LINGER LONGER



OBJECTIVE:  Be the last player to remain in the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 6 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 playing cards

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking

AUDIENCE: Adults


INTRODUCTION OF LINGER LONGER

Linger Longer is an English trick taking game.  It is a simple game that incorporates a trump suit, so players may like to use this in order to teach that mechanic to others.

Play an amount of rounds equal to the number of players.  For example, if there are four players, four rounds should be played.

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

Linger Longer requires a standard 52 card French deck.  To determine the dealer, each player should take a card from the deck.  The first player to draw a Jack becomes the dealer.  From this point on, the winner deals the next round.

The dealer will shuffle the cards thoroughly.  The deal for this game is unique.  Each player should receive an amount of cards equal to the number of players in the game.  If there are four players, each one will be dealt four cards.  Five cards are dealt if there are five players and so on.  The last card that is dealt to the dealer’s hand is placed face up on the table.  This card establishes the trump suit for the game.  Once everyone has seen the card, the dealer can pick it up and add it to their hand.

(Take note of the Lift Smoke alternative rule.  The dealer does not show their card.  Instead, they reveal the top card from the draw pile and place it to the side face up.  That card determines trump and is not used in the game.)

The rest of the cards are placed in the center.  They make up the draw pile.

Play can now begin.

THE PLAY

Beginning with the player on the left side of the dealer, that player may choose any card from their hand to play and begin the trick.  The trick is composed of all the cards played to the center.  Following players then choose one card from their hand to play to the trick.  The card they choose must follow suit.  If a player can’t follow the suit that was led, they may play any card that they wish.

The player who played the highest card in the suit that was led or the highest trump card, wins the trick.  That player takes the trick and sets it aside face down.  That player also draws a card from the draw pile.  They now have more cards than the rest of the players.  Throughout the game, it will be common for each player’s hand size to be different.  

The player that wins the trick leads first.  They may choose any card from their hand and play it.  Other players then choose a card to play following the above mentioned rules.

As the game progresses, players will eventually run out of cards in their hand.  Once a player no longer has any cards in their hand, they are out of the game.  However, if they play their last card and win the trick, they may draw a card and play it.  As long as they win the trick, they remain in the game.

(Take note of an alternative rule called Instant Out.  According to this rule, once a player has played their final card they are out of the game regardless of whether they win the trick or not.) 

SCORING

The last player to have cards remaining in their hand wins the round.  If the draw pile runs out, the last player to take a trick wins the round.

The player who wins the round earns one point for each card left in their hand.

WINNING

After playing one round for each player in the game, the player with the highest score wins.  

Mark Ball
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