- Four players sitting crosswise in partnerships receive eight cards each in two batches of four from a 32-card pack ranking AKQJ10987.
- To win tricks containing card combinations and avoid tricks containing none. You also score bonuses for holding certain card combinations called "flashes", but these are noted separately and don't count towards winning a game. (They only affect the amount by which a game is won.)
- A flash is a scoring combination. If your hand as dealt contains any of the
following flashes you may, upon playing to the first trick, score for each flash you hold by showing
to your left-hand opponent as much of your hand as necessary to prove your entitlement to it.
(This is called giving your neighbour a quick flash.)
- Void flash (a hand containing no cards of a particular suit) scores 10.
- Twin flash (holding exactly two cards of each suit) scores 20.
- Long flash (holding one each of A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7 regardless of suit) scores 30
- Four-flash (holding four cards of the same rank) scores 40.
- The player at dealer's left leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next.
If the player on lead has run out of cards, the lead passes to that player's partner, and if that player
also has none it passes to the would-be leader's left-hand opponent.
When about to lead, you may (but need not) invite your partner to command you to lead, or to avoid leading, a given rank or suit, by saying (for example) "Lead a diamond", or "Don't lead a Queen". Failure to obey an invited command when able to do so incurs a penalty of 15 points to be added immediately to your opponents' score.
A trick consists of one card from each suit. Each in turn must therefore either play a card of a different suit or else pass. If anyone passes, the turn passes to the left until someone can play without matching suits.
A trick is normally taken by the highest card played, but if it contains two or more cards of the same rank it is taken by the last duplicate played. For example, J-J-Q-J is taken by the third Jack, 7-7-7-A by the third Seven, 9-K-K-9 by the second Nine, and so on.
- Square flash
- When four of the eight tricks have been played and you are about to play to the fifth, you may, if holding exactly one card of each suit, show them to your left-hand opponent and score a bonus of 10 for a "square flash".
- After play, each won trick scores for any of the following combinations that it may contain:
combination example score One pair K-K 1 Run of three 10-J-Q 3 Triplet 8-8-8 6 Pair-run 10-J-Q-Q 8 Two pairs A-A-9-9 10 Run of four 8-9-10-J 12 Quartet 7-7-7-7 16
A trick containing no combination (known as a "Damp Squib") counts minus 10. In other words, it scores 10 to the opponents.
Any score made in the last trick is doubled, including that for damp squib.
- Play ceases when either side has reached 100 at the end of a hand. A side that reaches 100 adds in its recorded bonuses, but if the losing side fails to reach 100 then its bonuses are annulled. The margin of victory is the difference between the two scores.