OBJECTIVE OF THE GOODGE RULES: Be the first player to score 500 points or more by correctly bidding and capturing tricks 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 or 4 players 

CONTENTS: 51 cards, Instructions, Scoresheets  

TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking Card Game  

AUDIENCE: Ages 8+ 


The Goodge Rules is a bidding and trick taking card game developed by the Goodge family over 70 years ago.  Inspired by Spades and Rook, players will bid on how many points they think they can collect during the round.  The player with the highest bid becomes the Goodge.  They get to exchange cards with the kitty, name the trump suit, and lead the first trick.  Players scores are determined by how many points they collect.  The Goodge must capture at least as many points as they bid, or they will deducts points from their score for the round.  Rounds are played until one player earns 500 points or more.  That player wins! 


Out of the box, players receive a five suited 51 card deck, an instruction booklet, and a small set of scoresheets.  More scoresheets can be printed from Regal’s website. 

The 51 card deck has five suits: Spades, Diamonds, Stars, Hearts, and Clubs.  Each suit contains cards numbered 1-10.  There is one Crown card.  This card does not belong to any suit. 


Shuffle the deck and deal three cards face down to the Stash.  The Stash is a kitty that the bid-winner will be able to pick up and exchange cards with. 

Deal the rest of the deck out evenly.  For a three player game, deal 16 cards.  For a four player game, deal 12 cards. 


The game is played over a series of rounds.  Each round begins with a bid. 


The player seated left of the dealer bids first.  The starting bid must be at least 50 points.  There are a total of 250 points available for capture.  If a player does not want to bid, they may say pass.  Once a player passes, they can no longer bid. 

Once a player bids, the next player to their left gets to bid.  They must increase the bid in increments of 5.  Players can continue to bid until all but one has passed.  Remember, once a player passes, they may not jump back in to bid. 


The player with the highest bid becomes the Goodge.  The Goodge must capture at least as many point as their bid or else they will lose points off of their score. 

The Goodge picks up the Stash and adds the cards to their hand.  Then, they choose three cards to place face down as the new Stash.  The winner of the final trick wins the Stash cards at the end of the round. 

Finally, the Goodge picks a trump suit and leads the first trick.  They may play any card from their hand. 


The first card played to the trick determines the Lead Suit for that trick.  All other players must follow the Lead Suit if they can.  If they cannot follow suit, they may play any card from their hand. 

The Crown card becomes part of the trump suit.  If trump is led, and the player only has the Crown card, they must play it to the trick. 

The highest card in the lead suit, the highest trump card, or the Crown wins the trick.  The trick-winner collects the trick and places the cards face-down in their collection pile.   

Play continues until the final trick is collected.  Whoever wins the final trick also collects the Stash and adds it to their collection pile. 


Only certain cards are worth points in The Goodge Rules.  1’s are worth 20 points, 5’s are worth 15 points, 10’s are worth 10 points, and the Crown is worth 25 points. 

Each player adds up how many points they won and adds that number to their score.  If the Goodge does not capture at least as many points as their bid, they deduct their bid from their score.  For example, the player bids 120, and only captures 100 points, they deduct 120 points from their score. 


Continue playing rounds until one player reaches 500 points or more.  At the end of that round, whoever has the highest score wins.  If there is a tie, play one more round. 

Mark Ball
Latest posts by Mark Ball (see all)