Whist

2-4 players

One deck of cards excluding the Jokers

Pen and paper to keep score

Set up

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For the first round deal every player seven cards then place the rest of the deck to the side as it is not needed to play. Give players some time to look at their cards then go round starting with the player left of the dealer and ask them how many trick they think they can win. A trick is the cards people play into the centre and can be won with the highest card or a trump card. These get written down in the first column for each player on the score sheet. The total number of tricks called cannot add up to the number of cards you are playing with so when every player has seven cards the total number of tricks must be above or bellow seven this might mean that the last player to call has to call something different to what they originally wanted to. Also you can call zero however, this can only be done three rounds in a row.

The player who calls the highest number of tricks gets to choose trumps. This means they can either pick one of the four suits or decide to have no trumps which means the highest card wins the trick.

How to play

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The aim of the game is to win the number of tricks you said you were going to win that round. The player left of the dealer starts by placing a card face up in the centre, then in turn going clockwise the rest of the players place a card down. Players must follow suit so if the first card was a diamond and you have a diamond in your hand you must lay it down. If you do not have the same suit you can lay any  card you want . You will win a trick if you lay the highest card which follows suit or if you lay the highest trump card. When a trick is won the player who won it just places it in front of them to be counted up at the end of the round and they then lay the first card for the next trick. This then continues until you get through all seven cards in your hand. 

Player 1

Player 2

3

Player 3

2

13

14

2

1

1

2

12

Trumps

2

14

15

Hearts

No trumps

People then count how many tricks they have won if they have won the amount the said they would they get ten points plus the number of tricks. So, if they said they would get two and they did they would get twelve points. If you did not get the number you called you just get a point for every trick you did get. When keeping score add the points up as you go so its a running total.

 

For the next round the number of cards dealt out decreases by one so every player has six cards to start. Once again everyone calls the number of trick they think they can win. Trumps are then chosen and they can be the same suit as the round before. For each round after the number of cards you start with decreases until you start with just one card. For this round no one gets to choose trumps instead a random card is flipped over from the deck and whatever suit it is, is trumps for that round. Once you have played a round starting with one card you begin to increase the number of start cards until you get all the way back up to seven, so there are thirteen rounds in total. The winner is the person with the most points at the end of all the rounds. If you want to make the game slightly shorter you could just play half the rounds from starting with seven cards down to starting with one card.