OBJECT OF HUUTOPUSSI: The object of Huutopussi is to be the first team to reach 500 points.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: A modified 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF HUUTOPUSSI
Huutopussi is a trick-taking game for 4 players. It is played with 2 partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other. The goal of the game is to reach 500 points or more first to win.
This goal is reached by making bids and winning tricks to earn points. In doing so, your team will earn points towards their final score.
SETUP AND BIDDING
The deck will need to be modified. All cards 5 and below are removed from the deck. This leaves a 36-card deck to use for the game.
The first dealer is chosen at random but passes left after each new round. The dealer will shuffle the deck and the player to their right will cut the deck. Each player is dealt a hand of 9 cards clockwise.
After the cards are deal players will start a round of bidding. The player to the left of the dealer starts and must bid at least 50. All bids must be in increments of 5 and a player must bid higher than the previous bid made.
On a player’s turn to bid, they have 2 options; they may bid or pass. if passing a player is out of the round of bidding. If bidding players will continue to go around clockwise until 3 of the 4 players pass or a max bid of 440 is reached. The player who wins the bidding is now the declarer.
The partner of the declarer will now choose three of their cards and hand them to their partner. The declarer will look at these cards and must set a contract. It must be at least as much as the last bid they made during betting. This is how many points their team must reach to win the round and score points. after setting the contract they will pass back any three cards to their partner, so all players once again have 9 cards in hand.
If a player has three or more 6s or has no card higher than a jack in hand, they may on their turn to bid demands a redeal. In this case, all cards are collected and redealt.
Card Ranking and Values
The cards are ranked Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, Jack, 9, 8, 7, and 6(low).
The cards also have values associated with them. Aces and 10s are worth 10 points, kings, queens, and jacks are worth 5 points and all other cards hold no value. There are also 20 points awarded for winning the last trick and for marriages based on suits, used to declare trumps (see below for more explanation).
The game is started by the declarer. They may lead any card and the following players must follow suit if able. When following suit, you must also attempt to beat the currently winning card, even if it is held by your partner.
The game is not started with a trump suit, but one may be declared at some point. If this is the case and you cannot follow suit you must play a trump to the trick. If a trump has already been played you must also attempt to beat it if possible.
If you cannot follow suit and have no trumps or there is no trump suit, then you may play any card to the trick.
A trick is won by the highest trump played if applicable. If not, then it is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick takes it into their score pile and leads the next one.
A player can declare a trump suit if the following requirements are met. That player must have led and won the trick previously. Before leading the next trick, they may declare a trump suit in one of the following ways. Only one attempt to declare is allowed. To declare you may state a marriage you hold in hand, ask your partner for a marriage, or ask your partner for a half marriage.
If declaring a marriage (the king and queen of the same suit) from your hand, you state the suit of the marriage. This suit becomes trumps.
If asking your partner for a marriage they may state a marriage in their hand and this suit becomes trumps. If you ask for a marriage. then you may no longer declare marriages from your hand and your partner may not ask you for full marriages.
If asking your partner for a half marriage you must declare a king or queen of a suit. If they have the other card needed in hand to form the marriage they may say yes, and the suit then becomes trumps. If you ask for a half marriage you and your partner may no longer declare marriages from your hands. You may not ask your partner for full marriages, and your partner also may not ask you for full marriages.
Any cards used for marriages must be held at the time of declaration. Each suit can only be called one during the game as the same marriage may not be declared twice.
After the tricks have been completed scoring begins. each side tallies their score from cards won in trick and for declared marriages. The team to win the last trick also scores that.
Marriages are scored based on the suits. A marriage fo spades is worth 40 points, clubs is worth 60, diamonds 80, and hearst5 is worth 100 points.
The nondeclaring team scores any points they earned to their final score. The declares though may only score if they completed their contract and may only score the amount they contracted for even if their score exceeds it.
If the declarers team scores zero tricks they must score minus the amount contracted.
Negative scores are allowed and if a team reaches negative 500 points, they may not bid except for the compulsory 50 if they start the bidding.
END OF GAME
The game ends when a team reaches 500 or more points. if they are the first to do so, they win. If both reach 500 in the same round the team with the higher score wins. Ties can be drawn games or another round can be played to determine a final winner.