Clubs

Contributed by Drew Brokke (DrewDaMan8@aol.com)

This game has nothing to do with the suit, clubs, but more with forming "clubs of cards". To play Clubs, you need 3-5 players, a full deck of cards (jokers included), and a pencil and paper for scoring.

The Object

To be the first person or partnership to score 500, 1000, 1500, or 2000 points (your pick, depending on how long you want the game to last) by a number of ways, one of which is forming clubs or melds of cards.

The Deal

Chosen by any method desired, the dealer deals all the cards out to every player, even if some get more or less than others. It doesn't matter if inequalities happen.

Bidding

To bid, every player looks at his hand, and the person to the dealer's left declares how many pairs, tresses (the singular is pronounced "trace"; a tres is a three of a kind), and clubs (a club is a four of a kind) they think they can lay down by the time the hand ends. Note that you must bid at least one club in order to make your bid, and the club must be natural (with no wild cards). Not doing so will result in a heavy penalty. Following clubs may be natural or wild.

In partners, nothing changes. Just bid the normal way.

The Play

The person to the dealer's left leads a card, and everyone else plays a card, clockwise. The highest card of the suit led wins the trick. You don't have to follow suit if you don't want to, but you won't have a chance of winning the trick if you don't. Whoever wins the trick puts the cards he won into his hand, and everyone else (not the winner) has a chance to lay down one meld (a pair, tres, or club). After everyone has laid down a meld, the trick winner lays down another card and the pattern repeats itself. He wouldn't want to win the trick if he wants to lay down a meld of his own, so he might want to lay down a card that wouldn't score a trick. The play continues until someone has no more cards to play. Note that once a meld is played, it may no longer be used in tricks.

Melding

A few rules regarding melding and wild cards.

  1. You may add to a meld already put down, but it becomes what you make it as far as counting for your bid. An example would be that if you had a pair of fours (which counts one pair toward your bid), and you received a four and then added it, then it would add a tres in your bid and subtract a pair from your bid. So if your running total was 2P and 1T, then it would become (after you lay down the third four): 1P and 2T.
  2. In a partnership game, you may add on to your partner's melds already laid down. This counts toward his bid, not yours, and it also counts as your "one meld per trick". You may not lay down a meld for him, but you may add on.
  3. There is nothing higher than a club (5 of a kind, 6 of a kind, etc.). Too bad if you get the right card later, but already have a wild club of that rank.
  4. Jokers are ultimate high cards. When led, the person who led the joker declares the suit, and everyone else MUST follow suit. If you can't follow the suit declared, then you lose your privilege of melding on that trick. If played but not led, the joker just takes the trick without any fancy declarations.
  5. You may (all at once, mind you), play all four twos if you have them, forming a special meld called 8 for 10. This is counted as a wild club.
  6. Jokers and 2's are wild cards and may be played in place of any card. Unfortunately, they can only be played for tresses and clubs, and the meld must contain at least two natural cards as well. Some examples of legal wild melds:
    • 662
    • 55Jo
    • 333Jo
    • AA2Jo

    Some illegal melds:

    • 722
    • 92JoJo

Scoring

There are multiple ways to score. One is the cards in your melds, another is if you go out, another is if you make your bid, and the last is by having a special meld.

The cards in your melds are scored like this:

  • 3's-9's = 5 points per card
  • 10's, Q's, and K's = 10 points per card
  • J's and A's = 15 points per card
  • 2's and Jokers are valued the same as whatever they're melded with
  • If you have the '8 for 10', you get 80 points
  • If you are the person who went out, you score 50 points.
  • If you successfully complete your contract, you get 100 points

*In partnerships, add the partners' score together

Penalties

If you do not make a natural club by the end of the hand, you recieve a penalty of -50 points.

Each meld in excess of your bid is valued at 0 points.