St Ives, Sydney
Another really cool trick taking game which has some mind-twisting moments getting your head around how to bid. You get 13 cards. Then the bidding comes in three phases:
1. play 1-3 cards face down from your hand to determine major and minor trumps (of the 4 colours, cards 0-13)
2. play 1-3 cards to determine if most tricks win or least tricks wins
3. play 1-3 cards to determine if 0 is high or low
In each case, the values on the cards played by all 4 players are summed up and whichever option has the highest card values allocated to it becomes the winning conditions for this round.
Some points are allocated here. Whoever has played the lowest sum of point values gets 4, down to 1 for the player who’s played the highest points value (and therefore has had most influence over the winning conditions of this hand, and presumably is favoured to do well in the trick taking phase).
Now you know what the winning conditions are (eg green is trump, yellow sub-trump, 0 is high, least tricks win), you then can discard 3 cards you’ve used in the bidding process (in this case, low greens and yellows probably), and then play a normal 10 trick round. Double points are allocated for tricks won (or not), 8 if you did best, 2 for worst. Play several rounds, most points wins.
I’m still trying to get my head around how to bid successfully to get a good result (?) for any particular hand. It’s bad being the first player that’s for sure, as everyone knows what you’ve bid for, and are likely to go for something else. I eventually went for a go with the flow strategy, bidding lowest valued cards, getting most points in the first phase, and taking what I got out of the trick-taking phase, which worked out ok over the 3 rounds we completed.
Scores: Pat 28, Rick 23, Lindsay 21, Silvia 18
A rating of 7 after 1 play; am looking forward to giving this another spin. Some nice surprises come out at the revealing of the bidding results, some control is provided with the discard, some card tracking can occur if you check out other players cards used in the bidding process. But card counting can’t get too serious as 4 cards are missing each hand. Lots of good things.