If you’re a card game enthusiast, then you know that trick-taking games can be some of the most exciting and challenging. Whether you want to learn how to play Spades online or Euchre with friends, trick-taking offers hours of fun for all ages – but they also require skill to win. If you want to learn how to boost your trick-taking skills and take on even the most formidable opponents, this blog post will teach you everything you need!
We’ll give tips and killer strategies on improving your skills in these timeless classics, the different trick-taking variants and some modern examples. With time and patience (and maybe a few rounds with friends!), we guarantee you will become an expert quickly!
What are Trick-Taking Games?
Trick-taking is a card game mechanic which revolves on having the highest card of a leading suit to win a trick. It requires a standard deck of cards with numbers and suits. Then each player’s hand will have a combination of numbers and suits.
A player will begin playing a card or starting the “trick.” All players will follow the card’s suit if they can. If there’s no trump, the card with the highest value of the leading suit wins.
For instance, Spades is always the trump when you play Spades online. All players must follow the leading suit; if they can’t, they must play a trump card. In this case, the trump card always wins. If several trump cards have been played, the trump card with the highest value wins.
Variations of Trick-Taking Games
Trick-taking games come in different variants, depending on how the game is played and how the scores are kept. These variations are:
- Point trick-taking games: These games are won by accumulating points through tricks and winning rounds. However, certain conditions need to be considered because although players can win points by taking tricks, they can also get points based on some rules. Piquet and Briscola are two examples of popular point-trick games.
- Plain trick-taking games: Taking as many tricks as possible is the goal in plain trick games. Players don’t need to memorize certain conditions, making them easier to understand and master. Some examples include Skat and Pinochle.
- Trick-avoidance games: The complete opposite happens with trick-avoidance card games. Here, players need to avoid certain cards that award penalty points. The player with the lowest points wins! Hearts variations are all trick-avoidance games with subtle rule differences.
Essential Tips for Winning Trick-Taking Games
Winning at trick-taking games takes a lot of skill and patience. Since different variations are available, you must consider the game you’re playing. However, the basic tips we’ve shared below can help you improve your overall game:
- Follow Suit: If you’re playing a trick-taking game without trumps, following suit is the best way to win. Your best bet is to have the highest numerical value of the leading suit to ensure you win the trick for that round.
- Play low-number cards: Low-numbered cards become valuable if done right and played at the right time. It’s all in the right timing and playing your cards strategically.
- Similar but opposite: To avoid a trick, use the above strategies. Naturally, low cards give you the least chance of taking a trick. What happens if you only have high-valued cards left? Play the highest card that’s not from the trump suit. For instance, playing a King of Spades if the trump is Heart allows you to get rid of higher cards, also known as “throwing off.”
- Don’t be afraid to predict: Predicting is the main element of most traditional card games since there’s no formula. Of course, you have to consider several factors to make sure. You can gauge what’s on the dealer’s hand once they play high-valued cards first since they will most likely do this to be one step ahead.
- Forfeit rounds: If you know you can’t beat an opponent’s card, saving your cards for the next round is best. It’s always a good tip to follow as long as it’s still early in the game.
While these tips can help improve your trick-taking skills, practice, and experience will ultimately make you an expert. Along the way, you’ll learn some strategies, allowing you to boost your skills and capabilities in taking tricks!
Modern Trick-Taking Card Games to Try
Most of you are probably familiar with the iconic classic card games from the trick-taking family. You may know Rook, Bridge, Whist, and many more. However, as we’ve entered the age of technology and innovation, modern trick-taking card games have emerged, and they are just as exciting and challenging as the classics.
Some examples of modern card games with trick-taking game mechanics are as follows:
In this game, players will place a bet on whether they can take tricks or not based on the rules proposed for the round. For instance, they can bet they can’t take twos according to the rules that were set. However, players can also indulge and bet they can take all of them instead.
Fox in the Forest
A two-player trick-taking game with a special set of cards with three suits numbered from one to 11, Fox in the Forest has become one of the most popular and enchanting modern card games today. Here, rounds are played through tricks after each player has their cards.
The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine
The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine is the top choice for many trick-taking game fans. Three to five players can join in the fun, and it has a unique storyline as a cooperative card/board game. Before moving to the subsequent rounds, players must complete a trick-taking goal.
Depending on the difficulty level, it will take several tries before you can surpass a round. Players have limited communication, and the rules will vary. If your team manages to complete all 50 rounds, you win!
Master Trick-Taking and Enjoy Different Card Games
Trick-taking has existed for several generations, ensuring its mark is permanent in card game history. Even as modern games continue to rise in popularity, traditional trick-taking card games have remained well-loved by many enthusiasts worldwide. Why not try your hand at a new or timeless trick-taking game today? Enjoy, explore, and master these games with your friends and family for countless hours of fun and entertainment!