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Another Trick-Taking Card Game Modification

Updated on January 16, 2015

I had a thought the other day about trick-taking card games.

Current Trick-Taking

In most trick-taking games, a trick is won by the highest card of the trump suit if any were played. Otherwise, it is won by the highest card of the suit that was lead.

Taking tricks depends a lot on what cards you were dealt.

Modification

It would be interesting to change trick-taking so that tricks can be won by a card or by a pair of cards. A pair of cards is two cards of the same suit whose ranks add up to 14 or less. A pair of cards whose ranks add up to 14 would be equivalent to an Ace, to 13 a King, to 12 a Queen, to 11 a Jack, etc.

If Clubs was the trump suit, a Nine of Clubs was lead, and a Four and Six of Clubs were played, the Four/Nine pair (13) would win the trick. If a Five of Clubs was lead, and a Seven and King of Clubs were played, the King would win the trick.

Sometimes a card could be used in multiple pairs. If a Five, a Six, a Seven, and an Eight of one suit were played, you would have six pairs – Five/Six, Five/Seven, Five/Eight, Six/Seven, Six/Eight, and Seven/Eight. You would need to add up the ranks of each pair to figure out which card or pair of cards wins the trick.

Modified Trick-Taking

A trick is won by the highest card or pair of cards of the trump suit if any were played. Otherwise, it is won by the highest card or pair of cards of the suit that was lead.

If one or more pairs has the high rank-sum, the pair with the lowest-rank card wins, and the player who played that card wins the trick. Otherwise the single card wins the trick.

Changes To The Modification

You can change some of these rules you wish to. The above rules are not carved in stone. For example:

1. If one or more pairs has the high rank-sum, the pair with the highest-rank card wins, and the player who played that card wins the trick. Otherwise the single card wins the trick.

2. If a single card has the high rank, it wins the trick. Otherwise the pair with the lowest-rank card wins, and the player who played that card wins the trick.

3. If a single card has the high rank, it wins the trick. Otherwise the pair with the highest-rank card wins, and the player who played that card wins the trick.

Also

You could also combine two, three, or four cards instead of just a pair if they added up to 14 or less.

Conclusion

I could see this modification being used for playing Whist, Hearts, and other games. I have not tried it myself. If anyone gives it a try or has an opinion about it, please leave a comment. Thanks.

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