Are you looking for exciting new card games to get your heart pumping? If so, you’re in luck! Trick-taking games are among the most popular ways to keep things fresh and interesting at the gaming table. These games often involve bidding and strategy, providing hours of entertainment with friends or family.
Whether you’re new to these card games or an expert trick-taker, countless exciting options are available! This blog post will explore a handful of incredible trick-taking games that every card enthusiast should know about. Let’s look and see what kind of magic these thrilling card battles have in store for us!
Trick-Taking Card Games for Pro and Newbie Card Players
If you’re a massive fan of timeless card games, especially those that use trick-taking mechanics in their main gameplay, our list will keep you entertained for hours! Check them out below:
Starting our list with a mix of meld-making and trick-taking is Pinochle. It’s a traditional card game where players must meld specific combinations to score points. It’s perfect for four players divided into two teams, and the objective is to be the first team to score 150 points.
Once the dealer is chosen, they will pass 12 cards in sets of 3 to all players in a clockwise motion. After that, the bidding begins with the player on the dealer’s left, where they’ll bid on how many points they think their team can make. The minimum bid is 20, and the subsequent bids must be higher, or they can pass.
During the melding phase, players will check their hands to see if they can form specific combinations, such as a Trump Run, Royal Marriage, or a Pinochle. Each gives different points, which will be added to the team’s total score after the trick-taking phase.
Another unique card game with the same trick-taking mechanics as other games on this list is Hearts. What sets it apart, though, is that players want to avoid taking tricks, especially the cards from the Heart suit, since they give one penalty point. Different variations, such as Black Lady, incorporate the Queen of Spades, which gives 13 penalty points.
How to play Hearts:
- Each player receives 13 cards, and the player holding the 2 Clubs begins the play
- All players must follow suit or other cards can be played if they don’t have the same suit
- Hearts are only played if there’s no choice left
- The player who wins a trick must start the next one
- Players must try to avoid taking tricks with Hearts and the Queen of Spades
The strategy for most players is to play their high cards as soon as possible to prevent winning tricks containing unwanted cards. You can play Hearts online to become a pro since it allows you to hone your skills against AI opponents!
Spades was invented in the 1930s, becoming the ultimate crowd favorite since then. It gives a balance of not being too complex to play while still giving enough challenge to bend your mind. Ultimately, all you need is a bit of strategy to get through! Of course, teamwork is also essential to achieve success.
Like any other trick-taking game, it begins with a bidding phase where players will bid individually on how many tricks they think they can capture. After that, these bids are combined. Players can also bid 0, but they’ll need to achieve that bid to win a round.
As the name suggests, Spades is always the trump card. The player to the dealer’s left will play a card, which the next player must follow suit. If they can’t, they can play other cards. The highest ranking card from the leading suit wins the trick unless a Spades card is played; then, the highest Spades card will win. The team with the most points after 13 rounds wins the game.
Skat is a trick-taking card game designed for three players. Each player is given ten cards while the remaining two form the “skat.” After that, the bidding phase starts, and the player who won the bidding becomes the declarer. They have the right to use the skat cards to form a good hand and can also choose the trump suit.
How to play Skat:
- The declarer plays alone against the two players in partnership.
- Regardless of the dealer, the forehand leads the trick, and all players follow suit.
- A player can play another card if they don’t have a card from the same suit.
- The player who wins the trick will lead the next one.
- The declarer must capture at least 61 points plus skat to win.
- The opponents win if they get combined tricks of at least 60 points.
Skat can be confusing to some players. However, it provides a challenge for those already familiar with trick-taking games and wanting to try something new. Plus, it only uses a 32-card pack containing no cards lower than 7. If you’re ready for this game, practice is essential to win!
Last on our list is the most complicated trick-taking game, even for pro players. It’s called Bridge and continues to bring people together through Bridge tournaments because of its cult-like following. Here, players must work with their partners and communicate well to win.
The game starts by dealing 13 cards to each player, distributed one at a time, starting from the player on the left. The goal is to score points by making its bid or to defeat the opposing partnership’s bid. In the end, whoever wins the most points wins. The declarer is the player who made the final bid, and their partner becomes the dummy.
The play begins with one card placed face-up on the table. It follows clockwise that each player must play a card, and whoever played the highest ranking card wins. The dummy will spread their hand face up, grouped in suits, with each suit vertically arranged so the other players can easily view all 13 cards. The one who leads the trick will lead the next one again.
Ace Trick-Taking with the Best Card Games
With so many card games available today, finding the right one can be daunting. However, these trick-taking games stand out because of their unique mechanics and challenges. You can add these to your gaming arsenal and bust them out during gatherings! Make sure you ace them by honing your skills first through their digital versions to avoid losing!