Klaverjas is a trick-taking card game of unknown origin, possibly Dutch.
The game is easy to learn and very addictive, but offers a considerable level of complexity and depth. The game is played in many different ways, but the core rules are basically the same.
Playing the game
Start with a deck of 32 cards (2,3,4,5,6 and jokers) of each suit removed.
The game generally involves 4 players, two teams of 2, with players in the same team opposite each other. The game involves the selection of trumps and the accumulation of points, generally 1001 points per set.
Each player is consecutively dealt 3, 3 and 2 cards (8 cards per player), the last card being kept separate from the dealers hand. Players pick up their cards and sort them into the various suits, players do not show their hands to any other player. The dealer can look at the separated card to fully assess the hand, but is careful not to show that card to anyone.
Once all players have assessed their hand and are ready to play, the dealer turns over the separated card and the player to the left of the dealer is then required to either nominate the suit of the turned up card as TRUMPS ("take on") or passes ("pass"), if passed the next player to the left does the same, and so on until the dealer. On the first round , only the suit of the turned up card can be nominated. The first round is performed as quickly as possible so as to ensure that players are not able to alert their playing partner to any particular strength in the hand. IF the dealer passes, the player to the left of the dealer then has a second opportunity to "take on" in any suit other than the original turned up suit. If passed the next player to the left does the same and so on until the dealer. If all players pass twice, then the player to the left of the dealer is required to take on and may revert to any of the suits. In addition to "take on" in a suit, a player may in the second round nominate "no trumps".
In taking on a suit, a player needs to be reasonable sure of the strength in the hand and the ability of the team to collect sufficient points to beat the other team. If a player takes on and does not collect more points than the other team then the other team is awarded all the points for the hand, this is known as "Bait".
Once Trumps or No Trumps has been selected, the player to the left of the dealer, selects and plays the first card, each of the 3 remaining player consecutively play their cards ("A trick")
- All players are required to play a card in the suit of the first card played in the trick "suit called for".
- If a player does not have the suit that is called for then the player is required to play a trump card.
- If Trumps is called for then each consecutive player is required to play a higher trump card "over trump". If the player cannot over trump, then any trump card can be played. This is a strategy used by a team to try and capture the Minel or a high trump card. E.G. Player 1 plays an Ace of trumps, Player 2 is required to over trump with the Minel and player 3 (player 1 teammate) over trumps with the JAS. Player 4 cannot over trump and thus would play a low trump worth no points.
- Card Strength: trumps is stronger than any other suit, so any trump card will always beat any card of another suit. The relative strength of cards is as follows :
- Jack ("JAS") – worth 20 extra points - points belong to the team that takes the trick.
- 9 – ("Minel") worth 14 extra points - points belong to the team that takes the trick.
- Ace – face value 11 points
- 10 – face value 10 points
- K – face value 4 points
- Q – face value 3 points
- 8 – no value
- 7 – no value
- Other suits & no trumps
- Ace – 11 points
- 10 – 10 points
- K – 4 Points
- Q – 3 points
- J – 2 points
- 9 – 0 points
- 8 – 0 points
- 7 – 0 points
- Other combinations worth extra points :
- Player with 3 consecutive cards in the same suit - "A 20" worth 20 extra points
- Player with 4 consecutive cards in the same suit - "A 50" worth 50 extra points
- Player with K & Q of Trumps "Bella" worth 20 extra points.
- Team which takes the last trick in the hand "Stoch" - worth 10 extra points.