OBJECTIVE OF MINNESOTA WHIST: Be the first team to earn 13 points or more
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players in partnerships
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF MINNESOTA WHIST
Minnesota Whist is a team-based trick taking game for 4 players. The game is popularly played in Minnesota and South Dakota, and it is said to have been imported along with the Norwegians who settled in the two states.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Minnesota Whist uses a 52 card deck. The game is played with four players in teams of two. Team mates should sit across from each other at the table.
Each player cuts the deck to determine the dealer. The highest card deals first. Dealer shuffles and doles out 13 cards to each player.
Deal passes left each round.
After each player has received their hand, they decide whether they want to attempt to capture or avoid tricks for the round. Choosing to capture tricks is called granding. If a player wants to grand, they choose a black card from their hand and place it face down in front of them.
If a player wants to avoid tricks and pass, they choose a red card from their hand and place it face down.
Once each player has placed a card face down in front of them, they reveal it one at a time beginning with the player left of the dealer. If a red card is turned up, the player passes and the next person turns over their card. The moment a black card is turned, bidding ends and no one else shows their card.
If a black card is shown, the hand is referred to as a Grand Hand, and the team that bid the black card is trying to take 7 or more tricks.
If all four cards are red, a Nula Hand, each player is attempting to capture 6 or fewer tricks.
THE FIRST TRICK
For a Grand Hand, the player seated to the right of the player who granded leads the first trick. In a Nula Hand, the player seated left of the dealer will lead.
The trick-leader plays any card from their hand. Players who follow must match the suit if they are able. If they are unable to do so, they play any one card from their hand. The highest card in the lead suit takes the trick.
The trick-winner leads with a card from their hand. Play continues until the completion of the final trick
ENDING THE GAME
Continue to play rounds until one team reaches 13 points or more.
In a Nula Hand, a team earns one point for each trick captured under seven. For example, if the team captures six tricks, they earn 1 point. Five tricks would earn 2 points and so on.
In a Grand Hand, the team that granded earns 1 point for each trick captured over six. For example, if they capture 8 tricks, they earn 2 points.
If the non-granding team captures more than six tricks, they earn 2 points per trick captured over six. For example, if the non-granding team captures nine tricks, they earn 6 points.
The first team to earn 13 points or more wins the game.