The remaining 48 cards are dealt face down in four piles. These are the trinket cards. At any time only one of these piles are in play.
Each player starts with 50 units of currency.
The rounds are summarised below:
|Pile chosen by:||Auction Type||Values when sold to market|
|1st Round||Non dealer||Open - non dealer opens bidding||20, 4, 2|
|2nd Round||Dealer||Hidden - dealer breaks tie||40, 8, 4|
|3rd Round||Non dealer||One bid - non dealer opens bidding||80, 16, 8|
|4th Round||Open - dealer opens bidding||160, 32, 16|
- Open auction - players bid in units of currency for title to the trinket card. Bids may be passed, offered and raised for as many rounds as necessary. Once the auction is decided, the highest bid is paid to the bank/market, and the successful bidder adds the trinket to his hand.
- Hidden auction - players bid in secret (usually by writing the bid on paper) in units of currency. The higher bid is paid to the bank/market, and the successful bidder adds the trinket to his hand. In a tie the auction reverts to an open auction.
- One bid (or once round) - the non dealer offers a bid. The dealer may either outbid or pass. The higher bid is paid to the bank/market, and the successful bidder adds the trinket to his hand.
- Values when sold to market - explained below.
- If both players decline to bid - the card is added to the hand of the player who opened the bidding for no cost.
Ties are resolved in suit order: , , , .
For example in the first round two hearts, three spades and clubs and four diamonds are upturned.
These cards are melded face down with the aces of the respective suits (the base) so that the number of each is identifiable. The players are paid according to the trinkets they possess: in the above example round one pays twenty per heart, four per spade and two for each of the three clubs. Diamonds in this round were worthless.
If a suit does not come up at all in a round, that absent suit counts as the rarest for scoring purposes. The most abundant suit is always worthless.
If one player has three or more of a suit, as a result of auction purchases and/or trading, then she has cornered the market. For this the bank/market pays triple the value. So in the above example, if a player held the three spades, she is paid 36 (3 * 4 * 3). However if she had three or four diamonds they would still be worthless. It is in principle possible for both players to "corner" the market in the same suit, though such a suit would usually be worthless.
After the first round, the dealer chooses the pile for the second round. The process is repeated, and at selling to market stage the cards for the second round are combined in the base with those from the first.
By the fourth round the players will know the composition of the pile: thereby which suit is the rarest and most valuable, and which suit is worthless. The key at this stage is to maximise her return by diligent bidding and trading.
A match is played to two rubbers: the deal alternates for the second rubber, and the players start over with 50 units of currency. The higher cummulative total wins the match.
© Matthew Shields 2006