It is a game for four players. A deck of 52 cards is used, the cards being shuffled and fully dealt, one by one. As in Bridge, it is also a game of tricks.
A Trick is a set of four cards, one from each player. The player who plays the highest card of the first suit played in that round wins the trick. There are 13 possible tricks in each hand.
The ranking of the cards, from highest to lowest, is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10....down to 2. It is an individual game and each game is formed of six hands or negative turns and four positive ones. The scoring of points must be done in a pad with two columns for each player, one positive and one negative. At the end, the difference between the two columns indicates the position of each player compared to his opponents. The player who has the best positive balance is the winner
The six negative hands (first part of the game) are:
- 1st. hand - No tricks. - The player who dealt the cards, discards an open card. All players must discard a card of that suit, being permitted a card of a different suit if the player does not have the suit discarded. The player who wins a trick starts the next trick. At the end, each player must count and announce, for the records, how many tricks he has made. Each trick is scored 20 negative points. In order to check the total scoring, it must a total of 260 points.
- 2nd. hand - No Hearts - The objective is not to receive tricks with Hearts. Important rule: it is forbidden to start a trick with Hearts, if you have any other suit in hand. The player who cannot follow the suit played, may play a Hearts or a card of any other suit, which he considers dangerous. At the end, Hearts received by each player are counted. Each Hearts scores 20 negative points. The total scoring of this round is 260 points.
- 3rd. hand - No Kings or Jacks - The objective is not to win tricks with Kings or Jacks. Each of these cards scores 30 negative points and the total scoring for this round is 240 points.
- 4th. hand - No Queens - The player who wins tricks with a Queen, will lose 50 points. The total of the hand is 200 points.
- 5th. hand - No King of Hearts - The player who receives the King of Hearts in one trick will lose 160 points.
- 6th. hand - Not to lead the last two tricks - The objective is not to make the two last tricks, as the name of the round indicates. This round costs 180 negative points. If the two last tricks are split, one for each player, then each one will score 90 negative points. The total of negative points for the four players shall be 1,300.
- No player may start a trick with Hearts, if he has a card from another suit.
- The King of Hearts has to be discarded at the first chance. A player cannot choose who to give the King of Hearts.
After playing the six negative hands, there will be four other positive rounds. The objective is to win the greatest number possible of tricks, the score for each one is 25 positive points, in order to recover losses and win some more points.
Because the rounds are positive, each player will have the opportunity to choose the trump at least once. The dealer is called "benefited".
Trump - The dealer may choose a trump suit. Any trump card wins over any card of another suit, but it can only be played if it is impossible to follow the trick suit or if the initial suit of the trick was trump. Between two trumps, the highest one wins.
Auction - In the four positive hands, each player will have the right to choose the trump suit or accept offers from his opponents, selling the right to score the trump. The payment is always made in number of tricks and it will be made (in case the benefited had sold his right) at the end of the hand. A bid must be higher than the previous one. However high the bid may be, the benefited will always have the right to accept or refuse it. During the auction the players must only mention the number of tricks they are willing to pay for the right to set the trump. The suit must only be mentioned if and after the benefited accepts the bid.
In case there are no bidding offers if the offer is of just one trick, the benefited may, without any further notice to his opponents, decide he has no interest in dealing this hand. He will score four tricks for himself and three for each of the three opponents.
After dealing the cards, each of the three opponents must bid in the auction. After the third player bid, the benefited must tell whether he accepts or not the offer made. If he accepts, the three will bid again, in sequence. In case the second or the third one to bid offers a higher bid than the player immediately before, the latter may offer the same number of tricks, "for the hand", having priority. The player who passes his turn initially will not lose his right to bid.
Example of an auction: Players A (dealer and benefited), B, C and D.
Player B passes. C offers two tricks, D offers three. A accepts. B offers three "for the hand" and the auction goes on. If A refuses three times, B, C or D may only bid four or more.
The total of positive points in the fourth rounds is 1,300.