Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 3   Cards 36   Type Plain tricks
In response to repeated requests (mostly from me), I devised this very silly game that I was thinking of calling Farrago, though I have now attached that name to the version for four or five players. It is in fact a variety of Ninety-Nine; but whereas Ninety-Nine is so called because that's the highest score you can make in one deal, Naughty Nun reflects the fact that nought is the lowest you can make in one deal. The following description assumes a knowledge of Ninety-Nine.
Play exactly like Ninety-Nine except that in each of the nine deals the trump suit, or its equivalent, is determined in its own unique way. You therefore need, in addition to the normal 36-card pack, a set of nine game-indicator cards numbered 1 to 9, or cards bearing those numbers taken from another pack. Shuffle the indicator pack and place it face up to one side. The number shown on the top card indicates which of nine methods of play is to be followed in the first deal. In each subsequent deal the next card is exposed, so that the nine variants are played in a random order.
Unless otherwise specified in the rule table below, the following rules of play always apply:
   game name how trumps are chosen or tricks otherwise won
1. Majority rule
Put out a card of a suit you propose as trump. When all are ready turn it face up. The trump is the suit of which most are shown, or (if equal) of the suit showing the highest card or cards. (If three play, and all show different suits, trump is the suit that nobody shows.)
2. As you were Trump suit is club if 3 succeeded in the previous deal, heart if 2, spade if 1, diamond if 0 (or if there was no previous deal).
3. Ring o'Roses Each suit trumps one other suit led to a trick thus: club trumps heart led, heart trumps spade, spade trumps diamond, diamond trumps club
4. Top down Suits outrank one another in order club heart spade diamond, so all 36 cards run from clubA (highest) down to diamond6 (lowest), and any higher card beats any lower.
5. All Trump The trick is taken by the highest card played, regardless of suit. Of equally high cards, the last played wins
6. Naughty Nun Play at no trump to normal rules. However, Nines may not be used as bid cards, and the first card led to the first trick must be a Nine. If the leader hasn't got one, the lead passes to the next player in rotation who has.
7. Snap! If you can't follow suit you may "trump" by playing a card of the same rank as the one led and calling "Snap!" If you don't call snap (whether by accident or design) it doesn't take effect. If two players snap (and say so) the second snap wins.
8. Seconds There is no trump but a trick is always taken by the second-highest card of the suit led. Or, if no one follows, by the second-highest regardless of suit, and, if tied, by the second-played of these.)
9. Ninepins The Nines do not belong to their normal suits but form a separate four-card trump suit of their own (like the Jacks at Skat) and may not be used as bid-cards. Highest is club9, followed by heart9 then spade9 then diamond9. If a Nine is led you must follow with a Nine if possible. (This was originally called Cloud Nine, but I've since used that title for a different game.)
Optional game type
In case you find Ninepins too complicated, or want to replace one of the other bids, an optional alternative game is "Surprise!". In this one, you play at no trump till somebody can't follow suit. The suit of whatever they discard becomes trump for the rest of the hand.