Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 4   Cards 52   Type Plain tricks
It took me a long time to work out a partnership version of one of my most popular card games, but I think I've cracked it at last... especially after this revision of September 2022.
Cards and deal
Four players sitting crosswise in partnerships are dealt 13 cards each, one at a time, from a 52-card pack ranking (A)KQJ1098765432(A) in each suit.
High and Low players
After examining their hands (without showing them), each pair of partners agree which of them shall be designated the High player for the ensuing deal and which the Low. The High partner will store all the high tricks won by their side and the Low partner all the low ones, as defined below. Furthermore, Aces are highest of their suit when played by the High partner and lowest - ranking below Two - when played by the Low partner.
Dealer's left-hand neighbour leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You may lead any card, regardless of whether you are the High or the Low member of your partnership. If you lead an Eight or higher the trick will be taken by the highest card of the suit led, if a Seven or lower by the lowest of the suit led. It follows that the High player will naturally prefer to lead high unless they want their Low partner to win the trick, as may be dictated by the scoring method.
You need not follow suit if you can play a card of the same rank as the one led, which then acts like a trump and (potentially) wins the trick. This is known as quacking: the card so played is a Quack, and you must say "Quack!" upon playing it (otherwise it loses trumping power). If one player quacks, a subsequent player to the same trick may play another Quack, announcing "Quack-quack", and this then ranks highest. The last player may also quack, announcing either "Quack-quack-quack" or "Duck Soup", as preferred. Thus a trick may contain up to three Quacks, and the last played of them wins.

Each High partner stores all the high tricks taken by their side and each Low partner all the low ones. Tricks are stored face down, except for any Quacks they may contain and any cards of a suit other than the one led, which are stored face up. A trick cannot contain more than three Quacks, as the card led doesn't count as one.
At end of play, each partner counts 2 points for every face-up card in their stored tricks and 1 point for each of those face down. Their partnership's score for the deal is these two totals multiplied together.
A game is four deals, with the turn to deal passing to the left. Scores are kept cumulatively, and the side with the highest total score at the end of four deals wins the game. Alternatively, play up to a previously agreed target score.
A note on strategy
The scoring system makes it desirable for partners to take as near as possible the same number of tricks. For instance, if you win seven between you and they are split 3-4 you will score 12, but if 6-1 you will score only 6. As the High player you will therefore prefer to lead high and store the trick yourself if you win it, unless you need to increase your partner's number of tricks, in which case you'll prefer to lead low. The converse applies to the Low player.