Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 4   Cards 52   Type Tricks
At first sight Dividend looks and plays like an ordinary four-player trick-taking game. The difference is that when you win a trick you don’t necessarily win all four of its constituent cards – you may, instead, win three, two or only one of them, depending on your position at the beginning of the trick. Thus at the end of a round of 13 tricks you score not for how many tricks but for how many cards you won, which could be anything from under 7 to over 20.
Four can play either solo or, if preferred, in two partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other and playing alternately to each trick.
Cards and deal
Deal 13 cards each, one at a time, from 52-card pack.
To win cards in tricks. What counts is the number of cards you win, not the number of tricks.
There is no single trump suit. Instead, each suit trumps one other suit in the following cyclic sequence: spades beats hearts beats clubs beats diamonds beats spades. Note that the trump suit for any individual trick depends entirely on the suit led and does not change. So, for example, if a diamond is led, the trump suit for that trick is clubs only. A club played to a diamond trick cannot then in the same trick be 'trumped' by a heart.
Dealer’s left-hand neighbour 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 of the suit led. Upon winning a trick you distribute its cards as follows:
  1. If you led to the trick, you keep one card and give one card to every other player.
  2. If you played second to the trick, you keep two of its cards and give one each to your right- and left-hand neighbours.
  3. If you played third to the trick, you keep three of its cards and give the other one to the player sitting opposite you.
  4. If you played fourth to the trick, you keep all four cards.
It doesn’t matter which card or cards you give to whom, as all are equal in value.
The winner of each trick leads to the next.
When 13 tricks have been played each player counts 1 point for each card they have won. In a partnership game each member scores the higher of the two partners' counts. For example, if one wins 17 cards and the other 11, the partnership scores 17 (not 28).
A game is four deals, or, if preferred, 52 points. In case of a tie, play as many more deals as necessary to break it.