Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 6 (or 4, 5, 7)   Cards 54   Type Plain tricks
"Chwech" may look - and indeed sound - like someone clearing their throat, but it is in fact the Welsh for "six". Here's the story. I was once asked to devise a card game specifically for six players. It first appeared in my book Original Card Games under a title which is the Latin word for "six". Not wishing to fall foul of censoring software I have since translated its title into Welsh. (The "ch" is pronounced as in "loch"). To my surprise, several unrelated groups of card-players still enthuse over it, so it must be worth perpetuating. It is easily adaptable for other numbers of players.
A game is six deals, with each person dealing in turn. Deal nine cards each from a 54-card pack including two Jokers.
Rank of cards
Cards rank (A)KQJ1098765432(A) in each suit.
  • Ace counts high or low as stated by the person playing it.
  • A Joker belongs to whichever suit is led and ranks between Seven and Eight.
To win an exact multiple of nine cards (0, 9, 18, 27, 36, 45 or 54), or as near as possible below such a multiple, and to get rid of your cards sooner rather than later.
Dealer's left-hand neighbour leads to the first trick and may not pass the lead (unlike in later tricks). Everybody else in turn may either pass or play, but may only play a card of the suit led or a Joker. You may never play a different suit from the one led. The trick ends when everyone has had one turn to pass or play. It therefore may contain any number of cards from one to six. No one gets a second chance to pass or play to the same trick. A Joker may not be led to a trick, nor may two Jokers be played to the same trick.
The trick is taken by the highest card played. When you win a trick you must add its cards to your pile of won cards and always keep them displayed in such a way as to show clearly how many you have taken so far. You then have the choice of either leading to the next trick or passing. If you pass, each in turn thereafter has the same opportunity to lead or pass, until either somebody leads or everybody passes.
  • If somebody leads, those next in succession who have not already passed may either pass or play, as before.
  • If everyone passes, the game ends by deadlock, as no one gets a second chance.
Play continues until somebody plays their last card and the trick they played it to is taken, or until play ends by deadlock because no one will lead. Your score for the round is -
  • the number of cards you have played out (that is, nine less the number you have left),
    multiplied by
  • nine if you won an exact multiple of nine cards (0, 9, 18, etc), otherwise the number you won in excess of such a multiple.
The following table should clarify this. The top row shows how many cards you have left. Deduct this from 9 to show how many you played out, and this gives your first multiplier. The leftmost column shows how many cards you won, and you can then read off your score.
Cards left in hand at end of play...
  0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
    1, 10, 19...   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1   0
    2, 11, 20... 18 16 14 12 10   8   6   4   2   0
    3, 12, 21... 27 24 21 18 15 12   9   6   3   0
    4, 13, 22... 36 32 28 24 20 16 12   8   4   0
    5, 14, 23... 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10   5   0
    6, 15, 24... 54 48 42 36 30 24 18 12   6   0
    7, 16, 25... 63 56 49 42 35 28 21 14   7   0
    8, 17, 26... 72 64 56 48 40 32 24 16   8   0
0, 9, 18, 27... 81 72 63 54 45 36 27 18   9   0
A game is six deals, with the turn to deal rotating to the left.
uplink downlink VARIATIONS
And other numbers of players
Aces and Jokers
The rules above are as originally published, but I have since changed the way Aces and Jokers are used as follows:
  1. An Ace normally wins any trick it is played to, but it loses the trick if and only if it is the last card played to the trick.
  2. A Joker normally loses any trick it is played to, but it wins the trick if and only if it is the last card played to the trick.
  3. You can lead a Joker to a trick, and must then state which suit it represents.
Chwech for four players
Deal nine cards each from a 36-card pack ranking AKQJ109876 in each suit. A game is eight deals, but I doubt it works well with so few players.
Chwech for five players
Deal nine cards each from a 45-card pack containing one Joker and lacking two ranks, such as Deuces and Treys, or Sevens and Eights. A game is five deals.
Chwech for seven players
Deal nine cards each from the 63-card pack used for the Australian game of Five Hundred, including a Joker, Elevens and Twelves in each suit, and two red Thirteens. (Thirteens may, if agreed, be appointed Jokers, with all powers, rights and privileges appertaining thereto.) Alternatively, make up a 63-card pack by starting with 52 and adding three Jokers and extra Deuces and Treys from another pack. A game is seven deals, of course.