OBJECTIVE OF KNOCKOUT WHIST: Be the last player remaining in the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-7 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – A (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF KNOCKOUT WHIST
Knockout Whist is a simple trick taking game suited for a large range of players. It can be played with 2 – 7 people, and it is an easy game for anyone new to trick taking. In this game, players are trying to capture at least one trick each round in order to stay in the game. Any player who fails to capture at least one trick is knocked out. As the game progresses, more and more players are knocked out, and the last player remaining is the winner.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Beginning with a 52 card deck, shuffle and deal seven cards to each player. From the remainder of the deck, turn up the trump card. The suit of the turn-up card is the trump suit for the round. From the second round on, whoever wins the most tricks determines the trump suit for the next round after seeing their hand. If there is a tie for most tricks, players cut the deck, and the highest card chooses.
Deal passes left each round, and the deal size reduces by one card. In the second round, players are dealt six cards. They are dealt five in the third and so on until the final round in which each player is dealt 1 card.
THE FIRST TRICK
The player left of the dealer leads the first trick. Other players must follow suit if they can or else play any card. The trick is won by the highest card in the suit that was led or the highest trump card. Whoever takes the trick leads.
The round continues until all seven tricks are played.
If a player fails to capture any tricks during a round, they are knocked out of the game.
If the player who is knocked out would have dealt next, they should still complete the deal. This keeps a player from missing their chance to lead.
FINISHING THE GAME
Play continues with the hand size reducing each round. The final round is played with one card.
The last player remaining in the game is the winner. If there is more than one player in the game by the final round, whoever takes the final trick wins.