Silicon Valley Youth Bridge


The classic game of whist is a plain-trick game without bidding for 4 players in fixed partnerships. Although the rules are extremely simple there is enormous scope for scientific play, and in its heyday a large amount of literature about how to play whist was written.


There are four players in two fixed partnerships. Partners sit facing each other. The game is played clockwise.


A standard 52 card pack is used. The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.


The cards are shuffled by the player to dealer's left and cut by the player to dealer's right. The dealer deals out all the cards one at a time, starting on his left and going clockwise, so that each player has 13.

It is traditional to use two packs of cards. During each deal, the dealer's partner shuffles the other pack and places it to the right. The dealer for the next hand then simply needs to pick up the cards from the left and pass them across to the right to be cut. Provided all the players understand and operate it, this procedure saves time and helps to remember whose turn it is to deal, as the spare pack of cards is always to the left of the next dealer.

Determination of Trumps

In this version, the trump suit is determined in advance (many versions of whist require flipping a card).

Deal 1 is played in Notrump (with no trump suit). Then trumps will alternate in the following order:

Deal 2= Spades, Deal 3= Hearts, Deal 4=Diamonds, Deal 5=Clubs.

This is the rank of the suits in bridge, from highest to lowest ranking.


The player to the dealer's left leads to the first trick. Any card may be led. The other players, in clockwise order, each play a card to the trick. Players must follow suit by playing a card of the same suit as the card led if they can; a player with no card of the suit led may play any card. The trick is won by the highest trump in it - or if it contains no trump, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.


When all 13 tricks have been played, the side which won more tricks scores 1 point for each trick they won in excess of 6. The first 6 tricks won don’t count toward the score, which is the same as in bridge. You must win the majority of the tricks to score.

The partnership which first reaches 7 points wins the game. This will normally take several deals, but could happen all in one deal

Winning the Game

Option one: The partnership which first reaches 7 points wins the game. This will normally take several deals, but could happen all in one deal.

Option two: Play a fixed number of deals, for example five (going through the pattern suggested above, Notrump, spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs), and whichever partnership has more points at the end wins.