Minnesota Whist

Minnesota Whist includes a bidding system in which the players choose whether they want to play offense, by attempting to win the game with seven or more tricks, or defense, by winning the game with six or fewer tricks. The objective of Minnesota Whist is to take as many tricks as possible in each hand if the game is played high or to take as few tricks as possible if the game is played low. To play this game you'll need four players divided into two teams, with partners sitting opposite one another. A standard pack of fifty-two cards is used, with aces high and twos low. No trump is played in this game, so suits are of equal value.

A Round of Bidding

A random dealer is selected and deals the cards one at a time, face down, to each player until all cards are dealt. Each player should now have thirteen cards.

A round of bidding begins to determine how the game will be played. If a hand is played high, the team must take seven or more tricks. If the hand is played low, the team must take six or fewer tricks. If you want to play high (or grand), signal this by laying down a low black card from your hand. If you want to play low, lay down a low red card from your hand. The player to the dealer's left turns over his low card first. If it is red, the next player turns over his card. As soon as a player turns over a black card, all bidding stops and the hand is played high. If all bidding cards are red, the hand is played low. The first team to display a black card is “granded.”

Rules of Play and Scoring with a High Bid

The player to the right of the person who granded the bids starts the game by laying his first card. He may play any card in his hand. Play continues clockwise around the table. When it's your turn you must follow suit, if you can, by playing a card of the same suit that was led. If you cannot follow suit, you may play any card.

In order to save time, some players use two decks of cards. While the dealer is dealing out one hand, his partner shuffles the other deck and places it to his right so that the next dealer is ready to deal the next hand.

The trick is won by whoever played the highest card of the suit led. He then leads the next trick. The score is determined by giving the team that won more tricks, one point for each trick won over six tricks. The first team to reach thirteen points after multiple hands wins the game.

Rules of Play and Scoring with a Low Bid

The player to the left of the dealer starts the game by laying his first trick. He may play any card in his hand. Play continues clockwise around the table. When it's your turn you must follow suit, if you can, by playing a card of the same suit that was led. If you cannot follow suit, you may play any card. The trick is won by whoever played the highest card of the suit led. He then leads the next trick. The score is determined by subtracting one point for each trick won over six tricks. The first team to reach thirteen points over multiple hands wins the game.

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