Seventeen

Contributed by weirdguy38@hotmail.com

The ranking goes 8, 7, A, K, ..., 2 if trump exists, and in a round where trump does not exist, the ranking goes in the order of J, 8, 7, A, K, ..., 2.

There are normally four players (3- and 5-player variants are described below). Each player is dealt 13 cards.

At the beginning, each player lays out on the table each 3 he (masculine pronoun used for convenience) has. The player with the most 3's gets to declare trump. In event of a tie (i.e. where each player has 1 3, or where 2 players have 2 3's) there is no trump. For the first trick, no point cards (2's, 7's) are allowed to be played, and the lead is played by the person who declares trump (when trump exists) or by the player with the 3 of spades (in a non-trump round.)

The play is standard trick-taking. You must follow suit, you are never forced to play trump (if void in the suit led, one may play any card).

Scoring is as follows: 7 points for a 7, 2 points for a 2, and 1 point for a trick not containing a point-card. Each point worth of cards up to 17 is good, and counts as one point (i.e. 15 points scored for 15 points of cards). After 17 points, points count against the player in the following manner:

  • minus 1 for each point between 18 and 22, inclusive (18 is scored as 16; 22 as 12)
  • minus 2 for each point between 23 and 28, inclusive (23 is scored as 10, 28 as 0)
  • minus 5 for each point after 29 (i.e. 36, the record in actual games as far as I know, is counted as -40) [The theoretical maximum for a 4-player game would be 47, counted as -95.]

When playing with 3 players, one suit is removed (there are too many points for the game to be any fun). When playing with 5 players, the 3 of diamonds and the 3 of spades are removed.

Talking during the game is allowed, and politics are encouraged.