OBJECTIVE OF BACON: Be the first team to reach 10 points or more
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players, teams of 2
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace, Trump 2 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF BACON
Bacon is a team based trick taking game that challenges players to take as many tricks as possible each hand. This game is played similarly to Turn Up Euchre in that only some of the cards are used during a hand. The remaining cards are also used to determine the trump suit.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Decide which team each player will be on and sit at the table with teammates across from each other.
Bacon uses a standard 52 card deck. In order to decide who is the first dealer, each player should draw a card from the deck. Lowest card deals first. This player is also the scorekeeper for the game. Return the cards to the deck.
The dealer should thoroughly shuffle the deck and deal five cards to each player one at a time. The remaining cards are known as the auction pile. Once the cards have been dealt, it is time to determine the trump suit for the hand.
The dealer will place the auction pile face down in the center of the table. Then, they will flip the top card over, so it is face up beside the auction pile. This begins the auction.
Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, if a player wants the suit of the auction card to be trump, they say “pick it up”. If they do not want it to be trump, they say “pass”. If a player passes, the next player to the left has the opportunity to either say pick it up or pass.
If all four players pass, that auction card is removed and a new one is flipped over from the draw pile. This process may repeat four times. After the fourth auction card has been passed on, the hand is considered a misdeal. All cards are thrown in and a new hand begins with the next dealer.
If a player wishes for the card’s suit to become trump, and they say “pick it up”, the player on their left gets to pick up the card and discard one from their hand face down. The player who picked up the card also gets to lead first.
The player who says to “pick it up” also has the choice to go alone. A player can choose to go alone if they think they can take 3 or more tricks without the help of their partner. If a player goes alone, their partner sits out for the hand.
The team who determined trump is known as the declaring team. The other team is referred to as the defending team.
Once trump has been determined, the auction pile is removed from the center of the table and set aside for the rest of the hand.
The permission rule is one of the biggest differences between Bacon and Turn Up Euchre. If a player declares trump and says to “pick it up”, their teammate can deny them permission to do so. A partner would do this if they think their partner is overestimating their hand. A partner can also deny permission for going alone. Being denied permission has the same result as a player saying “pass”. The auction simply passes to the next player.
Partners may not argue about permissions. If a partner is denied, the turn immediately passes.
Once the cards have been dealt and trump is determined, the game may begin. Starting with the player who picked up the card, they choose one card from their hand and play it to the center of the table. Continuing around the table, each player also plays a card. They must follow suit if able. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any card they choose. All of the cards played make what is called a trick. The highest card in the suit that was led or the highest trump card takes the trick. Whoever takes the trick leads next.
Play like this continues until all five tricks have been played. Once all of the tricks have been played, it is time to tally up the score. After determining the score for the hand, all of the cards are collected (along with the auction pile), and handed to the new dealer. The new dealer is the player left of the previous dealer.
The team that wins three or four tricks earns 1 point. If a team wins all five tricks they earn 2 points. If either of these were done while going alone, the points are doubled.
If the defending team wins the hand, their points are doubled.
The first team to earn 10 points or more wins the game.