Original Card Games by David Parlett

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WHO'S WHO


Be the first to find out who your partner is

Players 3   Cards 42 (or 54)   Type Tricks
The title and strapline have already given the game away, so it only remains to say that this is one of several three-player games where the object is to win the middling number of tricks.
Cards
Three players receive 14 cards each from a 42-card pack including two Jokers but lacking Twos, Threes and Fours. Cards rank from high to low AKQJ1098765.
Who's who
If two players each get one Joker, they are partners and the third player is the soloist. If one player gets both Jokers, that player is the soloist and the other two are partners. Nobody may indicate whether or not they have been dealt a Joker except by their subsequent play.
Object
First, to find out which player is the soloist. This will only become certain to everyone when both Jokers have been played to tricks.
  • If dealt both Jokers you are certainly the soloist.
  • If dealt one or none you are not the soloist, but you won't know who your partner is till the other is played.
Second, the soloist's object is either
  • to win the middling number of tricks (for example, four if one partner wins five or more and the other three or fewer), or
  • to force the partners to win the same number of tricks each. This means you can win with 14 tricks if they both win none, or with none if they both win seven.
The partners' object is to thwart the soloist's aim by both winning either more or fewer tricks than the soloist, provided they do not win exactly the same number each.
Play
Dealer's left-hand neighbour leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow suit if you can, but may otherwise play any card. There are no trumps. The trick is taken by the second-highest card of the suit led, or by the leader if nobody follows suit.
Jokers
You may never lead a Joker unless you have no alternative, in which case the other two may play any card.
  • If exactly one Joker is played to a trick, its player may either keep the trick or allocate it to one of the other two players, who then leads to the next.
  • If both Jokers are played to the same trick, the soloist may either keep the trick or allocate it to one of the partners, who then leads to the next.
Score
The score is always 10 points plus the number of tricks won by the soloist (making anything from 10 to 24 points). This amount is credited to the soloist if successful, otherwise to each partner.
Game
Play up to 100 points, or any other agreed total.
54-card variant
Players with large hands may prefer to deal 18 cards each from a full pack including two Jokers. If all three players win six tricks each the soloist loses.
Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett