OBJECTIVE OF ONE CARD: Score points by taking valuable tricks!
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-4 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 25 card Euchre deck
RANK OF CARDS: Joker (high), A, K, Q, J, 10, 9
TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking
AUDIENCE: All Ages
INTRODUCTION TO ONE CARD
One Card is a newly invented western trick-taking card game. It is called One Card because there is one card in the center that is won by the player who takes the final trick. This is a great game for people who love trick-taking card games and want to try a brand new variant they have probably never heard of! To learn the basics of trick-taking card games, click here.
The game is suited for 2 to 4 players and uses a traditional Euchre deck of 25 cards. A 52 card deck has all the cards below 9 removed, in all four suits, and adds a single joker. If you do not have a joker in your pack, the two of diamonds may be substituted for it.
The cards rank, from the high to low, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, with the Joker being the highest ranking card out of all the suits. It is, however, the lowest ranking trump card, if trumps are called.
Cut the deck to determine the dealer. After the dealer is chosen, they are to deal out 12 cards to each player (in a 2 player game), 8 cards to each in 3 player game, and 6 cards in a 4 player game. The last card in the deck is placed in the center of the playing table, face-down. The card is not revealed until it is picked up by the winner of the last trick.
The deal and the play move clockwise or to the left.
Once the deal is completed, the bidding begins. Each bid is equal to a number of points. The lowest legal bid is 8 points in a 2 player game, 7 in a 3 player game, and 6 in a 4 player game. Players do not have to bid, they may pass. The player who bids the highest plays the first card, the suit of which will be trump for that round. During the bidding, players can say how many points they would like to bid, but are not required to declare trumps. Players can continue outbidding up to 15 points or until all other players pass.
If all the active players decide to pass, there is no bid. The player sitting opposite the dealer leads in the first trick and there are no trumps. The game is ‘uptown.’ The joker, while not changing the order of the cards, if the highest ranking at 3 points. It may only be played as the first card of a trick OR if the player who holds the jack is unable to play a card from the suit led with.
If the joker is captured, that player can reverse the card order from ‘uptown’ to ‘downtown,’ meaning the rankings are reversed. So, 9 would be the highest ranking card, followed by 10, J, Q, K, and finally A.
Players must follow suit if possible, even if they have a trump card. However, if a player is unable to follow suit, they may play a trump card or a joker. The Joker is the lowest ranking trump card, as mentioned above.
If a trick is led with a trump, players must play a trump if they have one.
Once all tricks have been taken, the cards captured are scored. Each face card is worth 1 point and a joker is worth 3 points. Scores are summed at the end of the round. The player who wins (plays the highest ranking card from the suit led or highest ranking trump card) the last trick takes the one card, which is added to their score.
The highest bidder scores 0 points if they did not take points equal to their bid. However, all other players, score their taken cards normally.
The first player to earn 30 points wins.