OBJECT OF MENSCH: The object of Mensch is to win rounds of bidding to gain chips.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: A modified 52 card deck, chips, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF MENSCH
Mensch is a trick-taking card game playable by 4 players. The goal of the game is to make bids and win tricks to earn more chips.
To modify the deck remove all cards 6 and below. This leaves you with a 32 card deck. The first dealer is chosen randomly and passes to the left for each new deal. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals each player a hand of 8 cards each.
The ranking is traditional with Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, and 7 (low). The trump suit ranks Queen of clubs (high), 7, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, and 8.
Starting with the player to the left of the dealer each player will have the option to place a bid or pass. each player gets only one chance to bid.
The options for bidding are Solo (high), seven after, seven, six after, six, five after, five, after, and half (low).
Bids of half means you will attempt to win at least 5 tricks with the help of a partner. Clubs will also be trump.
An after bid can only be made after a bid of half and has the same win conditions of a half bid.
Bids of five, six, or seven means you will win that many tricks without the help of a partner and you may choose the trump suit.
Bids of five after, six after, and seven after can only be made after their corresponding number bid has been made. these bids mean you will attempt to win that many tricks without the help of a partner and trumps will be clubs.
A bid of solo means you must win all the tricks, but you get to lead the first trick and pick the trump suit.
Players that have 3 or more clubs must make a bid of half or higher; the exception is if a bid of 5 or higher has already been called. On a player’s turn to bid they may either bid higher than the previous bid or pass. passing means they are no longer in the round of gambling.
If all players pass then the player holding the queen of hearts must call a partner and call trumps. They will be required to win at least 5 tricks to win.
To call a partner the bidder must announce a card of rank and suit. The card called cannot be a trump and the bidder must have one or more cards of the suit of the card being called. The player holding this card will be the bidder’s partner but must not announce this. It will become apparent during play.
The game starts with the player to the dealer’s left unless a solo bid was called. The leading player may play any card to the trick. the following players must follow suit if able but if not able to follow suit they may play any card. The winner of the trick is the player who plays the highest trump, if applicable. If no trumps were played then the trick is won by the highest card of the suit originally led. The winner will lead the next trick.
After all, tricks are played, and won scoring begins.
For a bid of half or after if the bid was successful the opponents each pay one chip. The bidder receives one as does their partner. If unsuccessful then the bidder and partner must each pay two chips, that the opponents receive. If no bid was made then the payouts are the same except if they lose the bidder and partner only need to pay one coin each.
For a bid of five, six, or seven, it matters what the trump suit was. If it was not clubs and the bidder was successful they receive 3 chips, one from each opponent. If they fail they must pay each opponent one chip.
For bids of five, six, or seven where the trump suit was clubs and the bidder was successful, the bidder receives 2 coins from each opponent. They also pay two coins to each opponent if they fail. These payouts are the same for five after, six after, and seven after bids.
If for any of the above bids the bidder wins all the tricks all payments are doubled.
For a bid of solo for a suit other than clubs, the bidder will win 4 chips from each other player. they will also pay 4 chips to each other player if they lose. If the trump suit was clubs the payments are doubled to 8 chips.
END OF GAME
The game ends whenever players wish for it too. There is not a technical winner, but the player to win the most chips can be considered the winner.