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Subject: Clarification about play of "Trumpet" cards rss

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Joy Lederman
United States
Pennsylvania
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My family, from elderly Dad to teenage nephews, all enjoy Trumpet. However, every time we play this game, we debate how the Trumpet cards are played. The written rules don't really make this clear. Can Trumpet cards be played at ANY time? Or may they only be played if there is no other card of the led suit in your hand (isn't "you must follow the led suit, if you have a card of that suit in your hand?" a cardinal rule of trick-taking games?)? MUST you play a Trumpet card if you don't have any other cards of the led suit in your hand (isn't the Trumpet assumed to be any suit, i.e. a card of the led suit?)? And if someone leads with a Trumpet, can that be followed by ANY suit (sort of "No Trump"), since no card will take the trick except for another Trumpet? The answer to these questions seems like a no-brainer, yet every time we play, we pore over the rules looking for a clarification....we tend to argue every action that isn't clearly outlined in the rules of every game we play! Thanks!
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Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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This is how we interpret and play the rules:

1. You must follow the led suit, if you have it. Trumpet cards are not part of the led suit.

2. You can only play a Trumpet if you do not have the led suit. You cannot play a Trumpet card, if you have a card in the suit led.

3. Playing a Trumpet card is optional, if you do not have the suit led. It is not considered to be in any suit, including the suit led.

4. If a Trumpet is led, the next player can play any card, which becomes the lead suit for that hand. The next player must then match the suit played by the second player, if possible. Once again, if you have that suit, you cannot elect to play a Trumpet card, even though one was led originally in the hand. (This one could be debatable. You could assume there is no lead suit for this hand, and allow players to play any card. But, that should be decided in advance of the game and documented with a note attached to the rules.)

CORRECTION:

4. If a Trumpet is led, we consider it a trick with no lead suit. All players may play any card; you are not required to play a Trumpet card if you have one.

[In my earlier response, I was thinking of a different card game.]
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Eric Wald
United States
Orem
Utah
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
This is how we interpret and play the rules:

1. You must follow the led suit, if you have it. Trumpet cards are not part of the led suit.

2. You can only play a Trumpet if you do not have the led suit. You cannot play a Trumpet card, if you have a card in the suit led.

3. Playing a Trumpet card is optional, if you do not have the suit led. It is not considered to be in any suit, including the suit led.


We have also settled on this interpretation, as it offers better game play. However, it has to be declared up front, particularly with any new players, and we tend not to enforce it very well.

gamesgrandpa wrote:
4. If a Trumpet is led, the next player can play any card, which becomes the lead suit for that hand. The next player must then match the suit played by the second player, if possible. Once again, if you have that suit, you cannot elect to play a Trumpet card, even though one was led originally in the hand. (This one could be debatable. You could assume there is no lead suit for this hand, and allow players to play any card. But, that should be decided in advance of the game and documented with a note attached to the rules.)

CORRECTION:

4. If a Trumpet is led, we consider it a trick with no lead suit. All players may play any card; you are not required to play a Trumpet card if you have one.


This situation hasn't come up very often, but I agree that the corrected rule seems better.
 
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