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A Trick-Taking Card Game Modification

Updated on November 12, 2014

I was thinking about trick-taking card games the other day, especially games without a trump card like Hearts. I was thinking specifically about the rules explaining how cards are played to a trick, and who wins the trick.

The Trick-Taking Rule

The basic rules state, “For each trick, one player leads a card, and each of the other players in turn moving clockwise around the table plays a card. If you are one of the other players, you must play a card with the same suit as the card that was lead if you have one. Otherwise, you can play any card. The trick is won by the player who played the highest card of the suit that was lead. That player leads to the next trick.”

The Variation

I wondered if a variation could be used that says, “The basic rules state, “For each trick, one player leads a card, and each of the other players in turn moving clockwise around the table plays a card. If you are one of the other players, you must play a card with the same suit as the card that was lead if you have one. Otherwise, you can play any card. THE TRICK IS WON BY THE PLAYER WHO PLAYED THE HIGHEST CARD OF THE SUIT WITH THE MOST CARDS. IF THERE IS MORE THAN ONE SUCH SUIT, THE TRICK IS WON BY THE PLAYER WHO PLAYED THE HIGHEST CARD OF THE SECOND SUIT WITH THE MOST CARDS. That player leads to the next trick.”

Examples

Anne leads with a Seven of Clubs.
Bill, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Jack of Diamonds.
Cora plays a Jack of Clubs(*) .
Dave plays a Four of Clubs.
Cora wins the trick.

Anne leads with a Seven of Clubs.
Bill plays a Nine of Clubs(*) .
Cora, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Two of Diamonds.
Dave, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Five of Diamonds(**).
Dave wins the trick.

Anne leads with a Seven of Clubs(* ).
Bill, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Seven of Spades(**).
Cora, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Seven of Diamonds(*).
Dave, who doesn't have any Clubs, plays a Seven of Hearts(*).
Bill wins the trick.

(*) = Highest card of a suit with the most cards.
(**) = Highest card of the second suit with the most cards.

Conclusion

I think this would be an interesting modification. If you play Hearts, especially ‘Black Maria’, this modification would add an interesting twist to an already interesting game. It would add an interesting twist to the game, especially late in a hand.

What do you think?

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