Never forget these following rules…
· Just because you have trump (gold) cards in your hand does not mean that you have to lead them.
· If you are on defense and a non-trump card (red, blue or green) is lead by the offense, it is not necessary to play a trump card if you do not have a card in the suit that was lead.
· If no one scored on a particular trick, then the player who played the highest card would get to play the first card on the next trick.
· Trump cards are always higher than non-trump cards regardless of the point value of the card. For example a gold 6 card is higher then a red 11 card. This is true even if the red 11 was lead.
· When someone scores, the other team leads the first card for the next trick. The only exception to this rule is if the defense scored on a safety.
· If someone did score, then whoever played the higher card between the players who were scored upon would get to play the first card on the next trick
· The outcome of the last trick played in the first and third quarters determines who will get the lead at the start of the second and forth quarters.
· The only way the defense can score is if both defensive players play trump cards, neither offensive player plays a trump card, and the point value of the two trump cards played by the defense is at least the value of +6 or higher. If you are the second defensive player to play and you cannot play a trump card that will reach the point value to at least a +6 (to score a 2 point safety), then it would be better not to play your low value trump card. If you could, it would be preferable to play a trump card that when combined with your partner results in a combined point value of at least a +12. This would result in scoring 7 points (a touchdown with the one point conversion.).
Here are some suggestions that you may find advantageous when playing…
· If you are dealt a hand that has only one trump card in it, and that trump card is a very low value trump card, (for example a 1 or 2 value card) you would probably want to play that card when you get the lead. Why? For two reasons: First, this will force your opponents to play trump cards (everyone has to follow suit) which may result in forcing them to play a high value trump card. Second, if trump is lead and you are on defense your lone 1 or 2 value trump card is going to have very little effect on stopping your opponents from scoring. This puts all the responsibility on your partner to stop them.
· If you have a very high trump card in your hand you may want to play it when you get the lead. Why? You would not like to be forced to play it on defense in order stop your opponents when you could have played it on offense to score yourself. Even if you played it on offense and did not score you will probably still keep the lead for the next trick.
· Most of the time it is not a good thing to lead a high value non-trump card at the beginning of any quarter. Why? Your opponents each have 10 cards in their hands, and basic law of probability tells you that 5 of those 20 cards should be trump cards. Anytime a trump card is played it will stop the offense if they lead in a non-trump suit. However, if you have a lot of high value non-trump cards in a particular suit then it would probably be ok to start playing them when you have the lead. This will deplete cards in that suit from your opponent’s hand or would force them to play trump.
· If you are the second defensive player and you have cards in your hand that can lower the point value of the offense down to a value of +5 or less, do it! This will stop them from scoring. However, never play a card bigger than you need to. In other words, if you had cards that could drop the point value down to either a -2 value or a +5 value, play the card that will drop them down to a +5 value. All you need to do is lower the value down to a +5 and the offense does not score. Never play a bigger value card than you need to.
· If you are the second defensive player, and you have cards in your hand that can only lower the value of the offense down to a +12 or a value of +19, then play the card in your hand that will result in a point value of +19. Either play will result in 7 points scored by the offense, but by playing your smaller value card your hand remains as strong as it could be. Of course if you had a trump card you could play it and thus stop the offense from scoring altogether, if they lead in a non-trump suit that is.
· Don’t put all the pressure on your partner. If the offense leads a red 10 and you, as the first defensive player have a red 11 and a red 3 in your hand, it would probably be better to play the red 11. This will do two things: First, since the offense at this point now has a value of -1, this takes a lot of pressure off of your partner to try to stop them from scoring, and if the next two cards are of lower value you will get the lead for the next trick.
· A trump card played by the second offensive player will add to the non-trump card played by the first offensive player. However, do not forget that whenever the offense leads in a non-trump suit, a trump card played by either defensive player will stop the offense from scoring regardless that the second offensive player played a trump card.
· Since any trump card played by the defense will stop the offense from scoring if the offense lead in a non-trump suit, that trump card played by the defense in most cases should be the lowest one in that players hand. Do not over play your hand and waste good cards needlessly. You might want to play a higher trump card if you know that the offense does not have any trump cards and you are looking to score on a turnover.
· If it has become obvious that your partner does not have any trump cards and you happen to get the lead, then you better be leading a trump card or else the defense could score on a turnover. Playing a high trump card could result in your keeping the lead and being able to play another trump card on the very next trick. This will result in the defense being forced to play many trump cards while on defense and not scoring. If you do not play a high trump card, your opponents could get the lead and they will probably come back in trump knowing that your partner does not have any.
· If it has become obvious that your partner does not have any trump cards and you happen to get the lead, but you do not have a trump to lead, then play a low card in one of your non-trump suits. This could discourage the defense from playing two trump cards and scoring. If you lead a non-trump 13 not only will the defense jump all over that with two trump but you also will not have that big card to play later.
· If you are trying to conserve a lead in the forth quarter you might want to play your low cards when you get the lead. You probably will not score at all by doing this, but by playing it this way you will be keeping your higher cards in your hand so when you are on defense you will be in a better position to keep your opponents from scoring.