official rules - straight whist
Learn how to play straight whist.
There are four players in two fixed partnerships. Partners sit facing each other. The game is played clockwise.
A standard 52 card pack is used. The jokers are not used and there is no kitty.
The computer deals out all the cards one at a time so that each player has 13.
The turn to bid goes around the table only once starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player may pass or make a bid. The bid consists of a number from 1 to 7, and a suffix "uptown", "downtown", or "no trump".
* The number indicates the number of books above 6 that the bidder's team will contract to win - for example a bid of 5 is a promise to win at least 11 books (6 + 5). As there are 13 books in all, 7 is the highest possible bid.
* Uptown means you intend to name a trump suit, and that high cards will win.
* Downtown means that you intend to name a trump suit, and that low cards will win.
* No Trump means that there will be no trump, and that if you win the bidding you will then determine whether high or low cards will have preference.
Each player bids turn must either pass or name a bid which is higher than the previous bid. A bid of a higher number outranks a bid of a lower number, and a bid in no trumps outranks a bid of the same number uptown or downtown. Bids of the same number uptown and downtown are equal to each other - neither can be bid over the other. Therefore, the possible bids, from lowest to highest, are as follows:
* 1 Uptown or 1 Downtown
* 1 No Trump
* 2 Uptown or 2 Downtown
* 2 No Trump
* 3 Uptown or 3 Downtown
* 3 No Trump
* 4 Uptown or 4 Downtown
* 4 No Trump
* 5 Uptown 5 Downtown
* 5 No Trump
* 6 Uptown or 6 Downtown
* 6 No Trump
* 7 Uptown or 7 Downtown
* 7 No Trump
Note that when you bid intending to name a trump suit, you indicate the direction you are bidding (uptown or downtown), but you do not name which suit you intend to name as trumps until you win the bidding. On the other hand when bidding a no trump, you do not indicate which direction (uptown or downtown), until you win the bid.
If the first three players pass, the dealer is forced to bid. Since there is no advantage in bidding more than the minimum 3, the dealer in this case will normally bid 3 uptown, 3 downtown or 3 no trump.
The highest bidder names the trump suit, or in the case of a no trump bid specifies whether it will be played uptown or downtown.
The bidder then leads the first card. Any card may be led, and the other players must follow the suit led, if they have it in their hand. A player who does not have the led suit in their hand has the option to play a trump or play a different suit. A trump always beats any non-trump cards played in the book. If there is more than one trump played, then the highest ranking trump based on the type of bid taken will win the book. If no one plays a trump, then the highest ranking card to the suit led wins the book. The winner of each book leads to the next.
The ranking of the cards within the suits depends on the bid. The rankings from high to low are as follows:
* Uptown:, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
* Downtown: A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K.
There are no negative scores:
If the bidding team makes their bid, they score the number of tricks actually taken less six. Taking 11 tricks on a bid of four would score 5 points (11-6).
If the bidding team is stopped, the opposing team scores the amount bid. With a bid of 4, the opposing team only needs to take 4 tricks to stop the bidding team.
If the winning bid was a no trump bid, the score for the hand is doubled.
End of the Game
The partnership which first reaches 21 points wins the game. This takes several deals.
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