OBJECTIVE OF HUCKLEBUCK:  Be the first player to reach 11 points or more

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 7 players


RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace, trump suited 2 – Ace (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking



Hucklebuck is a relatively new trick taking game that became popular in the 1990’s.  It is similar to Bourre in many ways.  As with most card games, there are a variety of ways to play Hucklebuck.  The rules below are an amalgamation of the most popular rule sets.


Hucklebuck requires a 52 card deck.  Shuffle and deal 5 cards to each player.  Place the remaining cards face down as a draw pile and turn the top card over to determine the trump suit for the round.


In a game with more than four players, players who do not want to stay in for the hand may bow out.  Beginning with the player on the left side of the dealer, each player states whether they will stay in or out for the round.  If a player bows out, the dealer collects their cards and places them face down in a discard pile.

In a five player game, only one player may bow out.  In a six player game, two may bow out.  In a seven player game, three may bow out.


The players that remain in the game will now get a chance to exchange some cards if they wish.  Again, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player will choose a number of cards they want to exchange and hand them face down to the dealer.  The dealer then draws that same number of cards from the draw pile and gives them face down to the player.  The cards collected by the dealer are kept face down and placed on the discard pile.  If a player does not want to exchange any cards, they simply say pass.


The first person on the left side of the dealer gets to go first.  This is called leading the trick.  They can choose any card from their hand and play it.  Continuing around the table, all players must follow suit if they can, and they may play any card they choose if they can’t follow suit.  The highest ranking card in the suit led or the highest ranking trump suited card captures the trick.  The player who captured the trick leads next.  The round continues as such until all five tricks have been completed and captured.


A player earns 1 point for each trick they capture.  If a player fails to capture any tricks, they lose 3 points from their score.  A player’s score can’t go below zero.


The first player to reach 11 points or more wins the game.  In the event of a tie, play until the tie is broken.

Mark Ball
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