Evil Deal

Evil deal is a card game for two players. The objective is to take as many tricks as possible. There are eight tricks in all, each made up of three cards from each player.

The deal:
The whole deck of 52 cards is used.
Deal two stacks of twelve cards each to each player, plus two trump cards to each player. The trump cards are dealt face up on the table between the two stacks.
The system:
Evil deal is a two-part game where 12 cards from each player are used in each half of the game.
Both players choose one of the two stacks of 12 cards they have been dealt. They then look at them, and sort them. The other stack remains in a stack, face down, hidden from both players until the second half of the game. Then they choose their trump as explained in the trump section below. They proceed to play these 12 cards as described in the play section below. The first half of the game is now completed, and the players open the remaining stack of 12 cards and start the second half of the game. This is repeated until one player has reached the total of 666 points required to win a game.
The trump:
The dealer's opponent chooses his trump for the first and second half (i.e. chooses which of his two face up trump cards will indicate the trump suit for the first half and which for the second half). The dealer then chooses his trump for first and second half. If the dealer has a trump indicator card of the same suit as his opponent, he may chose this suit for the same half as his opponent, and this half will then be played in no-trump. Both players cannot use the same trump for the same half of the game. If one player has two trump cards of the same suit, and his opponent also has one card of this suit, then this half of the game must therefore be played in no-trump. When a player has two trump cards of the same suit, he may choose to play both halves in no-trump. In this case his opponent will, unless he also has two cards of the same suit, be using trump in both halves, even if one of his cards are of the same suit as his opponents cards. After the first part has been played, the players will pick up the first half trump-card and exchange it with any card from his hand, and then discard this card without showing this card to his opponent. This way, there will still be some uncertainty in round 2 of the game. The second trump-card is left on the table face up, and is not used.
The players show their opponent which suit they will be using as trump for the two halves by placing them one-over-another in a cross (to keep them both visible). The one on top is for the first half, and the bottom one for the second half. If a player has two cards of the same suit, and he wishes to play in no-trump, he indicates this by placing them beside each other. If he wishes to use the suit as trump for both halves, he places them in a cross.
The play:
The one who did not deal, starts the first trick. Whenever a player starts a trick, it is his trump which is the trump throughout the trick, and the other players trump is not active. The player who wins the trick, will always start the next trick, and his trump suit will now be used by both players. After these four tricks have been played, the other stack of 12 cards is opened, and this time the dealer gets to start the first trick with trump advantage.
When a player starts a trick by playing a card of his choice, the opponent must follow suit if he can, and he may trump if he is out of the suit played out by his opponent, but he must use the active trump, which is the trump of the player who started the trick. After one card from each has been played out, the one with the highest ranking card of the two, plays out the second card, leaving the two previous cards on the table. The one with the highest ranking second card then plays out the third card. The one who had the highest ranking third card, is the winner of the trick, and is allowed to collect it, and open the next trick with trump advantage.
The scoring:
If the dealer is a good card-counter, he will be able to tell almost exactly which cards his opponent holds in the second half of the game. For this reason, the dealer needs one more trick than the non-dealer in order to receive the same score. This is illustrated in the table below:
for dealer
Points for
8 333 666
7 222 333
6 111 222
5 66 111
4 0 66
1-3 0 0

In addition to this, there is a 66 point bonus for each trick taken in excess of 4 tricks when choosing to play both parts in no-trump.
The player who first reaches or exceeds 666 points is the winner.
If you are playing for money, or if you are playing several games and wish to have a final winner after an agreed upon number of games, the winner of each game wins by as many points as the distance in points down to his opponent.

This game was contributed by Jørgen Ravn Hagen in 1998. The rules were originally hosted on his Cudlybear Design website.

Home Page > Invented Games > Evil Deal
Last updated: 21st June 2016