The rules are simple: this game is also known as Black Bess, or more poetically, Slippery Bitch (Thanks Fruan!).

Firstly, each of four players recieves thirteen cards. They exchange three of these cards with another player (either to the left, to the right, across the table or, sometimes, not at all, depending on how many games have been played).

The player with the two of clubs plays that card to start. Each player much follow suit if they can (ie: if the lead card is a club, and they have a club, they must play a club), but if they do not they may play any card (including hearts or Black Bess, the Queen of Spades).

The player who wins the trick gets one point for each heart, and a large number of points (often around fifteen) for Black Bess. He may then play any card to start the next trick, except he cannot lead with a heart if hearts have not been 'broken', meaning no-one has already played a point-scoring card.

The scores are totalled up at the end. Should any one player recieve all point scoring cards, he has 'shot the moon' and won the trick by losing: he gets no points, and every other player gains the total number of points (thirteen plus 'Black Bess').

The eventual winner is the person with the least points when either:

  • Someone reaches a predetermined number of points.
  • The time available for playing the game is up
  • Everyone gets bored and walks away.