The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all these more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind. Edgar Allan Poe
The game's popularity is declining, and regularly scheduled card games betwin close friends become a less common pass-time all together. Some players will keep a notebook with their scoreboards to keep their competitive spirit sharp.
The learning curve around 10 minutes, while the average person can play a decent game the second time they try. If not played online the game is most often untimed. A typical online game will last for 15 to 30 minutes as opposed to 30 to 60 minutes required for a decent face to face game. As with most card games, an experienced player will take into account both the mathematical and psychological aspects of gameplay.
Romanian whist is a game for 3 to 7 players (best for 4). Each player plays alone.
From a standard deck use 8 cards for every player (24 for 3 players, 32 for 4 players and so on, to 48 for 6 players).
For 7 players a deck of 48 (6x8) cards is used and the dealer doesn't deal cards for herself, playing the so called "dead hand". As the turn to deal advances around the table, each player plays "dead hand" several times during a game.
The cards rank as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, and so on. They have no value, because it is a game for tricks only.
The number of cards dealt to each player varies during the game. For the first few deals each player gets only one card. This continues for as many deals as there are players.
After this the number of cards dealt to each player increases by one with every deal until eventually all the cards are dealt, that is 8 cards each. Then as many deals are played with 8 cards each as there are players.
Then the number of cards dealt decreases again until every player gets only one card. Once more there are as many deals with one card each as there are players.
Example: With 4 players the whole game would consist of 24 deals, and the number of cards dealt each time would be as follows:
1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1.
After the cards are dealt, the next card is put face up; the suit of this card is trump. In the games with 8 cards there is no card left to turn, and these games are played without trumps.
To ensure that not everyone will succeed in their bid, the sum of all tricks bid must not be the same as the number of cards dealt to each player. (Example: game with six cards, three players: The first player bids "3", the next "1". The last player cannot bid "2", as this would make the sum of the tricks equal to 6. in this case, the last bidder must bid 0, 1, 3, 4, 5 or 6).
This rule puts the last bidder (the dealer) at a disadvantage, especially in the one-card hands. To counter this disadvantage, a series of one-card hands equal to the number of players is played at the beginning and end of each game.
The objective is to win exactly the number of tricks you said you would win.
Examples: Suppose you bid 3 tricks. If you take exactly 3 you will win 8 points (5+3). If you take only two tricks you lose 1 point; the same if you take 4 tricks. If you take 1 or 5 tricks (two off from your bid) you will lose 2 points; if you take no tricks or 6 tricks you will lose 3.
The table for recording the points looks like this:
Peter John Peggy
1 1 6 0 5 1 -1
1 0 11 0 10 0 -2
1 1 10 1 16 0 3
2 0 15 2 14 2 10
3 1 14 0 19 1 16
and so on.
The number of cards dealt in each hand is recorded in the first column on the left. Subsequent columns are used to record the bids and the cumulative score of each player. In the example above, the first hand was a one-card hand. Peter bid 1 trick and made it (5+1=6 points), John bid 0 tricks and succeeded (5+0=5 points), Peggy was forced to bid "1" and didn't make it (-1 point). The fifth hand was a three-card hand. Peter bid 1 trick and took 2 (-1 point), John was not allowed to bid "1", bid "0" and succeeded (5+0=5 points), Peggy bid 1 trick and made it (5+1=6 points).