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As you can probably tell from my review of The Crew, I love trick-taking games. I grew up with them. I learned to shuffle cards when I was about six and started to play Skat with my family when I was about eight. In secondary school, I learned Doppelkopf. I didn't play them for many years after I left school and it was only when I played Vivaldi at Gaming Rules' evening during last year's Essen Spiel Messe that I rediscovered the genre. So I wanted to talk more about my fascination with these games.
I looked into The Crew as an alternative to Hearts and when I asked my wife if she thought her dad would enjoy it, she said, “Why bother? He knows Hearts really well as he’s been playing it for decades. Plus, he enjoys it. Why change that?” At that point I realized she was right. I was looking for an alternative for me, not him. He likely wouldn’t really enjoy it. But that’s fine.
I like trick-taking games quite a bit, although I’m not super great at them.
THE CREW is fantastic although more of a trick-taking game for game nerds than one for traditional card game fans.
There’s a new(?) game on BGA called OH SEVEN that’s in the OH HELL family. I think it’s the best of the family with the exception of WIZARD. You use a standard deck with A-7, and Q of each suit. Qs are zero, everything else is face value. The main twist is that you have to use a card in your hand to bid (it’s revealed and then returned to your hand). So you might be forced to bid higher or lower than you really want, and have to play accordingly.
On one of my worksites they used to play 'Club' Euchre at breaks, Basically you'd have a table of players, more than six was quite common, and playing the normal rules people would decide to be in or out once trumps had been decided. If you stayed in you would score a point for every trick you took or lose 5pts if you failed to take a trick, the winner over the day or days would be first to a specific total. The nub was that if Clubs was turned up it had to be taken and every one had to stay in, or if someone went clubs then everyone had to stay in - a good way to piss workmates off for the rest of the day if you had the opportunity to go clubs with a good hand and send multiple people down .
I don't play any trick-taking games - about a dozen years ago or so we used to play Wizard at one of my groups as a filler, a decent version of 'Oh Shit' or whatever it is called where you live, but few dedicated gaming sessions each week means only the best board or card games get out (and we're lucky to have lived in teh last 20 years with great games).
BRIDGE is for grown-ups.
A popular WHIST variant is OH HELL, where the sum of bids can't equal the round number (ie, someone has to miss). Israelis love this game and refer to it as WHIST.
I've mentioned here before, but my favorite trick-taking game is PITCH (sometimes called SETBACK), where there are only four possible points in a hand (High of trump, Low of trump, Jack of trump, and Game, found by summing card values). Not all points might be out there--you only have six cards. Winner of the bid declares trump, and must lead trump as the first card. Here's the coolest part: you can always trump out of suit. That is, you have to follow suit, as one is almost always bound in trick-taking games; but in PITCH you can always trump out of suit, even if you still have some of the led suit. Makes things really interesting, especially as it comes to winning the Low point.
jeb wrote: A popular WHIST variant is OH HELL, where the sum of bids can't equal the round number (ie, someone has to miss). Israelis love this game and refer to it as WHIST.
That's one of the names Oh Shit is called (I was trying to be polite), also 'Up and down the river' while Wizard, as mentioned earlier, was a commercial variant of that.