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While Away a Wonderful Weekend With Whist part 2

Learn to Play Whist 2

So, from my previous post you know how to play a very simple round of the card game Whist. Now we’re going to spice up the game a notch by introducing TRUMPS. In a nutshell, if a suit is made into a trump suit, all the cards in that suit rank more highly than any other card in the other three suits. In the trump suit, the Ace is the highest ranking card, and 2 is the lowest. Here’s how it works in play:

Playing Whist with a Trump Suit

  1. Shuffle a pack of cards. Ask another player to pick a card, and that suit will be trumps in this game. Pop it back into the pack and shuffle it a couple more times before dealing the cards. All the players need the same number of cards, so if you have a couple of cards left spare, put them to one side – they won’t be needed.
  2. Players pick up their cards and sort them into suits and into value within the suits. Aces are high.
  3. The player to the left of the dealer goes first and plays one card. Play proceeds clockwise and all the other players also play one card each. They must follow suit. If one player can’t follow suit, they can either discard a low value card from another suit or they can try and win the trick by playing any card from the trump suit. If they play a trump card, no matter how low in value, they will win the trick.
  4. Whoever wins the trick plays the first card in the next round. They can play any card they choose. All the other players must play a card of the same suit. If two or more players can’t follow suit, they can each play a card from the trump suit and the winner will be the one who plays the highest value trump.
  5. Play proceeds as above until all the cards have been played. The winner is the player who won the most tricks.
  6. In the next round, you can either choose trumps by picking a card from the pack again, or the winner of the last round can choose trumps before the cards are dealt.

Winning Tips

When I used to play Whist as a child, we kept trumps in hand as a secret weapon to win a trick here and there, and it was always very satisfying to win a trick that way. Wind the clock forward a few years and I found myself playing Whist with my in-laws who are accomplished Bridge players. I was seriously wrong-footed when my father-in-law started the round by playing the trump suit. I felt most indignant having to play my precious trump card. To my dismay, he then continued to play the trump suit until he’d flushed them all out! Needless to say, after all the trumps had been played he won all the rest of the tricks in the other suits. So I have two tips for winning:

  1. If you have some high cards in the other suits and you’re the first to play, you might like to consider playing the trump suit to flush out the trump cards so no-one can trump your high cards when you play them.
  2. Don’t play whist with experienced bridge players!!

If you’ve got any tips of your own, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!

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