OBJECTIVE OF AMERIKANER: The objective of Amerikaner is to win tricks in order to achieve the highest score.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-5 players
MATERIALS: A standard 52-card deck, a flat surface and a way to keep scores.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF AMERIKANER
Amerikaner is a trick-taking bidding game where players bid how many tricks they will win and score points or lose points depending on if they achieve their bet. The game is played most commonly with 4 players but below I will describe the changes needed to play with 3 or 5 players as well.
To set up a dealer is chosen randomly. After this dealer will pass to the left after each round. The dealer will shuffle the cards and the deck should be cut by the player on the right. The cards are then dealt to each player, 12 in total, one at a time. There should be 4 remaining cards called the kitty that is placed face down in the center of the table.
Rankings of Cards
Amerikaner has a traditional ranking of cards Ace(high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2(low).
To bid a player will either pass or make a bet of how many tricks they believe they and a partner can take in the game. You must bid at least 6 and every bid must be higher than the last. The maximum number of tricks in a hand is 12 but a player may bid higher than 12, calling Amerikaner. When a player bids Amerikaner they are saying they will win all 12 tricks on their own without the help of a partner.
Bidding begins with the player on the left of the dealer. They will either bid a number or pass. Each player, in turn, will follow suit. Once al player passes, they are out of the round of bidding, and bidding continues until 3 players have passed or Amerikaner has been bid. If all 4 players pass without a bid being made, hands are discarded and redealt.
Once a player has won the bid, they pick up the kitty and discard any cards from the kitty or hand to reach 12 cards again.
The player to win the bidding goes first. If they did not bet Amerikaner than they play a card of any kind. The suit of that card becomes trump, they also call out a card of that suit they do not hold, and the player how does hold that card must play it in the first trick. That player becomes their partner.
Players following must follow suit if possible, if not they may play any card. The highest trump wins the trick but if there are no trumps then the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The player who wins the trick leads the next one.
If a player called Amerikaner then they have no partner and there is no trump suit.
Once all tricks have been played a score is given to each player. If the bidding player and their partner won a number of tricks equal to or greater than the number bided, then they individually score points equal to the number bided. But if they failed to reach that number, they individually lose points equal to the bid made. All other players score one point for each trick won.
If a player bids Amerikaner then they will score 52 points for a success or lose 52 points if they failed. All other players still score one point for each won trick if they failed to complete Amerikaner.
3 and 5 Players
For a 3-player game, the differences include: 16 card hands will be dealt, and the lowest bid is 8.
For a 5-player game, the differences include: 10 card hands are dealt, the kitty will only consist of 2 cards, and the lowest bid is 5.
END OF GAME
The game ends when a player or multiple players reach 52 or more points. The player with the highest score wins.