Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 4   Cards 54   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...
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.
In the first deal, the dealer's left-hand neighbour and dealer's partner are appointed the "High" members of their respective partnerships, while the dealer and his or her right-hand neighbour are the "Low" members. These appointments remain fixed for the rest of the game - they do not rotate from deal to deal (unless you want to make life really complicated). The High partner stores 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 must follow suit if you can, otherwise may play any card. However, you needn't follow suit if instead you can (and wish to) 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. If one player quacks, a later player to the same trick may play another Quack, announcing "Quack-quack", and this then ranks highest. A third 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 it.
If the card led is high (KQJ1098 or an Ace by a High partner), the trick is taken by the highest card of the suit led unless quacked. If the card led is low (765432 or an Ace by a Low partner), it is taken by the lowest card of the suit led, unless quacked.
Each High partner looks after 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, which are stored face up. A trick cannot contain more than three Quacks, as the card led does not count as such.
At end of play, each partner counts 2 points for each Quack contained in the tricks they have stored (face-up cards) and 1 point for each of the others (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 target score of 1000 points.