Is Play Whist a Tricky Game?

Is playing whist really tricky? – Rules, Tricks and Tips

Whist is a classic British 52 card deck game that had remained familiar among players in the 18th and 19th century. It is a game that involves tricking other players and is played amongst four players. The game involves simple rules that are easy to comprehend. It also has a tactical scientific advantage for players who are well versed in the game. As soon as you start playing the game, you will soon be reminded of Blackjack strategy and Live Blackjack game. The resulting spin-off from the game now has led to the invention of ‘Bridge’, that has inevitably gained substantially more popularity than Whist itself.

Is Play Whist a Tricky Game?

Whist rules and instructions for players

It is a straight-forward 52 card deck where the joker cards are removed. The main objective of the game is for players to obtain as many tricks as possible. The cards are ranked from the lowest to highest rankings which are as follows: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. In general, a standard game should involve 4 players as in online Blackjack. However, there are other variations that involve fewer or even more players as well. Furthermore, a few rules and instructions have also been listed out for beginners:

Dealing with cards

The dealer distributes the cards starting from the player on the left just like Live Blackjack online. All cards are distributed face down and each player should receive 13 cards each. The last card belongs to the dealer that is kept in the centre and then revealed to the players since it is ‘the Trump’. This card can be retreated back by the dealer, later on in the game.

Player preparation

There are four players that are required to pair up and play as teams of two. In a standard game, players are required to draw one card each. The two cards with the highest rankings are paired as a team whereas the players availing the lowest two, select the order of the seating. Ace at this point is considered as the lowest-ranking card. Teammates are supposed to sit opposite to each other throughout the entire round of this game.

The revelation of the Trump

The revealed card’s suit becomes the trump in the entire round of the game. The trump card does not affect the ranking of cards that were mentioned before but if played, it will beat any other suit. The players need to get as many tricks as they can, in order to emerge victorious in the round of the game.

The tricks

The game is played clockwise starting from the player on the dealer’s left. The first card dealt becomes the leading suit and is then responded by players subsequently in this round of the game. The objective is to land the highest value card that beats all other cards in the same suit dealt by the first player. On the other hand, if a player doesn’t have a card from the same suit, then any other card or the trump card can be played depending on the strategy devised by the teammates. The trump card beats all other cards, even if it doesn’t belong to the same suit of the leading trick. If more than one trump cards are dealt, then the highest value among the trump cards wins the round.

A game that involves silence

This is a silent game where players are not allowed to discuss amongst themselves. This means that even team members can’t discuss their dealt stack of cards or predict and share the cards that have been dealt with their competitors.

Scoring and winning the game

After all the 13 cards have been dealt and the completion of all the rounds, teams need to count the total number of tricks they have been able to secure in each round of the game. Each trick is equivalent to 1 point. The team with at least 5 points or the one that secures the maximum tricks, wins the game.

Game variations

There are various small changes that can be made according to the player’s entertainment such as:

Trump sequence

Players can regularise the trump revelation by fixing the order of the card suits or select it in any other manner.

Change the length of duration of the game

Players can choose to play a 5 point or 7 point game or even a long Whist game consisting of 9 points.

Add honours

The team with the highest four trump cards gets awarded 4 extra points where the trumps are counted before the game and the game ends as soon as one of the teams reaches the target.

Other variations

There is Solo Whist, Catch the Ten, Serbian Whist, Dummy Whist, Norwegian Whist, Knock-out, Whist, Contract Whist, Two-player Whist, Three-handed Whist and much more available.

Useful tips

It’s a simple but calculative game that needs to be played in a smart way. Players shouldn’t always wait for ace cards and should rather work with their teammates and play hands which involve a combination of low as well as high-value cards. Simple tricks can be scored by playing lower trump card when card belonging to the same suit is not available. Another tactic can be applied when the partner has played a higher suit card to play against any other lower suit card. This is a simple, yet exciting game with amazing rewards and benefits.


Name: Is playing whist really tricky? – Rules, Tricks and Tips
Author: Helen Stratford
Published Date: 04/07/2019