Card Games: Exact bidding group
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Card Games: Exact Bidding Group

In these trick taking games the object is to win exactly the number of tricks that you bid. A couple of bids like this existed in some forms of Boston (Piccolo - to win exactly one trick) and were tried out in Skat and Tarock, but the first game built entirely on the exact bidding principle was Oh Hell!, which according to Parlett was invented around 1930.

  • Oh Hell! - perhaps the most widely played game of the family, played in most English-speaking countries under various names.
  • Israeli Whist - in which there are two bidding phases, one to determine trumps and a second for the trump maker's opponents to predict how many trick they will win.
  • Romanian Whist - a variant using a 32-card pack in which trumping is compulsory when unable to follow suit.
  • Joker - a game from Georgia incorporating two Jokers which can be used either as highest or as lowest cards.
  • Ninety-Nine - in which the players bid using cards from their hands to represnt the number of tricks they will win.
  • La Podrida - Latin American equivalent of Oh Hell!
  • Clag - A British variant of Oh Hell! incorporating some extra deals with special riules.
  • Truf - an Indonesian game in which although you don't have to take the exact number of tricks that you bid, you don't know at the moment when you bid whether you will need to make at least or at most that number.

The American game Spades has absorbed this idea to some extent, in that most versions have a penalty for winning too many overtricks (sandbags).

The same principle can be introduced into point-trick games in which you try to predict the number of points you will take in tricks. An example is Differenzler Jass.

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This page is maintained by John McLeod (john@pagat.com).   © John McLeod, 1999, 2006, 2021. Last updated: 4th June 2021

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