display | more...
A nifty card game that evolved from Whist and related games. It allows for great skill in play and -- best of all -- is played for hard score (i.e. cash).

4 players, 1 52-card deck.

On the first deal, shuffle; otherwise do not shuffle unless a bid of abondance or a slam has just been won.

Deal the cards out in batches of 3-3-3-3-1. Dealer's last card is turned up to establish the trump suit. Players then bid, beginning at dealer's left. Except for the prop-cop bid, the highest bidder becomes the soloist. The soloist then tries to make his bid while the other 3 players try to prevent it. Tricks are played as in Bridge, left of dealer leads unless a slam is bid, in which case the soloist leads. Bids are as follows, from lowest to highest:

Prop
This is the only partnership bid, which pledges to take 8 tricks working with a partner, using the turned suit as trump. The next bidder may say "cop," which accepts the bid, make a higher bid, or pass. If established, left of dealer leads; the partners count their tricks jointly, and the bid is successful if the partners take 8 or more tricks. Note: If all pass after prop is bid, the one who bid prop may raise it to a solo
Solo
Bidder pledges to take 5+ tricks, using the turned suit as trump.
Misere
Bidder pledges to take no tricks, playing at no trump. If the soloist fails and is forced to take a trick, the hand must be played out anyways for scoring purposes.
Abondance
Bidder pledges to take 9 tricks, with a suit of his choice as trump.
Royal Abondance
Same as above, but using turned-up suit as trump.
Open
Same as misere, but bidder plays with his hand exposed on the table.
Slam
Bidder pledges to take all 13 tricks. Bidder leads, no trump.

Scoring varies but usually goes something like this (if bid was successful, opponents pay the amount to the soloist, else the soloist pays the amount to every opponent):
Prop/Cop - $0.10 + $.01 per overtrick
Solo - $0.10 + $0.01 per OT
Misere - $0.25
Abondance - $0.50
Royal - $0.60
Open - $0.75
Slam - $1.00

Scores are settled in cash at the end of each deal. Note that small sums are used; that makes the game a little bit rewarding for the successful soloist and no one loses their shirt (and besides, pennies have to be good for something).