Points at Short Whist.

The Game consists of Five Points. One for a Single—5 to 3 or 4; Two for a Double—5 to 1 or 2; Three for a Triple—5 to love. A Rubber—two Games successively won, or the two best Games out of three—counts for Two Points. Thus, if the first Game be won by 5 to 4, the Points are 1 to love; the second Game won by the opposite side by 5 to 1, the Points are then 1 to 2; the third Game won by the side which won the first, by 5 to love. The Points are then 6 to 2—a balance of 4. This is arrived at thus: the Single in the first Game, 1; the Triple in the third Game, 3; the Rubber (two Games of three), 2; together, 6. From this deduct 2, for the Double gained by the opponents in the second Game, which leaves 4, as above. Short Whist is usually played for points—say, a shilling, or a penny, for each point; two for the Game, and two for the Rubber. 

None are so Good as they Should Be.

 Advice to all Players.

  1. Count, and arrange your cards into suits; but do not always place your trumps in one particular part of your hand, or your opponents will discover how many you have.
  1. Attend to the game, and play as though your hand consisted of twenty-six instead of thirteen cards.
  1. In the second round of a suit, win the trick when you can, and lead out for your partner's high cards as soon as possible.
  1. Touch only the card you intend to play.
  1. Retain a high trump as long as you can, to bring back your strong suit.
  1. With a weak hand, always try to secure the seventh or odd trick to save the game.
  1. Attend to the score, and play as if the whole fortune of the game depended on yourself.
  1. Remember the number of trumps out at every stage of the game. Note, also, the fall of every court-card in the other suits, so that you are never in doubt as to the card that will win the trick.
  1. Hold the turn-up as long as you can, as by that means you keep your adversaries from knowing your strength in trumps.
  1. Do not force your partner unnecessarily, as by that means you sometimes become his adversary instead of his friend.
  1. When in doubt, play a trump. Play the game in its integrity, and recollect that Whist is full of inferences as well as facts.


Great silence and attention should be observed by the players. Four persons cut for partners; the two highest are against the two lowest. The partners sit opposite to each other, and he who cuts the lowest card is entitled to the deal. The ace is the lowest in cutting.

  1. Shuffling —-Each person has a right to shuffle the cards before the deal; but it is usual for the elder hand only; and the dealer after.
  1. Cutting .—The pack is then cut by the right hand adversary; and the dealer distributes the cards, one by one, to each of the players, beginning with the player on his left, until he comes to the last card, which he turns up for trump, and leaves on the table till the first trick be played.
  1. First Play .—The elder hand, the player on the left of the dealer, plays first. The winner of the trick plays again; and so on, till all the cards are played out.
  1. Mistakes .—No intimations, or signs are permitted between the partners. The mistake of one party is the profit of the adversary.
  1. Collecting Tricks.—The tricks belonging to each player should be turned and collected by one of the partners only. All above six tricks reckon towards game.
  1. Honours .—The ace, king, queen, and knave of trumps are called honours; and when either of the partners hold three separately, or between them, they count two points towards the game; and in case they have four honours, they count four points.
  1. Game .—Long Whist game consists of ten points, Short Whist of five points.

 Terms used in Whist.

  1. Finessing, is the attempt to gain an advantage; thus:—If you have the best and third best card of the suit led you put on the third best, and run the risk of your adversary having the second best; if he has it not, which is two to one against him, you are then certain of gaining a trick.
  1. Forcing, is playing the suit of which your partner or adversary has not any, and which in order to win he must trump.
  1. Long Trump, the one or more trumps in your hand when all the rest are out.
  1. Loose Card, a card of no value, and the most proper to throw away.
  1. Points,—Ten make the game; as many as are gained by tricks or honours, so many points are set up to the score of the game.
  1. Quarte, four successive cards in suit.
  1. Quarte Major, a sequence of ace, king, queen, and knave.
  1. Quinte, five successive cards in suit.
  1. Quinte Major, is a sequence of ace, king, queen, knave, and ten.
  1. See-saw, is when each partner trumps a suit, and when they play those suits to each other for that purpose.
  1. Score, is the number of points set up. The following is a good method of scoring with coins or counters:
puzzle 4

For Short Whist there are regular markers.
  1. Slam, is when either side win every trick.
  1. Tenance, is possessing the first last and third best cards, and being the player; you consequently catch the adversary when that suit is played: as, for instance, in case you have ace and queen of any suit, and your adversary leads that suit, you must win two tricks, by having the best and third best of the suit played, and being the last player.
  1. Tierce, three successive cards in suit.
  1. xv. Tierce Major, a sequence of ace, king, and queen.

Children and Chickens Must Always be Picking.

 Maxims for Whist.

  1. Lead from your strong suit, be cautious how you change suits, and keep a commanding card to bring it in again.
  1. Lead through the strong suit and up to the weak; but not in trumps; unless very strong in them.
  1. Lead the highest of a sequence; but if you have a quarte or cinque to a king, lead the lowest.
  1. Lead through an honour, particularly if the game is against you.
  1. Lead your best trump, if the adversaries be eight, and you have no honour; but not if you have four trumps, unless you have a sequence.
  1. Lead a trump if you have four or five, or a strong hand; but not if weak.
  1. Having ace, king, and two or three small cards, lead ace and king if weak in trumps, but a small one if strong in them.
  1. If you have the last trump, with some winning cards, and one losing card only, lead the losing card.
  1. Return your partner's lead, not the adversaries'; and if you hold only three originally, play the best; but you need not return it immediately, when you win with a king, queen, or knave, and have only small ones, or when you hold a good sequence, a strong suit, or five trumps.
  1. Do not lead from ace queen, or ace knave.
  1. Do not—as a rule—lead an ace, unless you have a king.
  1. Do not lead a thirteenth card, unless trumps be out.
  1. Do not trump a thirteenth card, unless you be last player, or want the lead.
  1. Keep a small card to return your partner's lead.
  1. Be cautious in trumping a card when strong in trumps, particularly if you have a strong suit.
  1. Having only a few small trumps, make them when you can.
  1. If your partner refuse to trump a suit, of which he knows you have not the best, lead your best trump.
  1. When you hold all the remaining trumps, play one, and then try to put the lead in your partner's hand.
  1. Remember how many of each suit are out, and what is the best card left in each hand.
  1. Never force your partner if you are weak in trumps, unless you have a renounce, or want the odd trick.
  1. When playing for the odd trick, be cautious of trumping out, especially if your partner be likely to trump a suit. Make all the tricks you can early, and avoid finessing.
  1. If you take a trick, and have a sequence, win it with the lowest.

There are None So Wicked as Represented.

 Laws of Whist

as accepted at the best Clubs.

  1. The deal is determined by cutting-in. Cutting-in and cutting-out must be by pairs.
[Less than three cards, above or below, is not a cut. Ace is lowest. Ties cut again. Lowest deals. Each player may shuffle, the dealer last. The right-hand adversary cuts to dealer.]
  1. iIf a card be exposed, a fresh deal may be demanded.
  1. Dealer must not look at bottom card; and the trump-card must be left, face upwards, on the table till the first trick be turned, or opponents may call a fresh deal.
  1. Too many or too few cards is a misdeal—an exposed or face card. In either case, a fresh deal may be demanded.
[In cases of a misdeal, the deal passes to the next player.]
  1. After the first round has been played, no fresh deal can be called.
[If the first player hold fewer than thirteen cards, the other hands being right, the deal stands.]
  1. If two cards be dealt to the same player, the dealer may rectify his error before dealing another card.
[The dealer must not touch the cards after they have left his hands; but he may count those remaining in the pack if he suspect a misdeal, or he may ask the players to count their cards. One partner may not deal for another without the consent of opponents.]
  1. If the trump-card be not taken into the dealer's hand at the expiration of the first round, it may be treated as an exposed card, and called.
[After this, no one has a right to ask what was the trump-card, but he may ask "What are Trumps?"]
  1. If the third hand play before the second, the fourth has a right to play before his partner; or if the fourth hand play before the second or third, the cards so played must stand, and the second be compelled to win the trick if he can.
  1. If a player lead out of his turn, or otherwise expose a card, that card may be called, if the playing of it does not cause a revoke.
[Calling a card is the insisting of its being played when the suit comes round, or when it may be played.]
  1. If a player trump by mistake, he may recall his card, and play to the suit, if the card be not covered; but he may be compelled to play the highest or lowest of the suit led, and to play the exposed trump when it is called by his adversaries.
  1. If, before a trick be turned, a player discover that he has not followed suit, he may recall his card; but the card played in error can be called when the suit is played.
  1. Before a trick is turned, the player who made it may see the preceding trick.
[Only one  trick is to be shown; not more, as is sometimes erroneously believed.]
  1. Before he plays, a player may require his partner to "draw his card," or he may have each card in the trick claimed before the trick be turned.
  1. When a player does not follow suit his partner is allowed to ask him whether he has any card of the suit led.
  1. The penalty for a revoke—either by wrongfully trumping the suit led, or by playing a card of another suit—is the loss of three tricks; but no revoke can be claimed till the cards are abandoned, and the trick turned.
[Revokes forfeit three tricks from the hand or score: or opponents may add three to their score; partner may ask and correct a trick if not turned; the revoking side cannot score out in that deal.]
  1. No revoke can be claimed after the tricks are gathered up, or after the cards are cut for the next deal.
[The wilful mixing up of the cards in such case loses the game.]
  1. The proof of a revoke lies with the claimants, who may examine each trick on the completion of the round.
  1. If a revoke occur on both sides, there must be a new deal.
  1. Honours cannot be counted unless they are claimed previous to the next deal.
[No omission to score honours can be rectified after the cards are packed; but an overscore, if proved, must be deducted.]
  1. Honours can only be called at eight points (in Long Whist), and at nine they do not count.
[In some Clubs, eight, with the deal, cannot call against nine.]