Whist was an enormously popular pastime among ladies of the Victorian era. A predecessor to Bridge, Whist once provided hours of after-dinner entertainment. Gathered around the table, friends and family would while away the evening with this simple card game.
How to Play Whist:
The game is played with a 52-card deck (ace high). Four players split into two partnerships.
To begin, the dealer gives each player one card at a time, face down, beginning with the player on his left, until all cards are dealt with the exception of one. Each player should have thirteen cards. The last card, or trump card, is turned face up in front of the dealer to establish the trump suit. On her turn, the dealer will add that card to her deck.
The player to the dealer’s left leads by playing any card face up. The next three players take turns, and must play a card of the leading suit if they have one. Only if a player has no cards of that suit may she play any card from her hand.
The four cards on the table constitute a trick. The trick is won by the team member who played the highest card of the leading suit, unless a card of the trump suit was played, in which case the highest trump card wins. The winner of the trick places it to the side and leads the next trick.
The object of the game is to score points on any tricks in excess of six, for one point each. The first team to score seven tricks (after their initial six) wins.
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