OBJECTIVE OF AUCTION HOUSE: The objective of Auction House is to have the most points at the end of the game.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: A standard 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF AUCTION HOUSE
Auction House is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. The goal is for you to have the most points after 13 rounds of play.
Auction House was created by Andrew Walker. Below are additional notes from him on the game.
The deck is separated. All face cards King, Queens, and Jacks are removed and form their own separate 12-card deck called the trump deck. The trump deck is shuffled and placed face down in the center of the play area. The remaining 40 cards are shuffled and form the deck that hands are dealt from.
The dealer first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new deal. The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player 10 cards.
After hands are dealt an auction phase will begin. Starting with the player left of the dealer, they may choose to start an auction or pass. If they pass then the player to their left has the same options.
If all 4 players pass no auction is held that round and the game proceeds.
When a player chooses to start an auction that the following occurs. The player who calls the auction starts it by choosing a card from their hand. They will lay the card faceup on the table in front of them so that all other players may see it. They will then call a suit. The suit called must be of a different suit than the card they chose from their hand.
The other players will now choose any card from their hands and place them face down on the table in front of them. Once all players have chosen the cards are revealed. The auction starter must trade their card. They must choose the highest-ranked card of the suit they declared if applicable. If there are no cards of that suit, they may choose any of the three cards available to trade with. Once the trade is made all cards go back to their player’s hand and the auction ends.
After the auction round is closed or passed players will all choose one card from their hand to place face down on the table. These four cards are collected and placed to the side of the play area. These cards make up the kitty. The player who wins the most tricks at the end of the round will get to score the cards in the kitty.
Card Ranking and Point Values
The ranking for the game is 10 (high), 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low).
Each card has a point value associated that is used to score the cards won from the kitty. The cards have a numeric score that matches that of the card’s value. A 10 is worth 10 points, a 9 is worth 9 points, etc. Aces are worth 1 point each.
After the Auction is held or passed, and the kitty is formed the round may begin. Each player will have 9 cards in hand. To start the round the player left of the dealer reveals the top card of the trump deck. The suit that is revealed will be the trump suit for the round. In the final round, round 13, there will be no card to reveal and the round is played with no trumps.
After revealing trumps, the player to the dealer’s left plays any card to lead the first trick. Play proceeds clockwise. The following players must follow suit if able, and if they cannot then they may play any card to the trick, including trumps.
The trick is won by the highest-ranked trump, or if not applicable, by the highest-ranked card of the suit led. The winner of the trick leads the next.
After all 9 tricks are played, scoring can begin.
Players will tally the tricks they have won in the round. The player who won the most tricks will get to score all the cards from the kitty.
If there was a tie for who won the most tricks in a round the kitty is not scored by anyone, but the points are added to the score value of the next kitty.
If during the 13th round there is a tie for the kitty then no more points are scored for the game.
After the scoring phase of the 13th round the game ends.
END OF GAME
The game ends after the 13th round is concluded and scored. The player with the most points wins the game. If there is a tie, all tied players win.
The trump suit is not revealed until after hands are set and the kitty is built. This was done on purpose to add risk to the auction, as well as to allow better guesses on what trump will be as the game progresses. If agreed at the start of the game, the trump suit can be revealed at the start of the auction phase as an alternate/house rule. It is recommended for players who are newer to trick-taking games. The inspiration for this game came from the games of Oh Heck and Rook as elements from both games were incorporated into the rules and game flow.