Reveille

Contributed by Ryan Barrett (mbarrett@srv.net)

Introduction

Reveille is a trick-taking game played with dominoes. It is a two-player variation of the popular game Forty-Two. The game is played in two stages similar to German Whist and Pinochle.

There is only one form of Reveille: it is played for marks. There is no point version as in Forty-Two.

Players and Equipment

There are two players who compete head-to-head against each other.

A double-six set of dominoes is used - that is 28 bones, one for each possible pair of numbers from 0 (blank) to 6. A bone with the same number at each end is called a double.

Rank and Suit of Bones

There are 7 suits: blanks, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes. The highest bone of each suit is the double.

Normally one suit is trumps. Every bone containing that number is exclusively a trump, and apart from the double, they rank in order of the other number on the bone. For example if threes are trumps, the trump suit from high to low is: [3|3], [3|6], [3|5], [3|4], [3|2], [3|1], and [3|0].

The remaining bones, apart from the doubles, belong to the two suits corresponding to the two numbers on them. Within each suit they rank in order of the other number on the domino. So if threes are trump, the members of the fives suit from highest to lowest are: [5|5], [5|6], [5|4], [5|2], [5|1], and [5|0].

Value of the Bones

Each bone with 10 pips - [5|5] and [6|4] - is worth 10 points to the player that wins it in his tricks.

Each bone with 5 pips - [3|2], [4|1], and [5|0] - is worth 5 points to the player that wins it in his tricks.

In addition each of the seven tricks is worth one point to the side that wins it. There are a total of 42 points available in each hand.

Deal

The first dealer is selected at random. Thereafter, the turn to deal alternates. The dealer shuffles the dominoes by mixing them thoroughly face down on the table. Then his opponent takes seven dominoes and sets them on edge so that the owner can see their values, but the other player cannot see them. The dealer then draws seven dominoes in the same fashion. The remaining fourteen dominoes make up the boneyard. Following his draw, the dealer turns one of the bones in the boneyard face-up.

Play

The play is in tricks and consists of two stages: in the first stage the players compete to win good bones from the boneyard to add to their hands; in the second stage, when the boneyard is empty, the object is to make your bid if you are the highest bidder. The non-dealer leads to the first trick.

A trick consists of one bone played by each player. The person who plays first to a trick may play any bone, but the higher number on the bone determines the bone’s suit. The other player doesn’t have to follow suit in this first stage, but they do in the second stage. However, in the second stage if a player cannot follow suit they may play a trump, and if they have neither they may play any bone. The higher bone of each suit wins unless a trump is played, in which case the trump wins.

When you win a trick in the first stage you must take the face-up bone from the boneyard. The loser may then take any face-down bone from the boneyard, without showing it to his opponent, so that both players have 7 bones again. Bones won in tricks during this stage are discard to the side opposite the boneyard face-down. After each player has drawn from the boneyard, the dealer turns over another bone, and play continues until the boneyard is empty.

This marks the end of the first stage.

Before beginning the second stage, players bid on how many points they think they will win in the second stage. Bids may range from 4 up to 42. Bidding continues as long as the opponent is willing to raise the previous bid. Once one player bids 42 the game starts there is no higher bids as in the game Forty-Two. If both players pass, the bones are thrown in and the deal passes to the next player.

Once the bidding has stopped the high bidder determines the trump suit, and leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if possible. A player unable to follow suit may play any bone. The trick is won by the higher trump in it, or if it contains no trump, by the higher bone of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.

When a non-trump bone is led, it counts as a member of the higher numbered suit, but when you are required to follow suit, each non-trump domino you hold counts as belonging to both suits. For example, if threes are trump and the [6|5] is led, it counts as a 6 rather than a 5. But when following suit the [6|5] can be used to follow to a lead of either sixes or fives. If threes are trumps then the [5|3] when led counts as a 3 not a 5, because trumps are trumps and nothing else.

Any bones won during the second stage are kept face up to the right of the player.

Play ends when the last bone is played. However, play may end early if a player thinks he has already made his contract. If his claim is true the game ends and he is awarded the mark. If his claim is false then the mark is awarded to his opponent.

Nello

Nello is the only special contract in Reveille. A player may bid Nello only after winning the bidding with a bid of 42. In Nello, a player is claiming that he will lose every trick. The declarer leads to the first trick, and there are no trumps. Doubles form a suit of their own ranking from [6|6] (highest) to [0|0] (lowest). Rules of play are as usual, and a lead of a double calls for doubles. If a non-double is led the larger number determines the suit to be followed, and a double cannot be played to the trick unless no dominoes of the suit led are held.

Scoring

Scoring is in marks. If a player meets his contract he scores one mark. If the contract is set, he doesn’t make the bid, then his opponent scores a mark. The game may be called early as mentioned above, and play is to seven marks.