RIKKEN



OBJECTIVE OF RIKKEN: Be the player with the most points at the end of the final round

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS:  52 cards

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking Card Game

AUDIENCE: Adults


INTRODUCTION OF RIKKEN

Rikken is a trick-taking game played in Northern Europe.  Trick-play and deck structure are typical, but the bidding for this game is quite extensive.  Players will bid based on the cards in their hand.  There are a variety of bids that rank from low to high.  The player who bids highest is required to meet the contract of that bid.  Sometimes this is done with a partner, and sometimes it is done alone.  Depending on the bid, a trump suit will be determined.  This game can be played for points or for cash.  If playing for points, determine the number of rounds that will be played.  The person with the most points at the end of the round is the winner.  If playing for cash, payments are made at the end of each round.

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

 A standard 52 card deck is used for this game.  Cards rank 2 low up through Ace high.  Determine a dealer who will cut the deck (do not shuffle) and deal 13 to each player.  The cards are dealt in packets of six and seven.  Deal will pass left each round.

BIDDING

Bidding begins with the player seated left of the dealer.  Bids rank from low to high in the following table:

BidDetailsPoints
RichWin at least 8 tricks with a partner called by Ace, bid-winner calls trump suit.1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 8
Rich BetterWin at least 8 tricks with partner called by Ace, Hearts is trump1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 8
8 AloneWin at least 8 tricks with no partner, calls trump suit1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 8
MiseryWin zero tricks, no partner & no trump suit5
1 AloneWin 1 trick only, no partner & no trump5
9 AloneWin at least 9 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 9
10 AloneWin at least 10 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 10
11 AloneWin at least 11 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 11
12 AloneWin at least 12 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit1 + 1 point for each trick beyond 12
Open MiseryWin zero tricks, no partner, no trump, bid-winner’s hand is played face up on table after the first trick10
Open 1 AloneWin 1 trick, no partner, no trump, bid-winner’s hand is played face up on table after the first trick10
Triple AceWin at least 8 tricks, bid-winner has three Aces and partners with player who has fourth Ace, trump suit called by partner2 + 1 point for each trick beyond 8
Open Misery – All PlayersWin zero tricks, no partner, no trump, all players’ cards played face up on the table after the first trick, opponents may discuss which cards to play15
Open 1 Alone – All PlayersWin 1 trick, no partner, no trump, all players’ cards played face up on the table after the first trick, opponents may discuss which cards to play  15
13 AloneWin all 13 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit15
Open 13 AloneWin all 13 tricks, no partner, calls trump suit, bid-winner’s hand is played face up on table after the first trick20

Once a player makes a bid, following players must bid higher or pass.  Players who pass cannot rejoin the bidding later.  Once all the players but one have passed, the round can begin.  The bid-winner must meet their contract.

There is one exception to this rule.  It is possible for more than one player to bid Misery or 1 Alone.  Those two bids are of the same level.  Open Misery and Open 1 Alone are the same level with each other as well as Open Misery All Players and Open 1 Alone All Players.

If all of the players pass without bidding, the cards are collected and dealt again.  The player seated left of the previous dealer becomes the new dealer.

CALL FOR AN ACE

If the bid-winner declares Rich or Rich Better, their partner is determined by calling for an Ace.  The bid-winner calls for an Ace of their choice, and that player becomes their partner for the round.  This must be done before the first trick.  That partner cannot say anything.  Partnerships will be discovered as cards are played.  The trump suited Ace cannot be called. 

The bid-winner must normally call an Ace in a suit that they have possession of in their hand.  If that is not possible because they already have the Aces, they can still call for an Ace in a suit they do not have but must announce that the call is blind.

If the bid-winner has all four aces, they may call for a King.  The same rules for Kings apply.

If a player has three Aces, and no other player has bid higher than troela, that player must bid Triple Ace on their first bid.

THE PLAY

The bid-winner declares the trump suit if the bid requires it before the first trick is begun. 

The player seated left of the dealer begins the first trick.  Following players should follow suit if they are able.  If they cannot follow suit, they can play any card.  The highest card in the lead suit wins the trick unless there are trump suited cards played.  In that case, the highest trump suited card wins the trick.

If an Ace has been called for partnership, that Ace must be played when its suit leads the trick.  If the Ace was called blindly, the bid-winner can lead the trick with a card face down.  Following players must follow suit with a card of the called Ace’s suit if possible.  The Ace that has been called must be played to the trick.  After the trick is complete, the bid-winner reveals their card.  The called Ace or the highest trump card wins the trick.

Play continues until all 13 tricks are completed.  Once the final trick has been played, it is time to tally up the score.

SCORING

The bid-winner (and their partner if applicable) earns the number of points described above in the bidding table.  If the bid-winner (and their partner) fails to meet their bid, the opposing players earn the points.  Opponents also earn the additional points for each trick the bid-winner is under their bid.  For example, if the bid-winner went 8 Alone and only captured 6 tricks, their opponents would earn 3 points (1 point for the bid and 2 points for being 2 tricks short of the bid).

WINNING

The player with the highest score after the agreed upon number of rounds are played is the winner.

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