IDEA OF THE GAME
TRIPLE SOMERSET is a traditional somerset card game made for 6 or 8 players. It has 92 cards and 13 suits, no one suit having the same number of cards as another. It was invented because with a traditional double somerset deck and having 6 or 8 players and a 50 card deck there were too few cards in each hand. The purpose of the players is to gain an advantage in the play by bidding and to play so that they take as many of the count cards and tricks as possible. In the six handed game there may be three sets of two partners each, or two sets of three partners each, and in eight handed game there may be four sets of two partners each, or two sets of four partners each.
The pack consists of ninety two cards divided into thirteen suits of unequal length and the S⁄S card. The suits are not distinguished by color or character but by the lower numerals on the cards which are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. The upper numerals represent the play value of the cards In the suits.
The /0 suits consist of only one card 0⁄0.
The /1 suit consists of the cards 0⁄1, 1⁄1. (with the counter being the 1⁄1)
The /2 suit consists of the cards 0⁄2, 1⁄2, 2⁄2. (with the counter being the 1⁄2)
The /3 suit consists of the cards 0⁄3, 1⁄3, 2⁄3, 3⁄3. (with the counter being the 2⁄3)
The /4 suit consists of five cards 0⁄4, 1⁄4, 2⁄4, 3⁄4, 4⁄4. (with the counter being the 2⁄4)
The /5 suit consists of six cards 0⁄5, 1⁄5, 2⁄5, 3⁄5, 4⁄5, 5⁄5. (with the counter being the 3⁄5)
The /6 suit consists of seven cards 0⁄6, 1⁄6, 2⁄6, 3⁄6, 4⁄6, 5⁄6, 6⁄6. (with the counter being the 3⁄6)
The /7 suit consists of seven cards 0⁄7, 1⁄7, 2⁄7, 3⁄7, 4⁄7, 5⁄7, 6⁄7, 7⁄7. (with the counter being the 4⁄7)
The /8 suit consists of nine cards 0⁄8, 1⁄8, 2⁄8, 3⁄8, 4⁄8, 5⁄8, 6⁄8, 7⁄8, 8⁄8. (with the counter being the 4⁄8)
The /9 suit consists of eleven cards 0⁄9, 1⁄9, 2⁄9, 3⁄9, 4⁄9, 5⁄9, 6⁄9, 7⁄9, 8⁄9, 9⁄9. (with the counter being the 5⁄9)
The /10 suit consists of eleven cards 0⁄10, 1⁄10, 2⁄10, 3⁄10, 4⁄10, 5⁄10, 6⁄10, 7⁄10, 8⁄10, 9⁄10, 10⁄10. (with the counter being the 5⁄10)
The /11 suit consists of twelve cards 0⁄11, 1⁄11, 2⁄11, 3⁄11, 4⁄11, 5⁄11, 6⁄11, 7⁄11, 8⁄11, 9⁄11, 10⁄11, 11⁄11. (with the counter being the 6⁄11)
The /12 suit consists of thirteen cards 0⁄12, 1⁄12, 2⁄12, 3⁄12, 4⁄12, 5⁄12, 6⁄12, 7⁄12, 8⁄12, 9⁄12, 10⁄12, 11⁄12, 12⁄12. (with the counter being the 6⁄12)
Remember carefully that a Suit is each set of cards carrying the same lower denomination number — thus all cards with /12 as the lower denomination number are in the 12 suit. Also, to help you remember the card values in the suits no card in any suit has a value in excess of the suit number. Examples — The 2⁄2, the 6⁄6 and the 12⁄12 are the highest cards in their respective suits.
Object of the Game
In the play of the game the object is to take TRICKS and COUNT CARDS. A total of 36 points may be scored in each deal of the six handed game. The thirteen red cards are count cards and should be carefully played for, to be saved or captured whenever possible. The total count value of these Red cards is points, their individual values being shown in the circle to the right of the numerals on these cards. In addition each trick counts one point for the side capturing it. In the six handed game a trick consists of one card played to the table, by each of the players, in rotation, a total of six cards. In the eight handed game the number of cards to a trick is eight and the number of tricks is 11. In the eight handed game you remove the 0⁄1 and the 1⁄1 cards.
THE SIX HANDED PARTNERSHIP GAME
THE DEAL — Any one player Is first chosen as dealer, by cutting for high card or by agreement . After the first hand is played the deal passes in rotation to the left around the table. The Dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly and deals one card at a time to each player starting with the player at his left until each of the six players has fifteen cards. (Each set of fifteen cards is called a hand.) The two remaining cards are the kitty and go to the highest bidder who then replaces any two cards in his hand with the “kitty” cards.
There is a total of 36 points in each deal of the six handed game, fifteen points in tricks (one point for each trick) plus the 21 point total of the red scoring cards. After examining his hand each player determines in his mind how many of the thirty six possible points he can make with the assistance of his partner. The player at the dealer’s left bids first and bidding passes to the left around the table until the high bid has been made by one player, and all others have passed.
Note: If a player does not care to bid he says, “I pass”, but has the right to bid later when the turn comes around to him again. If no player cares to bid the first rime around, the hand is not played and the deal passes to the left.
Naming the Trump
The high bidder has the right to name the trump and usually will find it best to name his longest and strongest suit, saying, for example, “Number nine suit is trump,” or, “Nines are trumps.” A trump suit is any one of the eleven suits that may be named by the highest bidder and the highest trump card played on any trick takes that trick. For example, if the /2 suit is trump and the cards played on one trick are 9⁄9, 6⁄8, 4⁄10 (discarded) and the 0⁄2 (the lowest trump) the 0⁄2 card takes the trick. Note carefully, however, that if a player has in his hand a card of the suit led he must play it (“follow suit”). If he has no cards of the suit led he may play a trump or discard from any other suit.
The high bidder always starts the play of the hand and he can play any card. After the first trick the winner of that trick and the winner of any succeeding trick may lead any card from his hand. High card of a suit led takes the trick unless one or more trumps are played. In this case high trump takes the trick. The red S⁄S card is always the low card in any suit named as trump and must be played when a trump is led if the player holds no other trump card. If for example the /8 suit is trump the S⁄S card ranks below the 0⁄8 card but if any /8 card is led the S⁄S card must he played if the player holds no other /8 card.
“Double” Cards and the “Rover”
Any card having the same denomination number as its suit is called a “Double” that is 0⁄0, 1⁄1, 2⁄2, 3⁄3, 4⁄4, 5⁄5, 6⁄6, 7⁄7, 8⁄8, 9⁄9, 10⁄10, 11⁄11 and 12⁄12.
The 0⁄0 card is called the “ROVER.” It can be played any time and when no regularly named trump is played, the 0⁄0 card, (“Rover”) played on a trick with any Double makes that Double trumps for that trick only. For example, if cards 9⁄12, 11⁄12, 0⁄0, and 2⁄2 were played the 0⁄0 card would make the 2⁄2 a trump and the 2⁄2 card would take the trick. Or, if 11⁄12, 0⁄0, 2⁄2 and 4⁄4 were played, 4⁄4 being a higher double card than 2⁄2 would take the trick. The 0⁄0 card is a double in itself and when played on a trick where no regular trumps or “doubles” are played it becomes a trump and takes the trick itself. Note carefully, however, that the 0⁄0 card is not a regular trump. It does not have to be played when a trump is led and it will not take a trick over any regular trump, nor will it cause a double to take a trick over a regular trump card. Any named trump card including the S⁄S card has greater capturing power than the 0⁄0 card or any double. Any named trump card including the S⁄S card has greater capturing power than the 0⁄0 card or any double. If after the 0⁄0 card is played any player who has the suit led can not break suit EXCEPT to play a Double.
The rover card can be played in place of a card that under normal conditions would have to be played For instance, the player has the S⁄S and trump is lead, playing the 0⁄0 instead of the S⁄S will save the S⁄S for later. (Of course the 0⁄0 will be lost)
In bidding, if desired the 0⁄0 card may be named the Trump In which case the S⁄S card becomes a regular trump, as in the case of any regular suit but lower in value than the 0⁄0 card. If the 0⁄0 card is named as Trump it loses its power to make other doubles trumps but becomes, itself, the highest card in the pack.
A player may hold a hand of high cards on which he wishes to make a No Trump bid. If he makes this bid the S⁄S card has no capturing power but can be discarded at any time on any suit led. However, a player should attempt to discard the S⁄S card on a trick his partner can take because of Its scoring value of three points. If a player should lead the S⁄S card in No Trumps the card played by the next player establishes the suit for that trick. The 0⁄0 card in No Trump has no power to make “doubles” trumps. However, since It is the only card in the /0 suit it will always take the trick when led.
When the entire hand is played out, the score is counted. if a bidder has made good his bid, or bettered it, he and his partner are credited with the number of points made and the opponents do not score. For example, if the high bid was twenty one and the high bidder and his partner scored twenty three points against the opponent’s 13 they would be credited with twenty three points and the opponents with nothing.
However, if the high bidder does not make the points bid he is said to be “set” and double the difference between the points he bid and the points he made is deducted from his total score. In addition to that his opponents are credited with double the amount of the points they have scored.
The Winners of the Game
Ninety nine points constitute a game. The first set of partners to make this score Win the Game. Note. Six players may play single handed instead of as partners. In this case the same general rules apply and the winning score is still ninety nine points. The differences are: (1) The bidding should be less. (2) In no trump there is no way for the player holding the S⁄S card to capture it. (3) The player scores for himself so that should he be “set” the other five players add double the points they have made to their individual scores.
(Remove from deck: 0⁄1, 1⁄1, 0⁄2, 1⁄2, 2⁄2, 0⁄3, 1⁄3, 2⁄3, 3⁄3)
34 points in hand
16 tricks in hand
18 points in count cards.
1 card in Kitty
99 points to win.
36 points in hand
15 tricks in hand
21 points in count cards.
2 cards in Kitty
99 points to win
(Remove from deck: 0⁄1, 1⁄1)
31 points in hand
11 tricks in hand
20 points in count cards.
2 cards in Kitty
99 points to win
Download Triple Somerset Rules
The following is a download of Triple Somerset rules in PDF format.
Download Triple Somerset rules (PDF).