At the beginning of each round, cards are dealt to each player. Each player bids how many tricks they plan to take. Players take turns being the first to bid, and the first bidder gets to play the first card of the first trick. Whoever wins the trick gets to play the next first card. After all cards have been played the round ends and people receive points based on such things as whether or not they made their bid, how many tricks they took, etc. The winner of the game is the player with the highest score.
At the beginning of each round trump will be set for that round. Trump will normally be Spades, Diamonds, Clubs, or Hearts. The host may have chosen the "No trump" option in which case no trump may be set for that round. The host chooses whether the choice of trump for each round will be random, or whether the choice of trump for each round will be in a fixed order: Spades, Diamonds, No Trump (if that option chosen by host), Clubs, and then Hearts. Trump for each round will be shown at the top of the screen just above the area where a player's cards are displayed.
To see what the active player has done, you must tap the REFRESH button found near the top of the screen. Players need to talk to one another, and indicate that they have finished their play. We recommend using phones (conference calls) or video chat apps such as Facetime or Zoom to do this. Players should not use the Refresh Key, but should use the REFRESH button (normal bidding and playing) or the CONTINUE button (used to show trick results and round scoring). Using the Refresh key can cause problems.
To bid how many tricks you plan to take that round, tap the button that matches your choice. You can bid zero or higher. The maximum number of tricks you can bid is the number of cards that were dealt for that round. The host may have chosen the "someone has to lose" option. If that option has been chosen, then the total number of tricks bid by all players must be less than or more than the number of cards each player was dealt. The last player to bid is the one who has this restriction. If the host did not choose that option, then the last player to bid can make any bid they want. If the total number of tricks bid exactly matches the number of cards dealt to each player then it is possible for each player to make their bid. If the "someone has to lose" option has been selected then "Somebody has to lose" will be listed under House Rules found in the Game Information Area. If you make a mistake an error message will be displayed on your screen. Only the active player will see the error message.
The lead player taps the card they want to play. The selected card will be slightly elevated. The lead player can tap it again to unselect it. If they are satisfied with their choice, then they tap the red/blue card at the top of the screen. The other players will then be able to tap their REFRESH button and see the card that has been played. The next player will then choose which card they want to play from their hand, tap it, and then tap the red/blue card at the top of the screen. The other players will then tap their REFRESH button to see which card was played. The card played by the lead player for that trick will always be the first card on the left at the top of the screen, and subsequent cards played will be shown in order played. Rules for choosing which cards to play will be listed under House Rules found in the Game Information Area. The house rules cover such things as whether you must follow suit (of lead card) if possible; whether you must play a trump card if you are unable to follow suit; and whether you must win the trick if possible. If you make a mistake an error message will be displayed on your screen. Only the active player will see the error message.
After the last player has played their card, they will see the TRICK RESULTS page which shows which cards were played, and who won the trick. Other players can tap their REFRESH button and then they will see the TRICK RESULTS page. When everyone has seen the TRICKS RESULTS page then players can tap the CONTINUE GAME button to start the next trick. If this was the last trick for this round, then players will see the SCORING PAGE.
The scoring page shows the previous player scores, bonuses and penalties from the round that just finished, and the new cumulative scores for each player. When everyone has seen the SCORING PAGE then players can tap the CONTINUE GAME button to start the next round. If this was the last round, then the game is over.
Scoring is set by the host, and players can review the scoring rules by tapping the SHOW/HIDE SCORING RULES button found at the bottom of their screen. The host sets the number of bonus points awarded for making bid, the number of points awarded per trick taken, the penalty points subtracted for missing bid, and the penalty points per trick short or over the number of tricks bid. The host can set these to values to zero if they don't want that bonus or penalty to be applied to scoring. Different points can be set based on whether or not the bid was zero or greater than zero. Host choices are shown in the SHOW/HIDE SCORING RULES area.
GAME INFORMATION AREA
Several items of interest will be shown in the Game Infomration Area, which is found in the game information box at the bottom of the screen just below the player's cards:
- The current round being played, and the game being played
- The number of tricks bid by each player
- The number of tricks taken so far that round
- The cumulative score at the end of the previous round
- The house rules cover such things as whether you must follow suit (of lead card) if possible; whether you must play a trump card if you are unable to follow suit; and whether you must win the trick if possible.
- If the "Somebody has to lose" option was chosen by the host, then this will be indicated here.