Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 3 or 2   Cards 52   Type Plain tricks
Given three players and 52 cards, it seems like a good idea to deal 13 cards each and make something useful of the extra 13-card hand. (Something less complicated, that is, than the Swedish game of Vira.) I've been thinking about this one for some time, but have only just got it to work properly. The point of the game is to plan ahead which tricks your propose to win and which to lose, and how to do it. Sometimes it's worth winning a low negative trick for the sake of securing a high positive one, or losing a low positive trick for the sake of avoiding a high negative one. The basic game is for three; a two-player version is appended.
Deal four hands of 13 cards, one hand to each of three players and one face down to the table. Turn the extra hand face up and spread it out in a row, overlapping the cards slightly so that all are identifiable.
Count how many row cards are red and how many black. Whichever colour there are more cards of is the 'good' colour, the other 'bad'. The aim is to capture cards of the good colour and avoid those of the bad.
The player at dealer's left leads to the first of 13 tricks. You must follow suit if you can, but may otherwise play any card. The trick is taken by the highest card played, regardless of suit. For this purpose cards rank from high to low AKQJ1098765432. Of equally high cards, the last played wins. Upon winning a trick, you take the current top card of the row (the one at the uncovered end), lay it face up before you, discard the trick face down to a wastepile, and lead to the next.
When all tricks have been played and row cards taken, you total the face value of all cards you have taken of the good colour and subtract the total face value of those of the bad colour. For this purpose Aces count 1 each, numerals 2 to 10 count at face value, Jack counts 11, Queen 12, and King 13. If your count is positive, you record it as your score; if negative, you score zero for that round. (Thus you never actually score a minus number.) Play up to any previously agreed target.
Colour-blind for two
Strip the pack to 40 cards by removing all the sevens, eights and nines. (Or, to simplify the arithmetic, the kings, queens and jacks.) Deal two hands of 13 cards and a row of 14. Turn the top 13 cards of the row face up and play as described above. The last card of the row remains face down and will not be taken. (Or, if so agreed, goes to the winner of the last trick.)