Monday, August 11, 2008

All Fours

This game takes its name from the four chances or points of which it consists, namely, "High," "Low," "Jack," and "Game." It may be played by two or four players, but the same rules apply to each.

The four points, which have been already mentioned, count as follows: "High," the highest trump out; the holder scores one point. "Low," the lowest trump out; the original holder of it scores one point even if it is taken by his adversary. "Jack," the knave of trumps; the holder scores one point, unless it be won by his adversary, in which case the winner scores one. "Game," the greatest number of tricks gained by either party; reckoning for each Ace four toward game, each King three toward game, each Queen two toward game, each Jack one toward game, each Ten ten toward game.

The other cards do not count toward game; thus it may happen that a deal may be played without either party having any to score for "Game."

When the players hold equal numbers, the dealer does not score.
Plate 4 (click to view).

Begging is when the player next the dealer does not like his cards and says, "I beg," in which case the dealer must either let him score one, saying, "Take one," or give three more cards from the pack to all the players and then turn up the next card for trumps; if the trump turned up is the same suit as the last, the dealer must give another [pg 65] three cards until a different suit turns up trumps. In playing this game the ace is the highest card and the deuce (the two) is the lowest.

Having shuffled and cut a pack of cards, the dealer gives six to each player. If there be two playing, he turns up the thirteenth card for trumps; if four are playing, he turns up the twenty-fifth. Should the turn-up be a jack, the dealer scores one point. The player next the dealer looks at his hand and either holds it or "begs," as explained.

The game then begins by the player next the dealer leading a card, the others following suit, the highest card taking the trick, and so on until the six tricks have been won. When the six tricks are played, the points are taken for High, Low, Jack, and Game.

Should no player have either a court card or a ten, the player next to the dealer scores the point for the game. If only one trump should be out, it counts both High and Low to the player who first has it. The first great thing in this game is to try and win the jack; next you must try and make the tens; and you must also try and win the tricks.

No comments: