OBJECTIVE OF MINNESOTA SMEAR: The objective of Minnesota Smear is to reach a score of 21.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 Players
MATERIALS: A Standard 52-card deck, 2 jokers, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF MINNESOTA SMEAR
Minnesota Smear is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. The goal is for your team to reach a score of 21 before your opponents.
This game is played with partnerships. Partners sit opposite of each other.
The first dealer is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new deal.
This deck is shuffled and dealt out each player receiving 9 cards. The remaining deck is set to the side and not used for the round.
Card Rankings and Point Values
The trump suit is ranked Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, Jokers, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low). If both Jokers are played within the same trick, the first played ranks higher than the second played.
The other suits rank traditionally Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low).
For bidding, there are points awarded to players who win certain cards or meet certain criteria during the game
There are points awarded to players who win certain cards or meet certain criteria during the game. The things that award a point are the high, low, Jack, and Game.
The high point is given to the team who plays the ace of trump. The low trump point is given to the team who plays the 2 of trump. The Jack point is given to the team that wins the trick containing the Jack of trumps. Finally, the game point is awarded to the team that scored the most points throughout the game. If there is a tie no point is awarded.
For the game point, players tally their score based on the cards their team won in tricks. Each ace is worth 4 points, each king is worth 3, each queen is worth 2, each jack is worth 1, each 10 is worth 10 points, and the joker is worth 1 point.
There will be a total of 4 points up for grabs.
Once all players have received their hands the round of bidding can begin. The player on the dealer’s left will start and in turn, each player will bid higher than the previous or pass. Each player only gets one chance to bid. Players bid on how many of the above points they must win in a round.
The minimum bid is 2 and the maximum bid is 4.
If all other players pass, then the cards are thrown in a redealt by the same dealer.
The bidding ends once the dealer bids or passes, or a bid of 4 is made. The winner is the highest bidder and they become the bidder.
After the bid is completed, the bidder chooses the trump suit.
After the bidding is completed, all players choose 3 cards to discard to reach a hand of 6 cards.
They may not discard trumps unless they have more than 6 trumps in hand.
The bidder will lead to the first trick. Play proceeds in clockwise order. The following players must follow suit if able. If they cannot follow suit may play any card, including trumps.
The trick is won by the highest-ranked trump. If not applicable, then the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner collects the trick and leads to the next trick.
The round ends once all 6 tricks are played.
Scoring happens after each round.
The bidder’s team will determine if they were successful in completing their bid. If they were successful, they score the number of points won (this may be more than bid). If they were not successful, then the number bid is subtracted from their score. It is possible to have a negative score. The opposing team scores any points earned to their score as well.
END OF GAME
The game is played until a team reaches a score of 21 or more. This team wins.
If both teams reach 21 in a single round then the team with more points wins, if there is still a tie, then the bidding team wins.