King Card Game Rules
For those familiar with playing Bridge, this game is very similar. You have to either win or lose what’s called a “trick”. But the main difference with the King card game is that you’re playing individually. While playing Bridge, you’re playing in pairs of 2 to make up the typical 4 players of the game. To win at King, you simply need to be the person with the highest score. Please don’t confuse this game with similarly named drinking games.
In the King card game you have to note the difference between a hand and a trick. A trick is a single round of play which is 1 card played by each player. A hand is 13 tricks with a certain set of rules. The cards are ranked from ace (highest card) down to the 2 (lowest card). The scoring is spread across 6 negative hands and 4 positive hands. All players must play at least 1 card for each trick.
This is the King card game for iOS.
All cards in the standard 52 card deck are dealt 13 to each player. Whoever has the king of hearts is the “dealer”. The variation is that the player with the king of hearts can decide who the dealer will be (including themselves). The dealer is the person who starts the game and decides several other rules for positive hands. Play always continues to the left of the dealer. Whoever wins the trick is the person who starts the next trick. So that player will start with any card they have. The scores are totaled at the end of each hand.
To start, the dealer will place any 1 of his/her cards on the table. Note the ranks given above. To win the trick, you have to play the highest ranking card in the trick. The other method to win a trick is to play the highest trump card if available. The player who begins the trick determines the suit to be played with the card they use. All other players must either follow suit or use a trump card if available. If they can’t follow suit, they can play any suit but can’t win the trick. Any cheating results in penalties depending on the house rules. Loss of positive points is the usual result.
Each of the 10 hands has a specific set of rules. 6 negative hands and 4 positive hands. With the negative hands, your aim is to avoid winning tricks. It’s the opposite for positive hands depending on the dealer’s choice (playing up or down). If playing up is used, each trick gains 25 points. If you’re playing down, you lose 75 points for each trick you win. The game normally starts with the negative hands.
Each of the 6 hands has its own rules in this order.
- No Tricks. The aim is to avoid winning any Each trick gained is -20 points. It’ll all become clearer when you see the scoring table.
- No Hearts. You can’t start a trick with a hearts card unless there’s a deep lack of choices AND you have to avoid winning the trick that contains a hearts card. So, if the trick you win contains only clubs, spades, or diamonds, you’re ok. If the trick you win contains any hearts card, you just lost another 20 points per trick.
- No Queens. It’s the same idea as No Hearts but only queens are -50 points. The difference is that you can start the trick with a queen.
- No Kings and Jacks. Don’t gain tricks containing a king or a jack. It is -30 points each time you do.
- No King of Hearts. You can’t start the trick with the king of hearts unless there’s no other choice. This is the hardest hitting hand. If you gain the king of hearts by winning that trick, you lose 160 points.
- No last 2 tricks. If you win either of the last 2 tricks, you lose 90 points each.
So anyone familiar with the Hearts card game (installed with Windows), would know to avoid winning tricks as much as possible.
The King card game for Android.
Each player takes their turn being the dealer. It’s not based on who won the trick. It’s started on whoever is the highest scoring player from the negative hands. So -10 would be a higher position compared to -50. Then the dealer’s turn simply shifts to each player, 1 by 1, going left after each trick. The dealer has some choices to make.
This is the basics of the auction. The idea is not to overwhelm with the large list of details that are really involved.
The first choice of the dealer is if he/she wants to auction off their trump suit naming benefit to another player. The auction bids are tricks won from the bidding player(s) AFTER the hand is completed. For example, the dealer decides to hear bids. The player 2 spots to the left of the dealer bids 5 tricks. The points from those tricks are given to the current dealer after the hand is totaled. They’d be subtracted from the tricks of the hand and given to the dealer. If the bidder can’t cover the bet with the points they gained for that hand, the points are subtracted further from the bidder. This would result in the bidder very possibly ending with a negative score.
Note: The auction is only for the right to choose the trump suit. The dealer still has 2 more choices to make.
Playing Up or Down
The next choice is to play up or down for that hand. These are sorted by playing up (positive) or playing down (negative). If the hand is played up, each trick gains the winning player 25 points. If the hand is played down, each player starts with 325 points. Each trick loses 75 points.
Whoever has the right to choose the trump suit, can either do so or skip it. The cards in the trump suit are ranked highest among all cards played. The rank of the trump cards in the suit is the same when 2 or more are played during a trick. So, the ace trump card is the highest card of all. The 2 trump card is the lowest in the suit but highest against other suits. Trump cards can only be played IF they are the only option available to the player OR if the trick was started with the trump suit.
The scoring table for the King card game.
The score is determined by the tricks won during each hand. It’s not based on any value of the individual cards. The points are spread across the players via a maximum amount. It ranges from -1,300 points to 1,300 points in total. The columns labeled “player 1” to “player 4” are totaled downward for a final score. The points are distributed across the rows for each hand. The Hand Totals column shows the available points for each hand. The “Each” column shows how many points are won or lost during that hand for each trick.
Take the first row for example. That’s for the negative hands. It’s the first hand so according to the given rules above, you lose 20 points for each trick you gain during that hand. There’re 13 tricks available in each hand. So 13 x 20 = NEGATIVE 260 points in total. So once that hand is complete, you simply tell the scorekeeper how many tricks you’ve won. So if the results were 3, 2, 5, and 3, the scores so far would be -60, -40, -100, and -60. When combined, you have the negative 260 points for the hand in total distributed among all players.
Now take the Kings and Jacks row for the next example. The total WITH a king or jack tricks won are 3, 7, 3, and 0. So that’s -30 points for each trick you gain that has a king or a jack. There’re only 8 possible chances for anyone to gain a king or jack in the tricks even though there’re 13 tricks in total. So, 8 x 30 = NEGATIVE 240 points in total. So you’re not adding the full 13 tricks. So, 3, 7, 3, and 0 are NOT the real counts. The real counts would total 8. So from the 3, 7, 3, and 0 you could have 2, 3, and 3. Player 4 didn’t gain any tricks. So the score would be -60, -90, and -90. In total, there’s your 240 points.
In the bottom half of the scorecard, the dealer chooses if the hand is played up or down. So after all 13 tricks are played, your score either gains, stands still, or reduces. Yes, that 75 point loss per round while playing down can bury your current score quite fast!!