OBJECTIVE OF BID WHIST: The objective of Bid Whist is to reach the targeted score before the other team.


MATERIALS: One standard deck of cards plus 2 jokers one red and one black, a flat surface, and some way to track wins. 

TYPE OF GAME: partnership trick-taking game



Bid Whist is a partnership trick-taking game. This means there will be four players in teams of 2. These teams will compete by betting and winning tricks. 

When bidding players will go around the table and bet how many tricks they can win, whether there will be a trump, what it will be if there is one, and in what order the ranking will be. The winner of the bidding will determine the rules for the following round. 

The bid winner’s team will play through the round and score points for the tricks after the first six. Meaning a team winning 7 tricks gets the team one point. And teams lose points for not reaching their bid. So, a bid of 2 means you must win 8 tricks, only winning 7 tricks results in negative points.

When a team reaches the needed score (which can be 5,7, or 9, depending on how long you want the game) or the negative equivalent, the game ends and the team with the highest score wins. 


To set up for Bid Whist the deck, including the two jokers will be shuffled. The twelve cards will be dealt to each player by the dealer. The remaining cards make up the kitty and will be the first trick won by the winner of the bid. 



To start a round of Bid Whist the player to the left of the dealer will start a round of bidding. Each player will have one chance to bid. Each bid consists of a number of tricks they think they can win above 6 and how they would like the round to be played. The next player must raise the stakes either taking on a higher number of tricks to be won or raising the stakes with a higher difficulty of play. 

To indicate the way a round will be played a player may either say “NT”, meaning no trumps, Uptown, meaning traditional ranking or downtown, meaning reverse ranking. 

The uptown ranking is: Red Joker, Black Joker, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The downtown ranking is: Red Joker, Black Joker, Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King. 

To increase the bid players must win more tricks or increase the difficulty of the game. The ranking for difficulty of game is as follows: NT (high), downtown, uptown. Meaning a bid of 3 uptown is beat by either saying 4 uptown or 3 downtown. 

If all players pass the dealer must make a bid. 

The winner of the bid wins the kitty as the first trick. They must also make a second choice if the winning bid was NT (no trumps) they must decide whether to play it uptown or downtown. If the winning bid was uptown or downtown, they must decide the suite of the trump. 


After bidding the game may start. The player to the left of the dealer starts the first trick. Play will proceed clockwise, and each player must try to follow the led suit. When all players have played a card, the trick is won by the highest-ranking card. First following trump, then the highest card of the led suit.

If the bid was NT, then the jokers hold no suit and have no value. If the first card played is a joker, then the next suit card played is the led suit for the round. 

The winner of the trick leads the next trick. This continues until all twelve tricks have been played and won.



The team the won the bid will score points after the round is over. Each trick won after the first six are worth one point, but if your team did not meet their bid, the bid is subtracted from your score. So, if your score is zero and you bid 4 and won less then 10 tricks, your new score will be negative 4. 

The game ends when the number of points needed, or its negative counterpart is reached. The team with the highest score wins.

Nakoa Davis