OBJECTIVE OF TRICK TAKING IN BLACK & WHITE: The player who has earned the most points by the end of the final round wins the game. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 players 

CONTENTS: 36 playing cards, Instruction cards, Score cards 

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking card game  

AUDIENCE: Ages 8+ 


Trick Taking in Black & White is a trick taking card game for 2 – 4 players.  Designed by Tsutomu Dejima, players are trying to capture an equal number of tricks in two different colors.  When this is accomplished, players earn points to their score equal to the number of captured tricks.  When the colors are off-balance, the player will lose points equal to the number of tricks they captured.  At the end of the final round, whoever has kept their trick piles balanced and earned the most points wins the game. 


The game includes a 36 card deck, two English instruction cards, two Japanese instruction cards, and four sets of scoring cards. 

Each card in the 36 card deck consists of a white half and a black half numbered 1-36.  Every card’s value adds up to 37.  For example, the card with a black 1 also has a white 36 on it.  The card with a black 2 has a white 35 and so one.  Essentially, every card in the deck is two suited. 


 For a 3 or 4 player game, shuffle the deck and deal out all of the cards evenly.  For a 2 player game, deal 11 cards to each player.  Place the rest off to the side.  They will not be used. 


Decide who will lead the first trick with rock paper scissors.  That player chooses one card from their hand, announces black or white, and places the card face up with the color they announced closer to the center of the table. 

Continuing left around the table, each player must also play one card from their hand with the same color oriented towards the center of the table.  Since every card has two suits on it, players are always able to follow the lead color.   

The highest number in the announced color wins the trick.  That player collects the trick and places them in a face up pile with the announced color closer to the center of the table.  If the trick was announced white, that color should be aimed at the center of the table.  Any more tricks collected in that color will be placed face up on that pile.  Once a trick of the opposite pile is collected, a second pile is started with that color oriented closer to the center of the table. 

The trick-winner leads the next trick, and play continues until all of the tricks are captured. 


Each player counts up how many white tricks and black tricks they have captured.  If the number of tricks for each color is the same (4 black and 4 white, or 3 black and 3 white for example), that player earns points equal to the total number of tricks they captured.   

If the numbers do not match (3 black and 4 white for example), the player loses points equal to the total number of tricks they captured.   

For a two player game, the player with a closer number of black and white tricks wins the round. 


Play a number of rounds equal to the number of players.  At the completion of the final round, the person with the most points wins.  If there is a tie, play another round. 

Mark Ball
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