fits, or to another column. A whole column may be
transferred to another if the join follows the descending/alternating rule. When a column is cleared
to reveal the top of a face down pile, turn the top card face up. When a pile has been cleared to
leave a space it may be filled only with an available King or a whole sequence of
descending/alternating cards built on a King. The game rarely comes out.
MISS MILLIGAN
2 packs (104)
Deal eight cards face up in row. These form the bases of what will eventually become columns of
overlapping cards in the tableau. If an Ace appears transfer it to an eventual row of eight
foundations above the eight columns. As each Ace become available move it into this row. The
object is to build all eight Aces up in suit and sequence to their Kings. An exposed card in the
tableau may be transferred to a foundation if it fits, or to the exposed end of another column in the
tableau. Tableau columns are built in descending sequence and alternating colour (red Six on black
Seven etc.). Any length of such sequence ending in an exposed card may be transferred as a whole
to another column provided that the join follows the rule. A space in the tableau may be filled only
with a King. When no further play is possible, deal eight more cards to the tableau, one to the
exposed end of each column. When the stock is exhausted, the exposed card of any column,
together with any sequence following properly above it, may be taken and placed to one side as a
temporary reserve, all cards in it being simultaneously available for play to foundations or tableau.
When this reserve is empty, another may be formed and played in the same way. When no cards
from the reserve are playable the game is lost. It does not come out very often.
SALIC LAW
2 packs (104)
This long-standing favourite comes out quite often and finishes with a pretty effect. Remove a King
and place it at the head of an imaginary column on the left. Deal cards face up upon the King and
towards you to form a column of overlapping cards, keeping a look-out for Queens and Aces.
Whenever an Ace appears, place it above the first King to start an eventual row of eight Aces.
Whenever a Queen appears, place her above the first Ace to form an eventual row of eight Queens.
Whenever a King appears, place him to the right of the previous King and start a new overlapping
column. The eight Aces are foundations: the object is to build each up in suit and ascending
sequence to the Jack. Whenever, during the deal, you turn a card that fits a foundation, you may
(and are generally advised to) so play it. When all cards have been dealt, play consists in
transferring the exposed card of any column to a foundation pile that it fits. Cards are not built upon
each other in the tableau, but when a King becomes exposed it is permissible to transfer the endcard of a column to it as a temporary reserve. The game ends with a row of uncovered Kings,
surmounted by a row of Jacks, surmounted by a row of Queens.
SPIDER
2 packs (104)
Several different Patiences are called Spider. This one comes out quite often, and follows an
unusual procedure in that there are no foundation piles and all building is done within the tableau.
Deal ten cards face down and in a row, and repeat four times until you have ten piles of five cards
each. On each of the first four piles deal a sixth card face up, then turn up the top card of the other
six piles. This disposes of the first 54 cards and play now begins, the object of which is to build
eight complete suit-sequences of cards from Ace to King within the tableau and reject them from
play one at a time as and when they occur.
An exposed card in the tableau may be built upon another, forming an overlapping column in
descending sequence regardless of suit (e.g., any Six on any Seven, etc.). Whenever a face-down
card is exposed it is turned face up. A whole sequence of cards may be moved to another column if
the join follows the descending sequence rule. When a complete pile is emptied it may be restarted
with any available card. A King may not be played on an Ace but may only be used (together with
any descending sequence it heads) to fill a space. When no further play is possible, deal ten more
cards from the stock, one to the exposed end of each column, first filling up any spaces that may
have been made. Whenever a complete 13-card suit-sequence has been formed remove it from the
tableau. The game succeeds if eight such sequences are formed.
SULTAN
2 packs (104)
Sultan is an attractive favourite that comes out often. Remove the Ace of Hearts and all eight Kings
and range them in a 3x3 square with the Ace in the centre of the top row and the King of Hearts
beneath it in the middle of the square. Parallel to each side of the square deal a column of 4 cards
face up to form the tableau. None of these first 17 cards are overlapping. Leaving the King of
Hearts uncovered throughout play, the object is to build every other King up in suit and sequence to
the Queen (proceeding K-A-2-etc.), and the Ace also up in suit and sequence to the Queen. Thus
eight foundations are formed. The surrounding cards form the reserve.
Turn cards one at a time from the stock, playing each one to a foundation if possible or face up to a
single waste pile if not. A card may also be played to the foundation from the top of the waste pile
or from the reserve. A space in the reserve is immediately filled from the top of the stock or the
waste pile. When the stock is exhausted turn the waste pile down to start a new one. The game
succeeds if it comes out after turning the waste pile not more than twice. The end product depicts,
according to tradition, a sultan surrounded by his seraglio, and the reserve is usually referred to as
the divan.
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