Whist for 4 Players

Players

There are four players in two fixed partnerships. Partners sit facing each other. The game is played clockwise.

Cards

A standard 52 card pack is used (here US). The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.

Deal

The cards are shuffled by the player to dealer's left and cut by the player to dealer's right. The dealer deals out all the cards one at a time so that each player has 13. The final card, which will belong to the dealer, is turned face up to indicate which suit is trumps. The turned trump remains face up on the table until it is dealer's turn to play to the first trick.

It is traditional to use two packs of cards. During each deal, the dealer's partner shuffles the other pack and places it to the right. The dealer for the next hand then simply needs to pick up the cards from the left and pass them across to the right to be cut. Provided all the players understand and operate it, this procedure saves time and helps to remember whose turn it is to deal, as the spare pack of cards is always to the left of the next dealer.

Play

The player to the dealer's left leads to the first trick. Any card may be led. The other players, in clockwise order, each play a card to the trick. Players must follow suit by playing a card of the same suit as the card led if they can; a player with no card of the suit led may play any card. The trick is won by the highest trump in it - or if it contains no trump, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.

Scoring

When all 13 tricks have been played, the side which won more tricks scores 1 point for each trick they won in excess of 6.

The partnership which first reaches 5 points wins the game. This will normally take several deals.