Whist is the direct forerunner of Bridge and is of English origin. Before the days of auction bridge and contract bridge it was a very popular game indeed, but today Whist has been superseded by Bridge.

How to play: Whist

Number of Players

Four people can play in partnerships of two against two.

The Pack

The standard 52-card pack is used. As in many bridge games, two packs of cards of contrasting back design are recommended. While one pack is being dealt, the other can be shuffled for the next deal.

Rank of Cards

A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. (In drawing for partners and deal, however, ace is low.)

The Deal

The dealer gives each player one card at a time, face down, beginning with the player on his left, until he comes to the last card. The last card is the trump card.

The Trump Card

The dealer places the last card of the pack face up on the table before him, and every card of its suit becomes a trump. When it is the dealer's turn to play to the first trick, he picks up the trump card and it becomes part of the dealer's hand.

Object of the Game

Each of the partnerships tries to score points by taking any trick in excess of six. The partnership with the most points at the end of play wins the game.

The Play

The turn to play is in clockwise rotation. The player on the dealer's left leads first and may play any card. Each player in turn plays a card, following suit if possible. If he cannot follow suit, a player may play any card. Four cards played (including the card led) constitute a trick.

A trick is won by the person who played the highest trump. Any trick not containing a trump is won by the person who played the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads next.

How to Keep Score

Each odd trick (a trick in excess of six) counts one point for the side winning it.

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