Type of Dominoes Used: CARDominoes
Players: Four. This is a partner game with the two partners sitting across from and facing each other.
Requirements: One set of CARDominoes without Jokers. Aces are high, then King, Queen, Jack, 10 to 2.
Deal: The first person to shuffle is considered the dealer and is selected at random and thereafter the shuffle/deal rotates clockwise around the table. After the CARDominoes are thoroughly shuffled and mixed, each player draws 13 from the stockpile and places them on their ends or sides facing himself as his hand.
Objective: Partners bid on how many combined tricks they can "take" between them and win the hand and score the most points. Spade is always the trump suit. When each of the four players plays one card into the center as a lead or to follow a lead, it is considered a trick. The highest card of the suit lead or the highest spade wins the trick. There are 13 tricks per hand played.
Bidding: Each player, starting at the dealer's left, is required to submit and voice a bid of the number of tricks that he thinks he can individually win. Although the two players across from each other are partners, they both voice an individual bid of the number of tricks each think they can catch and come up with a total for their partnership. Once each player has bid, the individual bids of each team are added to arrive at the team bid. Nil is a declaration and bid that an individual player may voice, and means that he will catch and win no tricks. The nil bidder's partner can still bid the number of tricks he thinks he can catch for the partnership. The success and score of the nil bid is based on whether that individual who bid nil does in fact win no tricks and thus successfully make his individual bid. The rest of the nil-bidding partnership's score depends on whether his other partner made, over-made or under-made his individual bid. Blind Nil may only be bid by a player whose partnership is losing by at least 100 points. A blind nil is a nil bid that is made before looking or turning over any of the CARDominoes in one's hand. That bidder may exchange one CARDomino with his partner in the following manner: The nil bidder discards one CARDomino facedown and unseen by his partner who then gives him back, facedown, one CARDomino in return.
Play: The player to the left of the "shuffler" begins and leads any CARDomino except a spade as the first trick. Each succeeding player, in turn, clockwise, must play and follow suit if able. If unable to follow suit, the player may play any CARDomino he desires including a spade, which is a trump. The player with the highest CARDomino of the suit that was lead wins the trick, if no spade was played. If a one or more spades were played, they are considered trumps and the highest spade wins the trick. Spades may not be lead and they may not be played until spades have been "broken". "Breaking" spades occurs when a player could not follow suit and he played a spade as his choice or a player either lead or played a spade because he only has all spades in his hand. After "breaking" spades, anyone can then lead them when it is their turn.
Scoring: The partnership that wins at least the number of tricks that they bid receives a score equal to 10 times its bid. Additional tricks won beyond their bid are called "overtricks" and are worth one extra point each. If a partnership does not make its bid, they lose 10 points for each trick that they bid. If a nil bid is successful, the nil bidder's side receives 100 points. This is in addition to the score won (or lost) by his partner for the tricks his partner made or lost. If a nil bid fails, that is, if that player wins one or more tricks, his partnership loses 100 points, but still receives any score won or loss by his partner's bid. If a nil bid fails, none of the tricks that he won can count to help his partner make or over-make his bid and they do not count. A blind nil bid scores twice as much as a nil bid.