OBJECTIVE OF PASTON: The objective of Paston is to be the first player to reach 121 points.


MATERIALS: A modified deck of 52 cards, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Paston is a trick-taking card game for 3 players. The goal of the game is to reach 121 points before your opponents.


The deck is modified to be 32 cards. The included cards are ranked Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, and 7 (low).

A dealer is chosen at random and shuffles the deck. The player to their right will cut, and the dealer looks at the bottom of the deck. If the bottom card is the 7 of spades the deck is reshuffled and cut again.

The dealer then deals each player a hand of 10 cards, 2 cards at a time. After the first round of 2 cards are dealt to each player, the dealer deals two cards face down in the center of the table. This is called the prikup and is used later.

If a player holds all of the spades 7 through Queen but does not have the King or Ace of the suit, then a redeal is called for.

For the first round of bidding the first bidder is the player holding the Jack of spades. If the jack of spades is in the prikup then the holder of the 7 of spades becomes the first bidder. For the second round this player becomes the new dealer, and from then on the first dealer is the player to the left of the dealer, who becomes the next dealer in the next round. this continues around the table clockwise.


The bidding is held to find the rounds declarer. The declarer must win 6 out of the 10 tricks for the round and gets to call the trump suit.

On a player’s turn, they can either pass or call a trump suit. The suits are ranked Paston (aka spades) (low), Glitch (aka clubs), Dineri (aka diamonds), Gupa (aka hearts), and Paston Grkha (aka best Spades) (high). To call a suit you must go in order from lowest to highest rank. So, the bid must begin with paston, and each new bid increases the rank of the suit. The bid ends if a player bids Paston Grkha and that player is the declarer. The bid also ends when 2 other players have passed and a bid has been made by the third.

Once a player passes, they are no longer in the bidding round. If all players pass the declarer is the player holding the Jack of spades, or the 7 of spades if the jack is not present.

Contracts To Play

The declarer then takes the prikup and discards any two cards from their hand face down on the table. They may then declare the trump suit, which must be either the suit they bid or a higher-ranking suit. Paston Grkha cannot be called if it was not bid and may be the only suit declared if it was bid.

Instead of declaring a trump suit, the declarer may also choose to surrender, choosing to take the penalty instead of playing through the round.

If the declarer does choose to play, the other two players may choose to play the round by calling whist or pass and be out of the round of play. If both players call whist, they each need to win 2 tricks, to avoid penalty. If only one player calls whist, they must win 4. If both players pass, then the declarer wins the round and scores without playing.


After bidding and contracts, the gameplay can begin, the declarer leads the first trick.

The lead card can be of any suit of the player’s choosing. All following players must follow suit if able, and if they cannot, must then play a trump. If no trumps are available, they may play any card.

The trick is won by the highest trump played, if applicable. If no trumps were played, then the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of the trick takes the cards into their score pile and leads to the next trick.

After all 10 tricks are played, the scoring can begin.


Scoring happens after all 10 tricks have been won, the declarer surrenders, or both players pass on whist.

Each player’s score is kept cumulative over several rounds of play. The standard scoring is done for pastons and multiplied based on the suit declared.

If the declarer was successful and wins 6 or more tricks, they score 10 points to their total. If they fail, then they lose 10 points from their score. Scores can be negative.

For the other players, the scoring depends on if both or only one player called whist. If both players called whist, they score individually based on how many tricks they won personally. If they did not win any tricks, they lose 10 points, if they scored 1 trick they lose 9 points, if they won 2 tricks, they score 0 points, if they won 3 points they score 10 points, if they won 4 tricks they score 20 points, and if they won more then 4 tricks, they score an additional 10 points per extra trick they won.

If only one player called whist, they lose 10 points for winning no tricks, lose 9 points for winning 1 trick, lose 8 points for winning 2 tricks, lose 7 points for winning 3 tricks, earn 0 points for winning 4 tricks, earn 10 points for winning 5 tricks, earn 20 points for winning 6 tricks, and if you won more then 6 tricks you score an additional 10 points for each additional trick won.

If neither player called whist the declarer scores 10 points, and the opponents score no. If the declarer surrenders the declarer loses 10 points, and each opponent earns 2 points.

Score Multipliers

The scores are multiplied based on the suit declared by the declarer. Glitch multiples the score by 2, Dineri by 3, Gupa by 4. When Paston Grkha is declared the scores are multiplied by 4, except the declarers 10 points for a successful bid, they do not earn 40 points.

If a player reaches negative 121 points, their score is reset to 0.


The game ends when a player reaches 121 points. This player is the winner. 

Amber Crook
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