These rules are an evolution of my game Queen Bees. In that game, I wanted to use rank cards as trumps, and this game expands on that idea. The original I developed with my wife Jessica and this game, was further refined with contributions from my parents.
Three or four, each playing for himself.
Use the entire deck of 52 cards for a four player game. For three players, remove the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s. This leaves a deck of 36 that runs from 6s to Aces with Aces high.
Deal the entire deck. With four players, each player receives thirteen cards. With three players, each player receives twelve cards.
The first player to the left of the dealer starts the round by leading any card. All other players must play a card, following suit if possible. A player who can not follow suit may throw off any card.
The player with the highest card or trump card (to be explained below) wins the trick and leads the next card. Play continues until all cards are played (in thirteen rounds/tricks).
The deal then passes to the left. Rinse and repeat.
Trumps are determined on the first trick where all players throw a card of the same suit. Until that time, there is no trump.
Trump consist of the ranks played in that trick. For example:
Alex plays a King, Brad plays a Jack, Chris plays a 10, and Dave plays a 4. All cards are clubs. Alex wins the trick with the Ace. Now, the trump ranks are: King, Jack, 10, and 4.
The rules of trump
- A player can throw a trump when they do not have the suit led
- Trumps beat non-trumps
- When trumps are led, a player must play a trump card if she has one
- A higher trump will beat a lower trump
- If two trumps of the same rank are played, the winner is decided based on suit. The suits are ordered as in Bridge: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, then Clubs. For example:
If Chris plays the 10 of Diamonds and Dave plays the 10 of Spades, Dave will win the trick because Spades beats Diamonds.
There’s one very important additional rule regarding trumps: You may play a trump card if it belongs to the suit led. For example: King, Jack, 10, and 4 are trumps. Alex leads the Ace of Hearts. Brad has the Queen and Jack of Hearts. He is allowed to play the Jack of Hearts (as a trump) and take the trick. On the very next round, he can lead the Queen of Hearts if he chooses.
Each trick counts for one point. Score at the end of each round of play. The game continues until one player reaches 21 points. If two players are tied at 21 or more points, then continue playing until the tie is broken.