This group of plain trick games
with an auction displaced the L'Hombre group
during the 1800s. They are formed by adding bidding to whist
. Suits generally have the familiar ranking of Ace
high. Players bid for the right to be declarer, often with stating the number of tricks they are prepared to win. Often, bids are also differentiated according to the trump suit
proposed. Other bids may be allowed, such as a bid to lose every trick. The oldest game of this type is Boston Whist
, which originated in the late 1700s. This principle
has proved to be highly successful
and is the basis
for many modern
The group can be divided into alliance games (of which Boston itself is one) and fixed partnership games.
In these games, the high bidder plays alone, the other players forming a temporary partnership, or the high bidder may have a temporary partner chosen by the bidding or by calling a card.
- Solo Whist is a simpler version of Boston Whist, played in Britain.
- Rikken is a more elaborate game played in the Netherlands.
- Vira is an elaborate 3 player variation of Boston, with some
elements from l'Hombre. It has been claimed to be the national card game of Sweden, though it is much less popular there now than it has been.
- Mü, a commercial 60 card deck game. This game strattles the definition of plain trick games and point trick games. Because of its similarity to the Boston group I have included it here.
Fixed partnership games
In these games, normally for four players, the players facing each other remain partners throughout the game.
- Bid Whist is a modern North American game in which the team which
bids to take more tricks can choose trumps and the ranking order of the
- Contract Bridge is the most well known game of this group, with lots of literature and players throughout the world. The full set of rules can be found here.
- Spades is another modern North American game. Rather than bidding being a competition to decide who plays a contract, all the players bid and try to make their bids at once. With this respect, it has some similarity to the exact bidding group, especially because there is sometimes a penalty for making too many overtricks.