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Trick-Taking Game

The trick-taking game activities offer you a card play based on several rounds gameplay + finite structure of each to consider. The rounds are usually called the tricks as they mean the final count and influence the game process significantly.

The principle aim of trick-taking game type is to collect as more tricks as it possible (for each player of for a team during the partnership plays).

The most popular trick-taking game activities are the following one in the list:

  • All Fours
  • Briscola
  • Contract Bridge
  • Hearts
  • Manille
  • Napoleon
  • Rowboat
  • Spoil Five
  • Scopa
  • Whist
  • 66 etc.

Basic Structure

The trick-taking game activities usually possess the following rules and principles of gameplay:

  • Clockwise turn of dealing and actions;
  • 3 or more players usually participate the game and 4 players min take part in partnership games;
  • The same number of cards for each player is dealt, always face-down (usually the whole deck is dealt);
  • The rest cards form the community pile usually placed in the center of the table;
  • The first player to act places the starting card (which any as a rule) and then the following players must match its rank / discard any or place the trump;
  • The player who placed the highest trump / match rank card took the trick;
  • Finally the person who has the more tricks in his/her possession after all the cards are played - wins the game.


In many trick-taking game activities one of the suits is usually identified as a trump. It may be either static or dynamic (changes from round to round).

In Napoleon card game for example, the trump is announced by the player who ordered the highest bid - his starting card exactly.

In most games the trumps predominate over the suit cards and can be defeated only by higher trumps. Thus if a trick contains a trump which was placed over the simple suit card then the trick can be taken only by placing the higher trump - the higher suit card doesn't really matter.


After all the deck has been played and all the tricks have been taken by players - the scoring count procedure is determined.

In some games the general amount of tricks may be taken into consideration during the count process. Such rule we may observe in the Whist game, for example.

In other games the value of particular cards is considered to be the principal factor during the score count. E.g. in Hearts card game all the heart suits count as 1 point and the Queen of spades value is 13 points.

As we see the principles differ from game to game and it's quite hard to generalize all the trick-taking games and fit the universal rules for one single activity.

So learn the games separately and play them with fun.