How To Play Whist Card Game: Gameplay, Rules, Strategies, Types And More

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Whist meaning in card games

The significance of Whist cards online and offline means a game where players team up in a pair and try to win by scoring on tricks.

Tricks are a number of hands played and secured by playing the highest card.

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How to play whist?

The whist game begins by dealing all 52 cards in a deck among four players. Each player has a teammate who sits opposite to them. A trump card is established based on the last card that was dealt.

The tricks begin when one player plays the first card and the other players play cards from the same suit. If they do not have a card from that suit, they can play another one from their hand. The goal here is to outrank the cards played by other players and secure the trick for themselves.

On a Whist card game online, the players will take turns and the computer algorithm will keep track of the number of tricks you win.

Scoring in Whist card game

In order to score, each player must win no less than 7 tricks. This is because scores are awarded after the 6th trick. Therefore, if a player hasn’t scored 6 tricks by then, their score remains zero. If a player scored 7 or more tricks then their score is 1 or higher, i.e., starting from game 6, they get 1 point for each trick they secure.

The player or team to win 5 points first wins the game.

Deals in whist

The 52 Whist cards in a deck are thoroughly shuffled before each player is dealt 13 cards. The dealer is predetermined by all players drawing cards from the deck and the one to draw the smallest whist cards wins the position.

Once all cards are dealt, the last is turned facing up to establish trump. This card goes to the dealer and the player to their left then starts the game.

Types of Whist games

Knockout whist - The knockout whist rules are simple. The game is played singularly among 3 to 7 players with no teams or partnerships. There are multiple rounds in the whist game wherein each player must score at least one whist trick. If they win zero tricks at the end of a round, the player is eliminated. The game proceeds with the remaining players till one player emerges victorious as the last one standing.

Honours – If a team holds all four Honour Cards in their whist hands, i.e., J, Q, K, A, they are awarded an additional 4 points. If a team scores Honours but the other team wins in Tricks points then the team with the highest trick points wins the game.

Dummy Whist – It is a variation where only three players play the game and instead of a kitty, if a player wins the auction, they receive a dummy whist hand.

Whist card game rules

There are a few whist game rules you must bear in mind at the playing table regardless of whether you play Whist online with friends or at a table. These whist rules are also applicable for solo games of Whist.

  1. There is no bidding in Whist
  2. In a partnership Whist games, the teams are determined beforehand for the entire series of the game.
  3. Partners must always sit opposite each other.
  4. In knockout Whist online and offline versions, there are no partnerships allowed.
  5. A Whist card game online use 52 cards. Offline Whist cards must be from a regulation deck without the jokers.
  6. Ace is high and 2 is the lowest card in the hierarchy.
  7. The player on the left of the dealer must shuffle the whist cards. The player on the right is dealt the first card.
  8. The final card must belong to the dealer’s whist hand and should be dealt face-up to establish trump.
  9. The dealer must keep the last dealt whist card on the table till it is their turn to play the trick.
  10. The winner of the previous trick plays the first card in the next whist trick.

Strategies to win a whist hand

A little sprinkling of Whist strategy could help you win the maximum tricks in a whist game:

  • Play low-value whist hands when your opponents are playing higher values.
  • Try to win as many tricks as possible in the beginning to improve your chance of scoring after the 6th round.
  • Use probability with card counting to determine what whist cards your opponents may be holding.
  • You can lose some tricks on purpose so your opponents believe you only have lower value cards.
  • If you’re playing Knockout whist, make sure to win at least two rounds in each game to avoid being eliminated.

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