"TRÈS"

Basis

This game challenges the precept that, in a two-player game, each player must play only one card to a given trick. In fact, the first player leads, his opponent follows and then the first player continues with a second card so he has two chances to win the trick against his opponent's one. The game is equalised by alternating the lead. Victory goes to the player winning the most points, each trick counting one point and with certain "key" cards qualifying for bonus points. The "key" cards are all the Twos, Threes and Fours.

There is a slight resemblance to 'Voormsi', the national game of Greenland, but that game allows BOTH player to play two cards to each trick

Play

The 5H is removed and the remaining 51 cards are shuffled and dealt alternately, starting and finishing with the non-dealer. Hence, dealer receives 25 cards to non-dealers 26 cards. Hearts are always trumps. (Remember that there are only 12 of them).

Non-dealer plays first to the first trick and plays a second card after his opponent has followed. The highest card wins the trick. Thereafter, the lead alternates between the two players, irrespective of who wins the tricks. At the final trick, non-dealer will be on lead with two cards remaining to dealer's one card.

Following the lead to a trick, the second player must follow suit or, if void, either discard or trump.

If the second player is winning the trick (i.e., he has played a card
which is superior to the led card), the first player must also follow suit
with his second card. He may trump or discard only if he is void.

If the second player is loosing the trick (i.e., he does not beat the
led card), then the first player may play any card he likes, including
a trump, a discard or a card in the suit being played if he so wishes.
This is called the "renege" rule.

 

Scoring

A trick

1 point

A trick containing either a 2, 3 or 4

2 points

A trick containing any two cards that are either a 2, 3 or 4

4 points

A trick in which all three cards are a 2, 3 or 4. (In general, in such a trick, two of the "key" cards will have the same suit)

8 points

A trick containing the 2, 3 and 4 of one suit s

16 points

A trick containing three "key" cards which all have different suits: (E.g., 2H,2S,2D, or 2H,3C,4D, or 2H,2C,4D)

16 points

 

There is an obvious incentive to capture tricks which contain "key" cards and a player must be vigilant against presenting his opponent with chances of collecting 2 or 3 "key" cards in a single trick.

Example of Play

A deal is:

Dealer (25 cards)
(West)

Non-Dealer (26 cards) (East)

H A,J,10,8,7,4

H K,Q,9,6,3,2

C A,10,9,8,7,5,3,2

C K,Q,J,6,4

D K,J,9,8,7

D A,Q,10,6,5,4,3,2

S Q,J,10,9,8,5

S A,K,7,6,4,3,2

 

As usual, it is suggested that the reader copies the deal and follows the play.

1) East leads JC, West plays the Ace and East must follow suit. He throws in the 6C, preserving the 4C which is a "key" card.

West wins the trick, counting one point.

2) West now leads the 10C, overtaken by the QC and followed by the 5C from West.

A one-point trick to East.

3) To the third trick, East leads the KC and West plays the 7C. Since East is winning the trick he can now play any card he wishes. Nevertheless, he opts for the 4C which is very vulnerable.

A trick counting 2 points to East.

4) West now leads the 8C. East could discard, but that would allow West to play one of his club "key" cards. Instead, East trumps with the 2H and West must play the 9C.

A trick counting 2 points to East.

5) East decides to shorten his diamonds. He plays the Ace, followed with the 7D from West and the 4D from East.

A 2-point trick to East.

6) West now takes the opportunity to lead the KD, followed by the 5D from East. West then reneges with the 3C.

A 2-point trick to West.

7) East plays a little better by leading the 6D, covered by the 8D and then the 10D.

A one-point trick to East.

8) West plays 9D, covered by the Queen and then followed by the Jack.

Another one-point trick to East.

9) East has the upper hand, but his 2D and 3D look vulnerable and he now has fewer trumps. To lead a trump would be foolish. West would follow with a higher card and East would then have played two trumps to West's one. Instead, East cashes AS, followed by the 5S from West. East then reneges with 3D

A 2-point trick for East.

10) West plays the 2C. East could discard the 6S but West would then play 4H to earn a 4-point trick. East considers that it is best to trump with the QH and West, now void in the led suit of clubs, is allowed to over-trump with the AH

A 2 point trick to west.

11) East returns in-kind by leading the 2D and over-trumping West's 10H with his King

A 2 point trick to East.

12) West has high hopes of his 4H. He plays the JH, East plays the 6H and West discards the 8S.

One point to West.

13) East doesn't want his 3H to fall under West's 4H so he leads the KS, followed by the 9S from West and East can now renege with the 3H.

A 2-point trick to East.

14) West decides to remove East's top trump by leading the 7H. After a reply of 9H, West plays the 8H. He preserves the 4H for later.

One point to West

15) The 6S from East is beaten by the 10S from West and East follows with the 7S. This turns out to be a mistake by East, even through it restricts West to a one-point trick.

One point to West

16) West plays the JS, followed by the 2S from East, so that West can renege with the 4H

A 4-point trick to West.

17) For the last trick, East must again loose 4 points; his 3S is beaten by the QS and he must then throw in his 4S.

4 more points to West.

 

The final score is:

East: 1+2+2+2+1+1+2+2+2 , gives 15 points

West: 1+2+2+1+1+1+4+4, gives 16 points

East won more tricks but lost on points. If he had played 4S under the 10S at trick 15 he would have improved his position. It gives West an extra point in that trick, but then only one of the last two tricks counts 4 points to West, the other counting two. East could have managed a draw.

Strategies

In general, the player dealt the best hand (I.E., high cards, most trumps) has the advantage, so the game should be played over several rounds to even out the luck of the deal. There is considerable scope for players with a good memory, since you should know exactly what is in your opponents hand. It is often the case of "If I did this, what would he do?", with the object of setting up chances to take tricks with a high point value.

The last trick is often crucial and there are some obvious positions which lead to high value tricks.

If the final position is:

West: 2S, East: 4S and 3S, East wins 16 points on any lead.

If the final position is:

West: 2H, East; 3D and 3C West wins 16 points on any lead by East.

If the final position is:

West: 2C, East: 2D and 4D. East wins 8 points on any lead.

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Last updated 9th January 2002