The scoring system makes it desirable to divide tricks as evenly as possible between yourself and your (temporary) partner, while trying to force all the opposing partnership's tricks on to one of its members rather than the other. The fact that partners change at each deal, putting them in different relative positions to each other, adds to the variety of tactics needed to place each trick as profitably as possible, having also regard to who will be leading to the next.
- Four players receive 13 cards each from a 52-card pack ranking AKQJ1098765432 in each suit.
- Partnering arrangements
The players are designated North, East, South, West. Whoever deals
first is North. A game is seven deals and the turn to deal and
play passes always to the left. Although everyone plays for
themselves in the long run, there are different partnering arrangements
in each deal, as follows:
- North and South are partners against East and West.
- North and East are partners against South and West.
- North and West are partners against South and East.
- Your left-hand neighbour is your half-partner.
- Your right-hand neighbour is your half-partner.
- There are no partners, and the aim is to win tricks.
- There are no partners, and the aim is to lose tricks.
- There are no partners, and the aim is to win exactly 3 tricks.
The player at dealer's left leads to the first trick and the
winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow suit if you can
but may play any card if you can't. There are no trumps. The trick
is taken by -
- the second highest card of the suit led; or, if nobody follows suit:
- the second highest card played regardless of suit. And, if this is tied, then:
- the second-played of the tied cards.
In deals 1 to 5, your personal score is the number of tricks you won multiplied
by the number won by your partner or half-partner. (So if either of you wins none,
both of you score zero.)
In deal 6 (win tricks), you score 3 points for each trick you win.
In deal 7 (lose tricks), you score the number of tricks taken by the other three players. (Or, what comes to the same thing, 13 minus the number you took yourself.)
In deal 8 (win three tricks) those who win exactly three tricks share 12 points equally amongst them - three such players score 4 each, two score 6 each, one scores 12. (Thus it is, of course, possible for everyone to score zero in the last round!)
- The winner is the player with the second-highest final score. The player with the highest score is ranked second.