Diamonds is a game two friends and I created when we couldn't find anything we liked for three players. (thanks Colin & Andrea) We wanted a trick taking game that you could win no matter what cards were dealt to you. More recently it has been playtested by Graham and Anita. Graham, Anita and Irene get the credit for working out the scoring system.
Players and Cards
There are three players with a 33 card pack 7-A and a joker. The cards keep their usual ranks except for the ace which can be either the highest or lowest ranked card in a suit at the whim of the person playing it.
The Joker is either the highest or lowest card in the pack again at the whim of the person playing the card. When the joker is played it must be given a suit. Regardless of the suit a joker played 'high' will defeat any diamond. But a joker lead and played 'low' will only lose the trick if another card from the suit the joker was played for or a diamond is played.
Diamonds are always trumps. A diamond will always beat a card from another suit.
Deal, bidding and play proceed clockwise. The first dealer is chosen at random, and the turn to deal rotates clockwise after each hand. The cards are shuffled and cut and the dealer deals 10 cards to each player and three face down in the middle of the table to form the kitty. The cards are usually dealt as follows: a batch of 3 to each player; one to the kitty; 4 to each player; one to the kitty; 3 to each player; one to the kitty.
The bidding begins with the player to dealer's left and continues clockwise.
Players must estimate how many tricks they can win. In turn they then say how many. Each player then takes one card from the kitty and discards any card. This card is the point card and it is used for scoring. After each player has discarded each player has a chance to raise their bid by one, lower their bid by one or leave it the same. The final person to bid must choose a bid so that the total number of tricks does not equal ten.
The players must then get exactly the number of tricks they bid.
The player to the left of the dealer starts play by leading a card. Play then continues as in 500 with each player endeavouring to win or loose tricks as required.
If you get exactly the number of tricks you bid you get the value of your point card added to your score, if not you get the value of your point card taken off.
End of the Game
The first player to get to 100 wins or the person with the highest score when someone gets to -100 wins.