OBJECTIVE OF ANRUFEN: The objective of Anrufen is to win tricks in order to complete your bids or prevent others from completing theirs.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS:  3 or 4 Players

MATERIALS: A modified 52-card decks, chips for marking scores, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Anrufen is a bidding and trick-taking card game where players bet on what kind of game, they think they could win. They win points, visualized by chips or other counters, from other players for winning their bets. On the other hand, if they lose their bets, they would have to give other players points from their point markers. 


To set up for Anrufen a standard deck of 52 cards is modified. The 8s and lower cards are removed leaving the 9s, 10, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces in. This makes a modified 24 card deck. 

Each player is given a way to mark their points and each player starts with 10 markers. 

Then the deck will be shuffled and cut by the player on the dealer’s right. All dealing and playing are done clockwise. The dealer for the next round will move to the left of the previous one.

Hands are dealt three cards at a time till each player has a hand of six cards. Then bidding may start. The first player to make a bid will be the player to the left of the dealer.

Card Rankings

The cards are ranked Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, Jack, and 9 (low). There is also a ranking of suits that is sometimes used for bidding. The suits are ranked hearts (high), diamonds, spades, and clubs. 

There are also some point values attributed to certain cards and certain configurations of cards when played. Each Ace and 10 are worth ten points. There are also points when you call a marriage (meaning you hold a king and queen of the same suit in your hand together). For the trump suit, a marriage is worth 40 points but for all other marriages, they are only worth 20 points each. You also get 10 points for winning the last trick of the game. 

This means in a game where no marriages are called a total of 90 points are available through winning tricks. 


Once the bidding stage begins the players will call out levels of bids to match or beat the previous player’s bid. You can also elect to pass instead of bidding. If all players pass the first time, a second wave of bidding starts, if all players pass again the cards are collected and redealt. 

When making a bid there are levels to bid. The first level is a regular game. This means the bidder, with help from a partner, will win most of the points available. In a game with no marriages, that’s 50 points but if marriages are involved it will be a higher value. 

The second level of a bid is a 100-point bid. This means with the help of a partner you will win at least 100 points. This means you will have to claim at least one marriage. 

The third level of bidding is to bid to win no tricks. This means you will not have a partner and you cannot win any tricks to complete this bid. 

The fourth level is to win all the tricks. This means with help from your partner you will win all the tricks in a hand. 

The fifth level is to win all the tricks and win 100 points. This means you must win all the tricks with a partner and call at least one marriage.

When a player makes a bid, they can either go up to the next level of a bid or match the bid of the previous player’s level. The only way you determine trump in a bid is if two equal bids are made then players will each declare a trump suit. The higher-ranking trump suit determines the kept bid the other is outbid. 

The bidding continues until all players have passed but one and at least one bid was placed. The winner of the round of bidding declares the trump suit if not already established by their bid. They will also declare a card of the trump suit the do not hold. The player with this card in hand will be the partner of the bidder but will not share this information with the table. 


Anrufen is played like a traditional trick-taking card game. The winning bidder starts the game and plays a card for the first trick. All following players must follow suit if able, and if not, they must play a trump; if they cannot do either they may play whatever card they choose. A player must always try to win a trick as well. So, partners must player their higher-ranking card even if their partner is already winning the trick. 

The trick is won by the highest-ranking trump if applicable, if not, it is won by the highest-ranking card played of the led suit. The winner of the previous trick will lead the next. 

During the first trick, a few things are established. The partner of the bidder may increase the bid of their team. They can do this by increasing the level of the bid to a higher one not including level three. If a bidder is going for no tricks, they will not have a partner and this step will be skipped. The opposing players can also bet again your ability to complete your bid by calling “contra” this will increase the payout of bids in the end. 

To play a marriage a player must be leading a trick and have both matching king and queen in their hand. They declare by first playing one of the cards in the marriage and then declaring. 

Six tricks in total are played until all hands are empty. Then scoring begins.


Scoring happens after each round. When scoring as a team a victor and a loser will pair off to trade tokens but in a round with a single bidder, the will payout or receive all tokens themselves. 

To score each team calculates their points. If the bidder succeeded in completing their bid they win and will receive points, otherwise, they will be paying the other team points. Bidders only gain lose tokens for the bid made not the bid achieved. So, if you bid a regular game but won over 100 points you will only receive scores for the regular game.

For a regular game, the bidder receives or pays out 1 score marker. For a 100-points bid, 2 tokens are given or received. For a no tricks bid each player receives or gives the bidder 2 tokens. For a bid of all tricks, 2 tokens are exchanged, and for a bid of all tricks and 100 points, three tokens are exchanged. If contra was established, then 1 extra token is given to the victors. 

Three players

For three players each player is dealt 7 cards instead of 6 and three remain in the center. The winning bidder has no partner, but the remaining players form a team. The winning bidder gets to look and take cards from the three remaining cards left from dealing and may discard any three cards including them, but any aces or 10s discarded are counted as points for the other team. All other game mechanics remain the same.


The game is played until one player is left with all the points. 

Nakoa Davis