OBJECT OF GLEEK: The object of Gleek is to win stakes. 


MATERIALS: One modified 52-card deck, chips or coins, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Showdown Card Game



Gleek is a showdown game for 3 players. In Gleek, players will try to win points throughout the round. This in turn wins them stakes at the end of the round and throughout the game. There are sections of bidding, declaring, trick playing. 


The first dealer is chosen at random and for future rounds, the dealer passes to the left for each new deal. The deck will need to be modified at the start of the game. this is done by removing the 3s and 2s from the deck. 

After the deck is modified the dealer shuffles and deals each player 12 cards for their hands. This is typically done in batches of 3 cards at a time. The remaining 8 cards are placed centrally, and the top card is flipped to determine the trump suit for the round. the dealer will receive stakes for turning over the 4, 5, or 6 when revealing trumps. He gets a number of stakes equal to the numeric value of the card flipped from each other player. 

After players receive their hands and trumps revealed players will bid to potentially improve their hands. The player left of the dealer must start the bidding at 12 stakes. Then in turn to the left players may either raise the bid or pass. When 2 players have passed the remaining player pays each other player the number of stakes bid and then discards 7 cards from their hand. They then take the 7 remaining facedown cards to their hand. 

Card Rank and Value

The cards rank ace(high), king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4(low). Trumps of certain ranks also have values attached to them. These values are scored for having the cards in hand when you play them, not for winning them in tricks. The ace has a value of 15, king and queen have a value of 3, jack has a value of 9. 

There is a separate value system for the ruff (described below). In this instance all cards have value and aces are worth 11, Kings, queen, and jacks are worth 10 and numeric cards have their numeric value. 


To start gameplay players bet on if they believe they hold the best ruff in hand. This meaning which player holds the most value in a single suit. This is determined using the point values for ruffs described above. The highest-ranked ruff though is a complete set of 4 aces. 

Anyone may start the betting usually with a starting bet of 2 stakes. Once the betting begins, in clockwise order players may call, raise, or fold. This goes until either two players pass and no showdown occurs or at least player sees another player’s bet, and no raise has occurred in between. If a showdown is needed the players will then reveal their ruffs and the winner is paid accordingly.

If no players wish to start the betting then it is skipped for the round and the stakes are doubled next round. 

Once bidding is done players will declare gleeks and mournivals from their hands. Gleeks are sets of three cards of the same rank and mournivals are sets of 4 of the same rank. They must be of a rank higher than 10 though to be counted. Gleeks of aces are worth 4 stakes from each player, kings are worth 3 stakes, queens are worth 2 stakes, and Jacks are worth 1 stake. These numbers are doubled for mournivals. After these values are all paid out, the trick playing may begin.

To start the tricks the player left of the dealer leads. The following players must follow suit but if they cannot, they may play any card. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit lead, or if trumps were played to the trick, by the highest trump played. The winner takes the trick into a scoring pile and leads the next trick.

When playing the 4, 5, or 6 of trumps to a trick the player who plays it earns from each player a number of stakes equal to the cards numeric value. 

When playing a face card, they should be announced so that they are known to be counted later in the scoring. 


After the final trick is played scoring can begin for the round. You score 3 points for every trick you have won, and the value associated with declared face cards. The dealer will count any face card revealed for trumps into their score. Then players will pay or take from the pot depending on their score minus 22. So a player who earns 32 points will take 10 from the pot, while a player with 12 pays 10. 


The game ends when players wish it to, though an equal number of rounds is usually played. 

Amber Crook
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