TREX



OBJECTIVE:  Be the player with the highest score at the end of the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking

AUDIENCE: Adults


INTRODUCTION OF TREX

Trex is a very unique trick taking game that is played in the Middle East.  Each round consists of five different deals.  During each deal, players will follow a contract.  The contract determines how the game will be played and how points are earned or lost.

When playing this game for the first time, it would be helpful to keep track of the contracts being played on the scoresheet.  It would also help to keep track of points as they are being lost or earned.

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

Trex is played with a standard 52 card French deck.  To decide who will be the first dealer and the scorekeeper for the game, each player should take a card from the deck.  The player with the highest card deals first, and the player with the lowest card keeps score for the game.

The dealer should collect the cards, shuffle them thoroughly, and deal 13 cards to each player.  

THE PLAY

Trex is played over the course of four rounds.  The dealer is referred to as the King.  Each round is referred to as a kingdom.  During a kingdom, the King will deal five separate times.  Once the cards are dealt, the King will pick a contract that needs to be fulfilled.  They may pick the contracts in any order.  Four of the contracts are trick taking, and one of them is hand shedding.  Each contract has its own set of rules for play and scoring.  

Once all five contracts have been played, the round is over.  Deal will pass to the next player on the left.  They become the King, and the contract order decision is theirs to make.  Play like this will continue until each player has been the King.  

THE CONTRACTS

While a player is king, they may choose to play the following contracts in any order they wish.  They may not play the same contract more than once while they are King.  The contract choice is made after the cards are dealt, and the King has looked at their hand.

KING OF HEARTS

The dealer leads first.  Following players must follow suit if able.  The highest card played in the suit that was led takes the trick.  The player who takes the trick leads next.

The player who wins the trick that has the King of hearts loses 75 points from their score.

When the King of Hearts contract is announced, the player who holds the King of hearts can choose to announce that they have it.  If they do, they must show the card to the rest of the table.  By announcing that they have the card, they have doubled the value of the card.  The player who captures the King of hearts now loses 150 points from their score.  The player who announced the card earns 75 points.  If the same player that announces the card captures it, they only lose 75 points.

DIAMONDS

The dealer leads first.  Following players must follow suit if able.  The highest card played in the suit that was led takes the trick.  The player who takes the trick leads next.

During this contract, players lose ten points for each diamond they capture.

LADIES

The dealer leads first.  Following players must follow suit if able.  The highest card played in the suit that was led takes the trick.  The player who takes the trick leads next.

Players lose 25 points for each queen they capture.

When the Ladies contract is announced, players who hold the Queens can choose to announce that they have them.  If they do, they must show the cards to the rest of the table.  By announcing that they have the cards, they have doubled the value of the card.  The players who capture the Queens now lose 50 points from their score for each Queen.  The player who announced the card earns 25 points.  If the same player that announces the card captures it, they only lose 25 points.

During this contract, captured Queens are displayed face up in front of the player who took them.  If it is a doubled queen, cover half the card with another face down.  This is called a blanket.  If it is just a normal queen, place the second card underneath.  This is called a pillow.  This system is used to help the player keep track of the points they should lose.

COLLECTIONS

The dealer leads first.  Following players must follow suit if able.  The highest card played in the suit that was led takes the trick.  The player who takes the trick leads next.

Players lose 15 points for each trick they take.

TREX

This is not a trick taking contract.  Instead, players are attempting to get rid of all the cards from their hand.  On a player’s turn, there are only two legal plays:  start a row with a Jack, or build onto an established row with the next highest or lowest sequential card.

The King begins the contract by playing a Jack to the table.  The next player may start a new pile with a different Jack, or they may play the 10 or the Queen in the same suit of the Jack that was previously played.  The 10 will be played on the left of the Jack, and the Queen played on the right.  

If a player is unable to play a Jack or add to a row, they pass their turn.

Play like this continues until only one player remains with cards in their hand.

The first player to run out of cards earns 200 points.  The second player to run out of cards earns 150 points.  The third player earns 100 points.  The last player earns 50 points.

SCORING

Scores accumulate over the four rounds.  

WINNING

The player with the highest score after the fourth round is over wins the game.

Mark Ball
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