OBJECTIVE OF ASSERUFEN: The objective of Asserufen is to win tricks to score points.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: One modified 52-card deck, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF ASSERUFEN
Asserufen is a 4-player partnership game. The goal is to win tricks and score over a certain number of points. You can either be a part of the declarer’s team or the opponent’s team and this determines the point value you are trying to reach.
Players will bid to see who the declarer will be. This player gets to determine trump, and the game conditions to win. They may or may not have a partner dependent on the bid they make.
To set up, a deck of 52 cards will need to be modified to be 32 cards. All cards 6 and below will be removed. This will leave Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10s, 9s, 8s, and 7s.
A dealer will be chosen at random and will shuffle the deck, and the player to the left will cut the deck. Then each player will receive a hand of 8 cards, 4 at a time.
At the start of each new round, the player left of the previous dealer becomes the new dealer.
Card Rankings and Values
There are two different rankings for trump and non-trump suits. The ranking of the trump suit is Queen of clubs (high), Queen of spades, Queen of hearts, Queen of diamonds, Jack of clubs, Jack of spades, Jack of hearts, Jack of diamonds, Ace, 10, King, 9, 8, and 7 (low). For all other suits, the ranking is Ace (high), 10, King, 9, 8, and 7 (low).
Cards also have values attached to them. When you take a trick with these cards in them, you score their value in points. The values include Aces are worth 11 points, 10s are worth 10 points, Kings are worth 4 points, Queens are worth 3 points, Jacks are worth 2 points, and all other cards are worth no points. This leaves a total of 120 points to score each round.
After the cards have been dealt then the bidding will begin. It starts with the player to the left of the dealer and goes clockwise from there. Each player will bid on being declarer by bidding contracts. These are ways that the game is played for the round. On each player’s turn, they may either bid a higher contract than the previous player or pass. If all players pass, then players are given a chance to call “I hang on” if a player calls this it means they wish to be the declarer of an Asserufen contract with trump hearts. If no other bids have been made, then another player may call “May I’. If the original player agrees this will make the second player the declarer, but they may also refuse and remain the declarer.
If no player calls “I hang on” then all cards are reshuffled by the next dealer and the game is restarted.
To call May I, you will need to meet some requirements. This can only be called in response to an I hang on declaration. A player cannot call this if they have the ace of trumps or if they hold all three of the non-trump aces. To call may I, a player must have one non-trump suit they do not hold an ace of.
There are 5 different contracts that a player can bid. They will range below from lowest to the highest bid.
A bid of Asserufen is the lowest bid. This means hearts will be the trump suit and the declarer will call an Ace to determine their partner for the round.
A bid of Solo is next in ranking. This means the declarer will choose the trump suit and will play the game alone without a partner.
The next bid is heart solo. This is the same as a solo bid except the trump suit will be hearts.
A bid of Solo Du is the next highest. This means the player will play alone and must win all 8 tricks. They can call any trump.
The highest bid is hearts solo du. This is the same as solo du except hearts must be the trump suit.
If a bid if Asserufen is made the declarer will call an ace. This ace must be one they do not have in hand, and if possible, must be of a suit they hold at least one card from. If a player does not have an ace that follows this, they may call an ace even if they do not hold cards of that suit. If the declarer holds all aces, then they must call a ten.
The player with this card becomes the declarer’s partner. This information is not shared but will eventually become known during the game.
Once bidding is over the player to the dealer’s left may start the game. They may play any card from hand to lead the first trick. All the following players must follow suit if able. If not able to follow suit players may play any card they wish, including trumps. Remember queens and jacks do not belong to the suits printed on them, they are all considered trumps.
The trick is won by the highest trump, but if not applicable, then by the highest card of the original suit led.
At any time before they play the first card to the first trick, an opponent can call kontra. This means the score at the end will be doubled. Then the declarer or the declarer’s partner may call rekontra to double the score again. This can continue until players are done calling for the score to double.
If, however, an Asserufen bid was made, the game has a few restrictions to play with.
The first restriction is, if the dealer or one of the opponents leads the suit of the declared ace first, then the declarer’s partner must play the called ace.
The second restriction is if the declarer’s partner is the first to lead the declared ace, they must play the ace unless they hold at least 4 other cards of that suit.
The third restriction is if the declarer’s partner cannot follow suit in a trick the declared ace cannot be played to the trick.
The fourth restriction follows with the second restriction. If the declarer’s partner has four other cards of the declared ace’s suit, they may lead a lower-ranking card of that suit. When no one else plays the ace, it will be known the leading player is the declarer’s partner they will also know that the player has at least 3 other cards of that suit. The player is then released from all other restrictions.
After the tricks are finalized scoring can begin. If the game is being played for stakes these are paid dependent on points earned by each team. Usually, these are small stakes like 5 cents per point.
The points are distributed by completing the contracts. When the game is won or lost you gain a point. You gain a point for completing Asserufen, solo, and heart solo. You gain a point for having the three highest trumps. Your score is doubled for completing solo du or heart solo du. You gain an extra point when hearts are trumps except for the contract Asserufen. The score is also doubled for each kontra or rekontra called.
END OF GAME
The game is played until players are done bidding and wish not to play anymore.