The Trump card game was once very popular; it was played in households worldwide. These days when you say the Trump card game, most people will think of Top Trumps.
But ignoring this classic trick-taking game would be a mistake; it’s still great fun and would make a fine addition to any game night. Before we look at the rules, let’s take a quick look at what the game is all about.
What is the Trump Card Game?
Trump is similar to Spades and Bridge, which isn’t surprising when you consider they are all fine examples of trick-taking games. But Trump is quite unique in a few areas, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.
The game is best played with four or five people, but it can be played with just three. Deal out all the cards till everyone has an equal amount. Players should then look at their cards and decide what their unique trump suit will be.
This is what makes the Trump card game unique. Each player will decide their own trump suit and use it for the rest of the game. Once players have decided on their trump suit, they’ll put a card (of that suit) down in front of them.
Players then take a few cards from their hands and pass them to the player on their left. The lead player will then start the first trick by putting down one of their cards. Players must follow that suit if they can, but if they don’t have a card in the lead suit, they can play a trump.
But because everyone’s trump suit will be unique to them, they could easily win a trick with what appears to be a low card. We’ll discuss how this works in the rules section below. But this should give you a general idea of how the Trump card game is played.
What You’ll Need to Play?
To play Trump, all you’ll need is a deck of cards. Any cards will do, but we always say, why not go for something a little extra-special? These Bicycle Dragon Playing Cards would make a fine choice.
But of course, if you prefer more traditional designs, you could always opt for some Bee playing cards; this manufacturer is well-known for its high quality. But once you’ve got your cards, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the rules, so be sure to read the rest of our guide.
Rules And Gameplay
The Aim of the Game
To win at Trump, you need to get the most tricks. Trump is normally played over multiple rounds; with each trick you win, you score 1 point. Most games are played to the first to 50. However, you can decrease/increase the limit to your liking.
Another fun twist on the game is to decide on the number of rounds first! You can say you’ll play 50 rounds; after they’re complete, the player with the most tricks wins. Make sure you keep a pen and paper close by to keep track of your score.
The first thing to do is choose a dealer. You can do this however you like, although we find it’s usually best to choose the most experienced card player. The dealer can also be changed every round if you like, although you can stick to the same dealer if you prefer.
Once you’ve got your dealer, make sure they well shuffle the deck, and then they can begin dealing the cards. The number of cards dealt will vary depending on the number of players. However, it’s important that each player have the same number of cards.
Any cards that are leftover should be placed to one side. Once each player has their cards, they can choose their trump card. Once you’ve decided on your suit, take one card from your hand (that matches your trump suit) and place it face-down in front of you.
You should then choose three cards from your hand and give them to the player on your left. If you are playing with less than five people, you should only swap two cards instead. Once this is all done, you are ready to start playing the Trump card game.
The rules will likely seem familiar if you’ve played any trick-taking games before. The player to the left of the dealer goes first, and they can put any card down. If you have a card of the suit played, then you must put it down.
However, if you don’t have a card of the lead suit, you can instead play a trump card from your hand. But before you do this, you must reveal your face-down card to show the other players your trump suit.
If multiple players put down a trump card, then the player who puts down the highest-ranking card wins the trick. If no trump cards are played during the round, then the highest-ranking non-trump card wins. We’ve listed the card rankings from highest to lowest below.
While we don’t recommend it for first-time players, a fun twist on the traditional gameplay is to reverse the order of the card rankings. So, 2 becomes the highest-ranking card, and the Ace becomes the lowest.
If you’re getting bored of the traditional Trump card formula, then this can be a fun way to play! You can even swap the ranking each round to make things even more interesting.
Winning the Game
Each trick you win is worth a point; the first player to get to 50 points wins the game! The player who won the previous trick will start the next one. When players have played all their cards, you should shuffle the deck and redeal. When swapping cards in the next round, go to the right instead of the left.
That’s the basics of how the Trump card game is played, but there are a few extra things to know. For one thing, there are a few penalty rules that players should watch out for. You can even break these rules accidentally, so play carefully.
The most important rule to remember is that players should always follow the lead suit if they can. If you purposely or accidentally don’t play a card when you could of and another player realizes, you will be docked a point.
If you don’t currently have any points, then you move into the minuses! It’s very easy in trick-taking games to focus solely on yourself and the cards you’re playing. But always pay attention to what other players and putting down, and don’t be afraid to highlight any rule-breaking to other players.
The Trump Card Game – Classic Trick-Taking Gameplay
So, that’s everything you need to know about the Trump card game. With its fast, trick-taking gameplay Trump is sure to be a good time. It’s ideal for groups, big or small, and perfect for more competitive people who enjoy fast-paced action.