ROMANIAN WHIST



OBJECTIVE OF ROMANIAN WHIST: Player with the most points wins the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 6 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high) 

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking

AUDIENCE: Adults


INTRODUCTION OF ROMANIAN WHIST

Romanian Whist is a game resembling Oh Heck more than traditional Whist.  In this game, players will play through a large number of rounds with each round consisting of a different hand size.  Players bid on how many tricks they think they will capture, and they work to take precisely that many tricks.  Failure to do so will result in a loss of points.  The player with the most points at the end of the last round wins the game.

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

 Romanian Whist uses a modified 52 card deck, and the amount of cards used depends on the number of players in the game.  

Player CountCard CountCards Included
3 players24 cards(low) 9 – Ace (high)
4 players32 cards(low) 7 – Ace (high)
5 players40 cards(low) 5 – Ace (high)
6 players48 cards(low) 3 – Ace (high)

Much like in Oh Heck, players will begin the game with a 1 card hand, and they will progress up to the maximum hand size and back down again.  However, in Romanian Whist, each player takes a turn dealing for each hand size.  For example, in a 4 player game, four rounds with 1 card will be played.  Four rounds with 2 cards will be played and so on.  The deal passes left eliminating the disadvantage of being the dealer, but it stretches out the game. 

For the first deal of the game, shuffle and dole out one card to each player.  From the remaining deck, turn the top card over to determine the trump suit for the round.  In a round with no leftover card, there is no trump suit.

BIDDING

The player left of the dealer starts the bidding phase by saying how many tricks they think they can capture.  Bidding passes left.  The final player cannot bid in such a way that the bid total adds up to the number of cards dealt.  

For example, if the first round has six players, and each player has been dealt one card, the bid total cannot equal 6.  The final player must bid so that the total is higher or lower than 6.

The scorekeeper must write down each player’s bid.  

THE PLAY

THE FIRST TRICK

The first trick begins with the player left of the dealer leading a card from their hand.  Players must follow suit if they can.  If they cannot follow suit, they must play a trump card.  If they cannot play trump, they may play any card from their hand.

CONTINUE PLAY

Whoever plays the highest ranking card takes the trick.  That player leads.  Play continues until all of the tricks are taken.

SCORING

Players who meet their bid exactly earn 5 points plus 1 point for each trick they captured.  For example, if Player 1 bids 3 and captures 3, they earn 8 points for the round.

Players who capture fewer tricks than their bid lose 1 point for each trick they are under.  For example, if Player 2 bids 3 and captures 1, they lose 2 points from their score.

Players who capture more tricks than their bid lose 1 point for each trick over.  So, if Player 3 bids 4 and captures 6, they lose 2 points from their score.

WINNING

At the end of the final round, the player with the highest score wins.

Mark Ball
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