In Bid Whist, four players are divided into two teams of two people. The teams sit opposite one another, and each player is dealt 12 cards from a regular 52-card playing deck. The last six cards in the deck are placed face-down in the center of the table and are referred to as a kitty. Teams announce the number of rounds they plan to win above the number six.
The Encyclopedia Britannica explains that the number of proposed rounds to be won can only range from three to seven. Teams decide how to define the cards' values before the game. Playing uptown means that card values rank high from ace to king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. Playing downtown means that card values rank low from ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen and king. Joker cards may be used as trump cards. If players choose to use no trump, the jokers are discarded. The player to the left of the dealer places one of his 12 cards down on the table. This is called a bid. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, each player proceeds clockwise and must place a bid that is of a higher value than the previous player's card in the same suit, based on the card values that were established before the game started. Bicycle Cards explains that a round ends after each player places a card or when a player cannot follow suit. The highest trump or card wins the kitty. Whoever wins a round leads the next one. Whichever team scores the highest number of rounds above their beginning proposal is the final winner.