Whist is a classic and strategic trick-taking game that players have enjoyed for centuries. It is traditionally a four-player game, played in partnerships, each aiming to win the most tricks each round.
In the teams, no talking or signaling is allowed during the game. Players must rely solely on understanding their partner’s style of play and the cards played in each trick to make informed decisions.
To begin playing Classic Whist, you’ll need a standard deck of 52 French-suited playing cards, which includes all 13 ranks – Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King – in each of the four suits: Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds.
Aces are usually the highest-ranked cards in Whist, with the ranking descending in the order mentioned above.
The game starts with each player receiving 13 cards after shuffling.
The player to the dealer’s left leads the first trick by playing any card from their hand. Moving clockwise, each player must follow suit if they can; otherwise, they can play any card.
Only playing a trump card might win the trick if you don’t follow suit. Each round’s trump suit is usually determined by revealing the last dealt card.
The trick is won by the player who played the highest-ranking card of the leading suit or the highest-ranking trump card. That player then leads the next trick.
The game continues with players leading, adding to, and taking tricks until all 13 tricks have been played. After the last trick, each partnership counts the number of tricks they won. The team that took the most tricks scores one point for each trick over six that they won. For example, a partnership winning eight tricks would score two points. The first partnership to reach a predetermined score (usually 5 to 7 points) over one or multiple rounds wins the game.
A popular variant of Whist is Bid Whist. In Bid Whist, players have an additional element of strategy as they must bid the number of tricks they believe they can take before the play begins. The highest bidder gets to choose the trump suit for the round. Now players must balance accurate bidding with skillful play to fulfill their bids successfully. You can play this even more tactical Whist Variant at the Whist Palace!
To read up on Bid Whist, you can Check out our Whist School with the Bid Whist Manual and more!
Whether you prefer the classic simplicity of Whist or the strategic twists of Bid Whist, both versions offer a blend of skill, teamwork, and luck. Gather your friends and enjoy an engaging card game session with Classic Whist or Bid Whist!