Contributed by David Schulman (


Nimby is a game for four players, in two partnerships.


The pack of 24. The rank of cards in each suit is, 2 (high), A, 6, 5, 4, 3. All 2s are permanent trumps. The rank of trumps in 2s are: Clubs (high), Spades, Hearts, Diamonds.

Example: If Diamonds are trumps, the trumps will rank: 2 of Clubs, 2 of Spades, 2 of Hearts, 2 of Diamonds, A of Diamonds, 6, 5, 4, 3.


Draw cards for partners, seats, and first deal. The highest and the lowest drawn become partners. In drawing, A is low 6 is high. Highest card has choice of seats and is first dealer. Two or more players drawing equal cards must draw again. Partners sit opposite each other. When dealer is finished shuffling, the pack is cut by the player to his right.


Five cards are dealt to each player, in two rounds of 2-3. The cards are dealt in rotation to the right, beginning with the eldest hand. After dealing the last packet to himself, dealer places the rest of the pack face-down on the table, and turns the top card face up. This turn-up proposes the trump suit for the deal.

Making Trump

Eldest hand may pass or may accept the turn-up for trump. The latter choice is signified by saying, "Pick it up." If eldest hand passes, the next player has the same option, and so on. If partner of the dealer wishes to accept the turn-up suit, he says, "Let's play." Opponent at right of dealer accepts in the same words as eldest hand.

If the dealer is ordered to "Pick it up" or told "Let's play", the dealer then takes the turn-up card into his hand and deals out the remaining three cards, unshuffled, starting with eldest hand and rotating towards dealers right. Thereby making each hand totaling six cards.

If a 2 is turned up, only the suit is available to be called trump. But when in hand, the 2 takes its place as one of the top four trumps.

If the dealer is not ordered by any player he may either take the turn-up card into his hand as trump, thereby dealing out the three remaining cards, or he may turn the card face down on top of the remaining pack. If dealer does the latter, a second round of bidding occurs in which eldest hand has the right to name the trump suit. He may not call the suit of the card that was turned down. If eldest hand passes, dealer's partner may call the trump suit or pass and so on. If any player calls a trump suit, the dealer takes the remaining pack, unshuffled, and deals out the cards, starting with eldest's hand. Therefore, the card that the dealer turned down is now in the eldest's hand. If all four players pass, the deal is abandoned, and the next dealer deals.

The Play

Eldest hand leads first. A lead calls upon each other hand to follow suit if able; if unable, the hand may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump, or by the highest card of the suit lead. The winner of each trick leads to the next trick. If a 2 is lead, it is trump, and the trump suit must be followed if able.


Maker of trump gets:

  • 4 points for getting all four As
  • 2 points for getting any three As.
  • Two or fewer As, they lose 2 points.

The opposing partnership is awarded 3 points for getting any three As. (This is called "Nimby".)

The opposing partnership is awarded 6 points for getting all four As. (This is called "Double Nimby".)

No points are awarded for getting two or fewer As.

Therefore, the partnership that calls the trump suit is making a contract to get a minimum of 3 As. It is possible for a partnership to have a negative score.

The first partnership to reach 10 points wins.

Last updated: 8th September 1999