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Subject: Can you identify this traditional card game? rss

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Graham Dean
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Years ago I was staying with friends and they introduced me to a Whist variant which I had never played before and have since forgotten the name of.

The basic mechanic is trick taking. There was a way of choosing trumps but I can't remember for certain what it was.

There are 13 rounds. In the first round 13 cards are dealt to each of the 4 players. Trumps are chosen in some way, and then starting with the player to the dealers left, each player has to say how many tricks they think they will win. The only proviso with the bidding is that the total of the four bids cannot equal the total number of available tricks, so the dealer may not be able to choose the number they want.

Players score a point (in the first round) for each trick they took less or more than the number they bid. So the best score you want is zero, which you get by winning exactly the number of tricks which you bid for.

In each future round, one less card is dealt than the round before (number of cards go 13 - 12 - 11 - 10 etc), and the number of points per trick above or below the number bid increases by 1 (in the 1st round: 1 pt, 2nd round: 2 pts, 3rd round: 3 pts, and so on).

That's the best that I can remember. Does anyone know what this game is called, and how trumps are selected? Plus any rules I might have missed.

It's quite a nice light game. The bidding means that sometimes you're playing to win tricks and sometimes to lose, which is interesting, and the scoring means that players can catch up in later rounds if they have a bad start.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
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Sounds a lot like Oh Hell. I remember playing starting with 1 card each, then going up to 13. You selected trump by turning over the first card of the remaining deck and 13 was no-trump.

Here are some different rules:
http://www.pagat.com/exact/ohhell.html

But the basic idea of everyone bids and the bids can't exactly equal the trump remains the same.
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Nick Fisk
United Kingdom
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
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Come on you Seagulls! Sami Hyppia's Blue & White army!
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Yes ... we call this Oh Hell as well, although we play from 1 to 7 cards, then some special rounds, then back down from 7 to 1, with trumps cycling through H-C-D-S.

However, since we discovered Wizard, we hardly play Oh Hell any more, as this version is much more exciting with the Wizards and Jesters making it much harder to get your bid right!


N.
 
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Goran Topic
Japan
Kita-ku
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Though I learned it as Whist, it seems it's just one variant - and Oh Hell appears to be right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Hell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whist
 
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Jason Lott
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Sounds like Oh Hell to me also. I think our family might have called it Wichita, although I have trouble finding another online reference to that name.
 
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Pere
Spain
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Seems like Pocha (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocha_(juego_de_naipes) - in spanish), except the number of cards per player per round goes from 1 to 10 to 1, and the penalty is always 1 point.
 
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