Israeli Whist is an exciting, exact bidding game, originating from Israel.
Players 4, playing individually
Cards A standard 52-card deck. Aces are high.
Objective Bid to win as many tricks as possible, and take exactly the number bid.
Deal Standard procedure, dealing all of the cards.
Forehand leads a round of bidding that continues until all four players pass in succession. Passing once does not remove players from the auction.
A bid is comprised of the number of tricks the bidder expects to take and a desired trump suit or no trump. The suits are ranked from low to high: ♣, ♦, ♥, ♠, and no trump. The minimum number of tricks that may be bid is 5, and each subsequent bid must either increase the number of tricks or the trump suit or both. For example, a bid of 5♦ can be over called by a bid of 5♥, 5♠, 5 no trump, or any bid of 6 or more.
Once all players pass, the winning bidder becomes the declarer and the suit they bid becomes trump. Starting with the player left of the declarer, the remaining players must now announce how many tricks they expect to take. The sum of all of the players’ bids must be over or under 13.
If all of the players pass without bidding, then each player selects 3 cards from their hand to pass to the player to their left. This is done simultaneously without looking at the cards they are about the receive. Then, a new round of bidding begins but this time the minimum bid is 6. If everyone still passes without bidding, this process is repeated up to 2 more times with the minimum bid increasing by one each time. If still no one bids the hand is thrown in.
The declarer leads the first trick. Standard trick-taking rules apply.
Players who did not take exactly as many tricks as they bid are set. The points awarded for making a 0 bid vary based on whether or not the total number of tricks bid that hand was over or under 13. The following table details how to calculate a player’s score based on their bid.
|0||Total bid >13: 30|
Total bid <13: 50
|-60 + (10 *o)|
|>0||10 + t²||-10 * o|
- t: Number of tricks bid
- o: Number of tricks over or under bid
Agree on a target score. The first player to reach the target wins.