Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 2-5 (3-4 best)   Cards 52 (36, 24)   Type Plain tricks
Cards and deal
52 (or 36 if three play. For 2 players, see below) ranking AKQJT9876(5432). Deal them all out in ones. If five play, discard the odd two.
To win tricks of higher rather than lower value. The first trick scores 1 point, the second 2, and so on, so the highest-scoring tricks come last. But there's a catch, as will be seen from the following table. This shows the actual trick value for each successive trick according to the number of players (p):
trick12345678910 111213
3p12345012 3456-
4p12345612 34567
5p12345678 97---
The reason for this schedule is that the cards won in tricks are used to keep score. The winner of the first trick takes any card from the trick played and places it face down before them as a scorecard, leaving the others to one side on a discard pile. The winner of the second keeps two cards from the trick as scorecards, the winner of the third three, and so on. It will eventually become necessary to draw from the discard pile in order to supply further scorecards. Later still, no more spare cards will be left in the discard pile, so counting starts again from the 7th trick onwards. (Except when five play. In this case whoever wins the ninth trick will take nine cards and only seven will remain for the winner of the 10th, unless you add three jokers to make up the full entitlement).
Dealer's left-hand neighbour leads to the first trick. You must follow suit if you can, but may otherwise play any card. The trick is taken by the highest card of the suit led and the winner of each trick leads to the next.
Snap trumps
There is no trump suit as such, but if you can't follow suit you may seek to win the trick by playing a card of the same rank as the one led. This is known as 'snapping' (after the card game Snap). If more than one player snaps, the last snap wins the trick.
At the end of a deal you each score as many points as have scorecards. A game consists of as many deals as there are players, with the turn to deal rotating to the left, and the overall winner is the player with the highest cumulative score..
Two players
Play 12 tricks with cards ranking AKQJT9 in each suit, and use two sets of numeral cards 2 to 6 as counters. Tricks 1-6 count respectively 0,2,3,4,5,6 points, as do tricks 7-12. Use the low numeral cards as scorecards - for example, take a Two as a scorecard when you win the second and 8th trick.