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Clever trick play for cash!

Materials needed

  • A Deck of 52 Cards


This is a modern trick taking delight by Taiki Shinzawa. These rules are adapted from the official rules shared on the games boardgamegeek page, with some money rules added for Hanukkah.


If playing with 3 players, remove 1 red suit from the game.

Shuffle and deal all cards to all players equally (in a 5 player game, 2 cards will be left. Leave them aside for the round)

Everyone agrees on a max ante. this is how much they can lose per suit at the end of the round. A 3-4 coin max ante can be good (this can be a high stakes game!)

Everyone puts the max ante into the center to start the pool.

Play begins with the dealer.

The Trick

This is a “must-follow” trick taker with no trump suit, but with a trick limit.

The dealer leads the first trick by playing any card from their hand.

Moving to the left, the next player must follow with a card of the same suit, if they have it. Otherwise, they can play any card.

Everytime a card is played, the player says the combined sum of all cards played so far (regardless of suit. If this sum is equal to or greater than the TRICK LIMIT, then that player wins the trick.

Players Trick Limit
3 14
4 16
5 17

Otherwise, play continues to the left.

If all players have played a card to this trick and none have hit the trick limit, than the winner of the trick is whoever played the highest card in the leading suit.


It is a three player game. Al leads the trick, playing a 7♦ and saying “7”.

Lou has a 4♦, 8♦, and 10♦ in her hand. She must play one of them, and chooses the 8♦. She plays and calls out “15”.

15 is greater than the trick limit of 14. Lou wins the trick, the round ends without Kelly playing a card.


It is a three player game. Al leads the trick, playing a 7♦ and saying “7”.

Lou has a 4♦, 8♦, and 10♦ in her hand. She must play one of them, but does not want to win this trick (for reasons). She plays the 4♦ and calls out “11”.

As the trick limit has not been reached, play proceeds to Kelly. Kelly has a 2♣ and a 6♠. They play the 2♣ and call out “13”.

As the trick limit was not reached, the winner is whoever played the highest of the leading suit. Al wins the trick with the 7♦.

(Alternately, if Kelly wanted to win the trick, they could have played the 6♠, called out “17”, and since it met or exceeded the limit would have won the trick.)

Preparing for the next trick

Whoever won the trick takes the cards and arranges them in lines according to suit, or adds them to the lines already established on a previous trick.

These lines should be visible and countable to all other players.

The winner chooses who leads the next trick (they can choose themselves).

Round’s End

When someone runs out of cards in their hand, the round ends. All other plays may choose any of their remaining cards and play them facedown. Once everyone has chosen, they can reveal their facedown cards and add them to their lines of winning cards.

These final lines of cards become your score for the round.


For each suit, if you have the most cards of that suit, compared to all other players’ lines, then you get +1 point per card in your suit’s line.

Otherwise, you get -1 point for each card in that suit’s line.

If you are tied for most of that suit, then no one wins, and you count -1 per card in that suit’s line.

If your final score is negative, lose a coin per point to the pool (up to an agreed maximum).

Else, for every point won take a coin from the pool(up to a maximum) and place them in front of you in a pile.


In this game, the players agreed to a max. 4 coin ante.

It’s the end of the round.

Al has: 7 ♠‘s | 0 ♥ | 1 ♣

Lou has: 4 ♠‘s | 7 ♥ | 6 ♣

Kelly has: 3 ♠ | 6 ♥ | 6 ♣

For spades: Al has the most and would take 7 coins from the pool, but because of the max ante, only takes 4. Lou loses 4 to the pool and Kelly 3.

For hearts: Lou wins, and takes 4 from the pool. Al loses no coins, and Kelly would lose 6, but due to the max ante, only loses 4 coins.

For clubs: There is a tie, with no winner. Lou and Kelly both lose 4 coins to the pool. Al loses 1 coin to the pool.

At the end of the round, Al has 3 coins in a pile as his winnings. Lou and Kelly have no coins in front of them.

Next Round and Game End

After scoring, dealing moves one player to the left. Play continues as normal.

Once everyone has had a chance dealing, count the final prize winnings. Whoever has the most coins in front of them wins the game and gets to take the remaining prize pool. Ties split the pool between them.

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