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…the only blog in the village. Est Feb 2008

Whist – Every Tuesday – Ballyboughal – 9pm

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Every Tuesday in Ballyboughal Old school hall, at 9pm – opposite the pub – A group of about 25 – 30 people meet to play a game of cards called Whist.

I never knew that Whist was a card game until very recently. That said, if you are a card player and think this might be for you or you simply are looking for something to do of your Tuesday evening Ann, one of the organisers tells me that you and your Auntie are more than welcome to pop along and join in.

Someone will show you the ropes and you might just enjoy yourself. Go on, sure you’re brutal at golf anyway….. you may as well take up a new hobby.

  • when: every Tuesday
  • time: 9pm
  • where: the old school – opposite the pub
  • ask for: Ann

Whist rules….

A standard 52 card pack is used. The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. Whist is played by four players, who play in two partnerships with the partners sitting opposite each other. Players cut or draw cards to determine partners, with the two highest playing against the lowest two, who have seating rights. The players then cut for deal. It is strictly against the rules to comment on the cards in any way. One may not comment upon the hand one was dealt nor about one’s good fortune or bad fortune. One may not signal to one’s partner.

Shuffling and dealing

The cards can be shuffled by any player, though usually the player to dealer’s left. The dealer has the right to shuffle last if he or she wishes. To speed up dealing a second pack can be shuffled by the dealer’s partner during the deal and then placed to the right ready for the next hand. The cards are cut by the player on dealer’s right before dealing. The dealer deals out all the cards, one at a time, face down, so that each player has thirteen cards. The final card, which belongs to the dealer, is turned face up to indicate which suit is trumps. The turned-up trump remains face up on the table until it is dealer’s turn to play to the first trick. The deal advances clockwise.

Play

The player to the dealer’s left leads to the first trick. He may lead any card in his hand. The other players, in clockwise order, each play a card to the trick and must follow suit by playing a card of the suit led if they have one. A player with no card of the suit led may play any card, either discarding or trumping. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, unless a trump is played, in which case the highest trump wins. The winner of the trick leads the next trick.

Play continues until all thirteen tricks are played, at which point the score is recorded. If no team has enough points to win the game, another hand is played.

Part of the skill involved in the game is one’s ability to remember what cards have been played and reason out what cards remain. Therefore, once each trick is played, its cards are turned face down and kept in a stack of four near the player who won the trick. Before the next trick starts, a player may ask to review the cards from the last trick only. Once the lead card is played, however, no previously played cards can be reviewed by anyone.

Scoring

After all tricks have been played, the side which won more tricks scores 1 point for each trick won in excess of 6. When all four players are experienced, it is unusual for the score for a single hand to be higher than two. A game is over when one team reaches a score of five. There are so-called “Hotel Rules” variations where other numbers are agreed to be played to in advance. Popular variations are “American” and “Long”, where the games are played to seven and nine respectively. The “Long” version is normally combined with “Honors.”

In longer variations of the game, those games where the winning score is not the standard 5 points, honours are points that are claimed at the end of each hand. Honours add nothing to the play of a hand. Honours serve only as an element of luck that speeds up games, and they are often omitted these days. Serious players disdain honours because it greatly increases the element of chance. A team that was dealt the top four cards (A,K,Q,J) in the trump suit collect extra points. A team who holds three of the four honours between them claim 2 points, a team who holds all four honours between them claim 4 points. Tricks are scored before honours. Honours points can never be used for the last point of a game. Consider the following example: A game is being played to 9 points. The score is tied at 6. A hand is played and the winner of that hand took seven tricks and claimed honours. That team would receive 1 point for the 7th trick and only 1 point for honours. The score would then be 8 to 6.

Basic whist technique

  • For the opening lead, it is best to lead your strongest suit, which is usually the longest. A singleton may also be a good lead, aiming at trumping in that suit, as one’s partner should normally return the suit led.
  • 1st hand: It is usual to lead the king from a sequence of honours that includes it, including AK (the lead of an ace therefore denies the king).
  • 2nd hand usually plays low, especially with a single honour. However, it is often correct to split honours (play the lower of two touching honours) and to cover a J or 10 when holding Qx and cover a Q when holding the ace.
  • 3rd hand usually plays high, though play the lowest of touching honours. The finesse can be a useful technique, especially in trumps where honours cannot be trumped if they are not cashed.
  • Discards are usually low cards of an unwanted suit. However, when the opponents are drawing trumps a suit preference signal is given by throwing a low card of one’s strongest suit.

the above courtesy wikipedia