Friday, May 24, 2024
Home Card Games Trick taking for Card Games

Trick taking for Card Games

Trick Taking games have the longest history for being one of the oldest handling cards. There are innumerable card games that use the trick-taking strategy. In this blog, we will learn the strategy and the history of trick-taking and a little bit about the games.

What are Trick Taking games?

Basically, trick-taking games use cards where a particular number of tricks and rounds are used. Each player puts forth a card and uses these strategies to win the round. Over time, these games have seen changes and have upgraded. Examples of such games are Spades, Pitch, California Jack, Forty-five, etc.

History of Trick Taking

In terms of rank and suits, the oldest card games were trick-taking card games that originated from China and spread towards the west during the second millennium. These win tricks generally included the highest card of the suit, counter-clockwise rotation, plain trick games. These games were played without trumps, and the suits were in reverse order so that the lower cards defeated the higher cards.

How to Play Trick-Taking games?

Trick-taking games mainly revolve around winning certain tricks and getting points. Most of the trick-taking games follow a similar set of rules.


After splitting the deck, every round has a dealer. The dealer shuffles it and distributes it among the players. Depending on the type of game, players get a certain number of cards. The remaining cards are kept aside as the discard pile.


The objective of the games is to win by scoring high. They are some games, however, where the lowest score wins. Points are calculated by how you fare on tricks, and by how well you can manage your cards and take control of tricks and trumps, you can win the game.

Tricks and Trumps

The dealer begins the game with the first trick by playing the card. This leads to the trick; other players then follow suit and win by playing another card. Players can win by playing a card within the same suit but higher value. If a player does not have the same suit of cards, they can choose to play but give up the present round.

Some games introduce the term “trump suit.” A Trump card is a playing card with a higher rank, especially in trick-taking games. These are determined either by a draw from the remaining cards or through bidding. This strategy adds some excitement and layer to it, as this significantly increases the player’s chances of winning. The trump suit is held as a winning strategy. The winner of one-trick then leads to the next. This process continues until all hands are empty.


The player who wins the most tricks and calculating the highest score wins the game.

Following Suit

If the player with the highest bid or score points plays a card of a specific suit, the other players have to follow the same suit to win. If they do not have those cards, all the players still have to play a card or forfeit a turn.

Trump Suits

If the game has trump suits, they will become the highest-ranked suit for the remainder of that game, winning against the leading suit.

Trick taking Rules

The trick-taking game rules are:

  • Select the dealer.
  • Each player is dealt cards based on the type of game
  • The dealer leads the first trick, determining the lead suit.
  • Players then play cards to win the trick while requiring following suit
  • Even if a player does not have a card from the same suit, they still have to play one card.
  • The winner of the first trick leads to the next trick.
  • The player winning more tricks, in general, becomes the winner.
  • If the game includes trump suits, they override the leading suit.


  • Give up a turn if you know you can’t win. If your opponent plays a card of a suit you have, but that of a lower value, keep that card to play later. This will increase the chances for a more likely win.
  • Play out the high-value cards when possible because the chances increase manifold.
  • Be careful even when forfeiting. The apparent move is to discard a card of another suit; however, you can play cards of the same suit but a bad value instead.
  • A common strategy for trick-taking card games is to predict. The dealer will generally play high-valued cards early to get the advantage. This allows you to gauge their hands.

Variants of Trick Taking Card games

Point-trick Games

Point trick games focus on taking in more points, which depends on conditions and how a player uses those winning tricks. Winning a certain trick gets you points, but some games also get points while leading a trick. Piquet is a classic card game where starting a hand with no face cards also gives you points. Games like Sheng Ji have different scores for different cards.

Plain-trick Games

Plain trick-taking card games depend completely on the number of tricks a player has won. There are no special rules for counting points. Therefore, these games rely on pure resource management. Examples of such games are Whist and Tippen, which are highly popular in European countries. Another game that is highly talked about in this category is Bridge.

Trick-Avoidance Games

The strategy of such games is to avoid tricks. The lower value card among playing cards has more value. These games are about deceit and deception. Games like Polignac avoid Jacks while Slobberhanes avoid the Queen of Clubs. Hearts is one such card game that is a trick avoidance game.

Types of Trick taking games

Amongst the innumerable games of trick-taking card games, here are a few examples of how they are played:


  • Age Group: 10 and above
  • Number of players: 2,3 or 4
  • The player takes one card face up in the center. The other players have to play a card of the same suit.
  • When all the players are done playing one card in this card game, the first trick is complete. The winner of the first trick leads the next.
  • The game continues until the players play five tricks.

Agram –

  • Age Group: 13 and above
  • Number of players: 2,3,4,5 or more
  • The player to the dealer’s left leads with a card. The next player follows.
  • If they cannot, they follow a card of any suit. If the card does not belong to any suit, it does not have a value.
  • In the card game, the player who has the highest card of the original suit (suit of the leading card of the round) wins the trick.
  • The game continues until the players play six tricks.


  • Age group- 18 and above
  • Number of Players: four
  • Turns are in clockwise rotation
  • Player on the dealer’s left play any card
  • In this trick-taking card game, the player with the highest trump wins the trick.
  • Any trick not containing a trump is won by the person who plays the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads to the next trick.


  • Age group: 18 and above
  • Number of Players: 2
  • The winner of each trick plays the next trick
  • The leader leads any card, and the opponent can play any card. It does not necessary to follow suit.
  • After each trick, each player draws a card from the top of the stock to restore their hand to 12 cards.


What are trick-taking games?

A trick-taking card game is a type where players have a series of rounds or tricks. The winner of the first trick leads the next until all tricks are played. The player who won the most number of tricks is the winner. Many card games use the trump system or the “follow suit” method.

Previous articleHow to Play Rummy (Rum)
Next articleHow to play Canasta
Madhuboni Banerjee
A graduate in engineering who later completed her post-graduate degree in Mass Media. Writing has always fascinated her, and she wishes to pursue her interest in the same. She wants to discover and write about new themes and topics. She always likes to venture in various writing forms and continues exploring her interest there.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular