OBJECTIVE OF KANI: The objective of Kani is to win tricks to achieve the highest score.


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

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game 



Kani is a trick-taking bidding game where players bid how many tricks they will win and score points or lose points depending on if they achieve their bet. The game is played with 4 players.

Players should determine what score is needed to win the game before the start of play.


To set up a dealer is chosen randomly. After this dealer will pass to the left after each round. The dealer will shuffle the cards and the deck should be cut by the player on the right. The cards are then dealt to each player, 13 in total, one at a time.

Rankings of Cards

Kani has a traditional ranking of cards Ace(high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2(low). 


To bid a player will either pass or make a bet of how many tricks they believe they and a partner can take in the game. You must bid at least 6 and every bid must be higher than the last. The maximum bid is Kani. When a player bids Kani they are saying they will win all 13 tricks with trumps and a partner.

Bidding begins with the player on the left of the dealer. They will either bid a number or pass. Each player, in turn, will follow suit. Once a player passes, they are out of the round of bidding, and bidding continues until 3 players have passed or Kani has been bid. If all 4 players pass without a bid being made, hands are discarded and redealt. 


The player to win the bidding goes first. They may lead any card to the first trick. The suit of that card becomes trump, they also call out a card of that suit they do not hold, and the player who holds that card must play it in the first trick. That player becomes their partner. 

Players following must follow suit if possible, if not they may play any card. The highest trump wins the trick but if there are no trumps then the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The player who wins the trick leads the next one.


Once all tricks have been played a score is given to each player. If the bidding player and their partner won a number of tricks equal to or greater than the number bided, then they individually score points equal to the number bided. But if they failed to reach that number, then the other team scored points equal to the bidder’s bid.

If a player bids Kani then they will score 50 points if successful, or the other team scores 50 points if they failed.

There is also a variation where all bids that are not Kani are only worth 10 points.


The game ends when a player reaches the needed score to win. This player is the winner.

Amber Crook
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