OBJECTIVE OF CANADIAN SMEAR: The objective of Canadian Smear is to reach a score of 15.


MATERIALS: A Standard 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Canadian Smear is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. The goal is for your team to reach a score of 15 before your opponents.

This game is played with partnerships. Partners sit across from each other during the game.


The first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new deal.

This deck is shuffled and dealt out each player receiving 6 cards. The remaining deck is kept by the dealer for later.

Card Rankings and Point Values

All suits are ranked Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low).

For bidding, there are points awarded to players who win certain cards or meet certain criteria during the game

There are points awarded to players who win certain cards or meet certain criteria during the game. The things that award a point are the high trump, low trump, right Bauer, left Bauer, joker, and Game.

The high trump point is given to the team who plays the ace of trump. The low trump point is given to the team who plays the 2 of trump. Jack point is given to the team who wins the jack of trump in a trick. Finally, the game point is awarded to the team that scored the most points throughout the game.

For the game point, players tally their score based on the cards their team won in tricks. Each ace is worth 4 points, each king is worth 3, each queen is worth 2, each jack is worth 1, each 10 is worth 10 points, and the joker is worth 1 point.

There will be a total of 4 points up for grabs.


Once all players have received their hands the round of bidding can begin. The player on the dealer’s left will start and in turn, each player will bid higher than the previous or pass. Each player only gets one chance to bid. Players bid on how many of the above points they must win in a round.

The minimum bid is 2 and the maximum bid is 4.

If all other players pass, then the cards are thrown in a redealt by the same dealer.

The bidding ends once the dealer bids or passes, or a bid of 4 is made. The winner is the highest bidder and they become the bidder. 


The bidder will lead to the first trick. The first card led determines the trump suit. Play proceeds in clockwise order. The following players may follow suit if able or play a trump. If they cannot follow suit they may play any card, including trumps.

The trick is won by the highest-ranked trump. If not applicable, then the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner collects the trick and leads to the next trick.

The round ends once all 6 tricks are played. 


Scoring happens after each round.

The bidder’s team will determine if they were successful in completing their bid. If they were successful, they score the number of points won (this may be more than bid). If they were not successful, then the number bid is subtracted from their score. It is possible to have a negative score. The opposing team scores any points earned to their score as well.


The game is played until a team reaches a score of 15 or more. This team wins.

If more than one team reaches 15 in a single round then the team with more points wins, if there is still a tie, then the bidding team wins.

Amber Crook
Latest posts by Amber Crook (see all)