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Twenty-Eight (28) is a card game developed in Kerala, India. It is one of the most commonly played card games there.

This game can be played with 4 to 6 players. The players split up into 2 even teams, either 2 or 3 on each team based on the number of players.

Cards and their Values
If there are 4 players, all the cards from 7 to Ace are used. If there are 6 players, all the cards from 6 to Ace are used. The values are as follows:

  • Jack - 3
  • Nine - 2
  • Ace - 1
  • Ten - 1
  • King - 0
  • Queen - 0
  • Eight - 0
  • Seven - 0
  • Six - 0

    The totals of all the cards meaning the 4 Jacks, 4 Nines, 4 Aces, and 4 Tens add up to 28, hence the name. It is also notable that the Ace is higher than the Ten, and King is higher than Queen, etc. The cards with 0 point value are mostly used as trump cards or trash to give in saving your more valuable cards.

    The cards are shuffled and the optionally cut by the player to the left of the dealer. If there are 4 players, 4 cards at a time are dealt to each player, the bids are made, then the remaining cards are dealt to each player again 4 at a time. If there are 6 players, all the cards are dealt 3 at a time to each player, and then the bids are made. So if there are 4 players, each player has 8 cards at the end of the dealing, and if there are 6 players, each player has 6 cards at the end of the dealing.

    The next step is an bidding, to determine which team will be the final bidder. The mandatory bidding, by the opposite team of the dealer, starts at 14 points (16 if there are 6 players). Once a team bids, the other member(s) of that team cannot increase the bid unless the opposite team changes the bid or they call honors or high honors. Once the bidding is completed, the trump is placed upside-down on the table, without showing the trump suit to any one. Only the bidder knows what the trump suit is. After this stage of bidding is over, if there were 4 players the rest of the cards are dealt. The bidding can be increased to 24 or higher point value after all the cards are dealt.

    The last bid becomes the point value for that game. The team who made the final bid will now try to get at least that many points of the bid. The first player is the one, on the right of the dealer.

    The Play
    The player immediately to the right of the dealer leads the first trick. The bidder CANNOT lead a trump unless he only has trumps or the trump suit is exposed. The opposite team (or the partner) can ask the bidder to expose the trump, if he/she does not have the suit played. Then if the one who asked for the trump, MUST play a trump card if he/she has one. If he/she does not have a trump card, any other suit can be played.

    Play proceeds counterclockwise. A trick is won by the highest trump in it, or if no trumps were played by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.

    The minimum bidding is 14 (4 players) or 16 (6 players) and the maximum is 28. The scores depend on the point value of the final bid (or level of bidding).

    19 and below: Scores 1 if won and 2 if lost
    20-23 (Honors): Scores 2 if won and 3 if lost
    24-27 (High Honors) : Scores 3 if won and 4 if lost
    28: Scores 4 if won and 5 if lost

    There are some variations to the game depending on who is playing and what people are familiar with. But these are the general rules. Have fun!
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