Number of Players: Four, playing as individuals.
The Deck: 24 Cards (strip out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
Object: To hold all six cards in the one suit, with as few surplus cards as possible.
The Deal: Six cards are dealt to each player.
The Negotiations: At any time, the players may excuse themselves to negotiate for anotherís support.1 A time limit (say a few minutes) to negotiations should be enforced.
The Play: The holder of the 9 then leads to the first trick. Play proceeds clockwise from there. Players must follow suit, otherwise they may discard or trump. To trump is to play the Jack of the same colour (e.g. J trumps all hearts) as the suit led - otherwise known as the bower. Tricks taken are merged with the winnerís hand, and may be played again. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick, however he cannot lead the same card as the one led in the previous trick.
Claiming Victory: A player who has the lead may instead claim victory by placing all six cards of the one suit face up on the table. His remaining, or surplus cards are tabulated in the scoring.
The Scoring: Nine points, less three points for the relevant bower, and one point for any other surplus card, for the win (down to a minimum of zero). If another player holds the relevant bower, he receives a bonus of three points. The deal then moves clockwise.
To Win: Rubbers are played to nine points. A tie is resolved by playing on until the tie is broken. A match is best of five rubbers (i.e. first to two).
© Matthew Shields 2005