OBJECTIVE OF CUTTHROAT CANADIAN SMEAR: The objective of Cutthroat Canadian Smear is to reach a score of 11.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or 3 Players

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

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Cutthroat Canadian Smear is a trick-taking card game for 2 or 3 players. The goal is for you to reach a score of 11 before your opponents.

This game is played alone, with each player playing against the others.


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 set aside.

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, Jack, and Game.

The high trump point is given to the player who plays the ace of trump. The low trump point is given to the player who plays the lowest numeric trump in play (will usually be the 2 of trumps but it will be whatever the lowest one in play is.) Jack is given to the player who wins the jack of trump in a trick. Finally, the game point is awarded to the player that scored the most points throughout the game.

For the game point, players tally their score based on the cards their player 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 played reveals the trumps suit. Play proceeds in clockwise order. The following players must follow suit if able or trump. If they cannot follow suit 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 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 players score any points earned to their score as well.


The game is played until a player reaches a score of 11. Once a player has 11 points, they must make a bid and be successful to win the game. The first player to do so is the winner. Any player that has at least one point and successfully completes a bid of 4 automatically wins the game as well.

Amber Crook
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