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How To Play A New Card Game Separate Suits

Updated on August 27, 2015

In most trick-taking card games, you are dealt a hand containing a random collection of suits and ranks. Some hands are much better than others.

New Trick-Taking Card Game

How about a trick-taking card game where all of the hands have the same set of ranks? Separate Suits is a game for two to eight players where each player starts each hand with the 13 cards in a suit. Two to four players use one deck of cards, while five to eight players use two decks of cards.

Rules for Separate Suits

To play Separate Suits, seat the players around the table, and place one or two decks of cards and a pad of paper and pencil on the table. Write the players' names across the top of a sheet of paper to record the scores. Give each player a suit of cards, 13 cards (Two is low, Ace is high). Each player can look over and rearrange her or his cards. Then the players start playing the first hand.

Playing a Hand

For each trick in a hand, each player selects a card from his or her hand and lays it face-down on the table. When all of the players have laid down a card, each player turns her or his card face-up.

For the first trick, turn all cards that have the same rank as another card face-down -- these cards cancel each other. Then find the high-value card from the remaining face-up cards. The player who played that card wins the trick.

If all cards are turned face-down, each player takes back his or her card, and plays a different card to the trick.

For subsequent tricks, The first high-value card beginning with the card played by the player who won the last trick and moving clockwise around the table wins the trick.

The winner of the trick places the winning card face-up on her or his trick pile. The other players place the card played to the trick face-down on his or her discard pile.

The hand continues until all 13 tricks have been played and won. Then each player counts the cards in her or his trick pile. Each player adds this count to any previous score.

If none of the players has scored 20 points, the game continues. Each player takes up his or her cards, and the next hand begins.


If one or more players has scored 20 points or more, the player with the highest score wins the game.


Here are three variations:

1. Play a set number of hands. For instance play 6 hands, and at the end of the 6th hand, the player with the highest score wins.

2. Play each trick the way the first trick in a hand is played. Turn all cards that have the same rank face-down, and the high-value card from the remaining face-up cards wins the trick.

3. At the beginning of each hand, each player selects six cards from her or his hand, and plays with those cards to the first six tricks. Then each player plays the last seven tricks with the remaining cards.


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