Revolution

Contributed by sjhsniffen@netzero.net

Revolution is a trick-taking game for four players using a standard deck of 52 cards. A dealer for the first hand is chosen and deals each player 13 cards. Play moves clockwise. The leader for the first trick is the player who holds the Ace of Spades. Aces are high.

The Leader

The leader for the first trick may lead any card. However, after the first trick, the leader's choice is restricted. S/he may not lead a card of the same suit that was led in the previous trick. Also, the card led cannot be higher in rank than the winning card of the previous trick.

If the current leader no longer wants to or cannot lead, s/he yields the lead to the player directly to his/her right. If that player chooses to lead, s/he leads any card to the trick. Otherwise, the chance to lead continues moving to the right until either someone decides to lead or the option returns to the player who initially declined to lead. Whoever becomes the new leader may lead any card.

The Followers

When it is a player's turn to play a card to an already-started trick, the player has nearly no choice about changing suit. If the player can play a card of the suit led, s/he must. Otherwise, the player must play a card that is not of the same suit as the card led to the last trick, if possible. If that is not possible, the player may play any card, but that player's card will not be eligible to win the trick.

If a player cannot follow suit but plays a card that is not the same suit as the card led to the previous trick, the suit of that card is the trump suit for that trick. Each trick initially has no trump suit, but once a trump suit is determined, it cannot be changed by later cards played in that trick.

Once a trump suit has been determined for a trick, it is no longer required for the rest of the players to follow the lead suit in that trick, nor to avoid playing a card of the same suit as the previously led card. In other words, when a trump suit is determined, the remaining players for that trick can play any cards they want.

The Winning Card

The winning card of a trick is the highest trump card or, if no trumps were played, the highest card of the suit led.

The player who played the winning card wins the trick and is the leader for the next trick.

Winning the Hand

When one player has won four tricks, the hand is over and that player is the winner.

When playing a series of hands, tricks won are added to each player's score at the end of each hand and the player having the highest score at the end of the last hand is the winner.

Clarifications and Conventions

The players must keep their cards private.

The cards rank, from low to high: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace.

When a trick is completed, all of the trick cards should be added to a face-up trick pile, with the led card on top and the pile squared up so that the only visible card face is that of the top card. This makes it easier to keep track of which suit was led previously.

The player to the left of the dealer of the previous hand deals for the next hand.

The cards should be shuffled to a reasonable extent by the dealer before each hand is dealt.

Players should not look at any cards in the trick pile except those from the previous trick.

Games should consist of either 1 hand or a multiple of 4 hands, but any number of hands is fine as long as it is agreed upon before the game begins. If, after the agreed-upon number of hands have been played, there is a tie for winner, one more hand is played so that there is only one winner.

Consider 4 hands to be the "standard" number of hands in a game, i.e. this should be the number of hands expected to be played in tournament games, etc. so that all games are consistent with each other.