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Oh Hell Card Game

Updated on January 26, 2010

Oh Hell, also known as Up The River or Estimates, is a card game which first became popular during the Second World War. Played by any number from two to seven (although a minimum of four makes it more exciting), it consists of seven separate rounds. Having cut for dealer (the deal passing to the left after each round), seven cards are dealt to each player for the first round; for the second round, six cards, and so on until in the seventh round only one card is dealt to each player. The top card of the pack remainder is always turned up as a trump indicator. Cards are played out in tricks, starting with a lead from dealer's left, under normal whist rules; if unable to follow, a player may but need not trump. But before the play starts in every round, after seeing their hands and the trump indicator, all players, starting with dealer's left, make an estimate of the number of tricks which they think they will win in that round. Players' scores for the round will be the number of tricks actually taken plus an additional ten points if the total in fact agrees with the estimate. At the end of the game, winner will be highest total scorer and he will receive stakes from all others at score differentials. It is important to have a 'clerk of the course' during the game to record all the estimates, award the scores in each round, and keep running totals.


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