How to play
The game is played by 3 players.The following cards are used:
- French deck with 52 cards in it.
- Ordered by strength (from strongest to weakest), the cards in each suit are as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
The dealer for the first hand is selected randomly; for the next hands, it is the next player in the direction of play. The cards are dealt and played in the following direction: clockwise.
Dealing and announcements
The dealing goes as follows:
- The dealer gives the total of 16 cards to each player (dealing all the cards, except 4 cards).
- The dealer leaves the last 4 cards face-down on the table to form a kitty.
The target is the minimum number of tricks each player should make. Targets are determined by each player’s seat for that hand as follows:
- Dealer: 8
- Player on the left: 5
- Player on the right (the first): 3
After the dealing, it is followed the following order:
- Exchanging cards with the other players.
- Announcing contract.
- Exchanging cards from kitty.
When a suit contract is announced the players exchange cards as follows:
- In the first round there is no exchange.
- Each player who had “+” in the previous round, gives a card for every point to the next player who had “-“.
- When having a stronger card from the required suit, the ‘-‘ player must return the strongest.
- When having only weaker cards, or no cards from the required suit, the ‘-‘ player must return the request card.
- If 2 players have “+”, the first who makes an exchange is the one with a higher target.
The announcements are as follows: Spades, Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs.
The announcer should select 4 cards from his hand, put them down, and take the kitty. The other players should not see the kitty.
Playing the cards
After the cards are dealt and the trump suit is determined, the players play the cards using the following rules:
- Players place cards on the table in the direction of play.
- For the first trick, the first card should be played by the announcer.
- For the next tricks, the first card should be played by the player who won the previous trick.
The rules for each trick are as follows:
- The first played card for the trick can be any card.
- It is required to answer the suit of the card played in the first turn.If the players don’t have a card from the required suit they can play any card they want.
- When the required suit is not trump it is not required to play a stronger card.
- There are no requirements to play a stronger card.
- The main rule in the game is answering the required suit.
- A trick is won by the player who played the strongest trump card.
If there are no trumps played, the trick is won by the player who placed the strongest card from the suit of the first card played in the trick.
After all 16 tricks have been played, scores and targets are compared and players who won more tricks than their target are UP by the number of excess tricks, while players who fell short of their target are DOWN by a number of tricks.
For example, of player has target 3:
- Take 3 tricks for the round: 0 points.
- Take 5 tricks for the round: 2 points.
- Take 1 trick for the round: -2 points.
The session goes on until some of the players score 10 points (or more).
If a 3-5-8 session ends with 2 or 3 players having the same score, then the winner should be determined using the following rules:
- The player who won more points in the last hand is the winner.
- When all three players have the same number of points, the winner is the player who won the last trick in the last hand.
- When two players have the same number of points, the winner is the player who most recently won a trick (for example, the 16th trick, or the 15th trick, and so on).