Auction Forty-Fives

Basic Rules:

Objective: Partnerships try to win tricks and prevent their opponents from doing so.

Players: Four or six, in two partnerships with partners in alternating seats.

Cards: A regular deck of 52. The highest trump is the five; second is the jack, third is the AH, no matter what suit is trump. For black suits, the cards from 2 to 10 rank in reverse of normal order, leading to the saying "highest in red; lowest in black."

The full rank in the trump suit is:

In nontrump suits the rank is:

Deal: Each player is dealt five cards in batches of 3-2 or 2-3.

Bidding: The bidding starts with the player to the dealer's left and continues clockwise. Each player in turn may either bid or pass. Bids are made in multiples of 5, up to 30, with no suit being mentioned. Each bid must be higher than the preceding bid, except that the dealer in his turn can say "I hold" as his bid. This means that he bids the same as the last bid; he has the right to name the trump if no one bids higher than he. After the dealer holds, each player in turn who has not passed may bid again. This continues until all players but one have passed. The winning bidder names the trump suit.

Drawing: Each player discards face down as many cards as he wishes from his hand. The dealer then restores the player's hands to five cards, starting with the player to his left. (Variant: permit the dealer to "rob the pack" to replace his discards. This means he looks through the remainder and picks out whichever cards he wants in his hand.)

Play: The player to the left of the winning bidder makes the opening lead. The hand is played out in tricks. If unable to follow the suit led, any card may be played. A trick is won by the highest trump played on it, or the highest card of the suit led if no trump are present.

A hand must follow suit to a lead, if able, with the following exceptions:

(a) Even though able to follow to a nontrump lead, a player may trump if he pleases.

(b) The three highest trumps (5, J, AH) have the priveledge or reneging when a lower trump is led. For example, if the trump six is led, a player holding any of these three top trumps without lower trumps may discard instead of following suit (if he has lower trump also, he must play a trump). But there is no reneging against a higher trump. For example, if the trump jack is played, the holder of the five may renege but not the holder of the AH.

Scoring: Each trick counts 5, and the highest trump in play counts 5. After the hand, each side counts what they have taken. If the bidder's side has taken at least the amount of the bid, they score all they have won. If this side fails, the amount of the bid is deducted from its score. The other side in either case always scores what it has won in tricks. If a side bids and makes 30 (all the points), they score 60 instead of 30.

Game: The team to first reach a total of 120 points wins the game. A side having 100 or more points is not allowed to bid less than 20.

Misdeal: There must be a new deal by the same dealer: (a) if he deals any hand a wrong number of cards and it is caught before there has been a bid; (b) if he fails to adhere to his chosen dealing plan; or (c) if a card is exposed during the deal.

Wrong number of cards: After the first bid, but before the opening lead, if any hand is found to be wrong, it must be rectified. A short hand must draw additional cards from the stock. A long hand has the excess drawn out by the player to his right and placed face down.

If any hand is found to be wrong after the opening lead, it is discarded and play continues without this hand. The side of the player with the wrong hand may not score for the deal, and if it made the trump its bid is scored as a loss.

Exposed card: After the opening lead, if a player illegally exposes any of the three highest trumps, he must discard his hand and his side cannot score. If this was a player on the bidding team, the bid is scored as a loss. If a lower card is exposed, it is left face up on the table and must be played at the first legal chance to do so.


Players: Two, four, or six. Four and six play in two partnerships seated in alternating seats.

Cards and Deal: The rank of cards and deal are the same as for Auction Forty-Fives. The next card of the pack is turned up and becomes trump. If it is an ace, the dealer may take it in exchange for any card he wishes to discard from his hand. If any player holds the ace of the trump suit, he may exchange it for the turn-up if he wishes. Play: The player to the dealer's left leads first. If able to follow suit to the lead, each other player must do so or trump; if unable to follow suit, a player may discard or trump as he desires. A trick is won by the highest trump, or by the highest card of the suit led if no trump is present. The winner of a trick leads for the next trick.

The three highest trumps, the 5, J, and AH, have the option of reneging. None of these cards need be played, even on a trump lead, except when higher trump is led. Thus the 5 can never be forced, the jack can be forced only when the 5 is led and the jack is alone in a player's hand, etc.

Game: The team that wins three or four tricks scores 5 points. If a team takes all five tricks, they score 10 points. The first team reaching 45 points wins the game.

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