Military Whist is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 cards, a preset pattern of play and 12 small markers or flags. No paper scoring is necessary. Each table has a team of 4 players with a leader to control movement of play. The winning table or team is the one that accumulates the most flags as a result of playing a pre set pattern of play.

DOWNLOAD THE PDF: Rules of Military Whist

1. The rules listed in this section shall be the official rules for all ALBERTA 55 PLUS sanctioned events.

2. Age Groups/Events

Age groups, events and competition procedures for an Alberta 55 Plus Games are specified in the current Activity Information Book.

3. Whist is one of the older games of cards in which the object of the game is to win tricks. Bridge developed from this game.

4. Preparations for the game:

a) Tables should be arranged and numbered from one to the last table needed in a circular pattern for ease of movement of players during the course of play.

b) A set of 12 small markers or flags should be prepared for each table to be used. (Suitable ones are actual tiny flags or ones made with cloth or crepe paper fastened to toothpicks.) These should be placed on a foam cup or small block of plastic foam.

c) A deck of cards should be placed on each table. No paper scoring is necessary.

5. One person should be designated as leader to control play and to render decisions on any aspect of the game rules, movement, awarding of prizes, setting up players at tables, etc.

6. The number of markers or flags should be checked by the players at each table before play begins and by the leader or his/her designated assistants at the end of play.

7. The winning table or team is the one that accumulates the most flags as a result of playing a pre-set pattern of play. If the tournament continues for more than one day, it is recommended that the number of flags won by each table be recorded at the end of each day. Then all flags are re-distributed so that each table commences the next day with 12 flags again. The number of flags at each table is then recorded at the conclusion of the tournament and the totals are added together. The table accumulating the most flags during the entire competition is declared the winner.

8. Should the players of one table lose all their flags in the course of play, the leader may loan that table one or more flags to keep the game going. A careful record of this must be kept for possible return of flags to the leader.

9. Should play be necessary on two separate days, the scores will be noted and added together at the end of the second day.

10. Basic points of the game:

a) The game consists of trying to win tricks. Pairs play pairs and the tricks scored by a pair become their count for the hand.

b) Prior to each hand, the dealer will shuffle the cards with the opposition player to the right of the dealer cutting the cards and completing the cut.

c) Cutting must be done towards the dealer by the player on his right. Should any card be exposed before the cards are dealt, the dealer must shuffle and present the deck for another cut.

d) The deal consists of the dealer giving out all of the cards in rotation starting with the player on his left. Cards shall not be picked up until the deal is complete.

e) It is a misdeal and must be dealt again if any card is faced in the pack, too many cards are dealt to one player, any card is exposed during the deal, anyone deals out of turn, or anyone interferes with the dealer.

f) A card led or played out of turn is returned to the offender’s hand with no penalty other than that his partner, in his turn, may not lead that suit.

g) Revoking (i.e. not following suit when you have card(s) of that suit in your hand) – penalty will be two tricks awarded to opponents at end of the hand. (Note that if error is discovered before completion of the trick, the card played may be returned to offender’s hand with no penalty, and the correct suit played.)

h) If a card is dropped, the offending player must play that card once that suit comes up again. Every player plays 13 cards, and is not short a card on the last trick.

i) In the event 2 cards are played by mistake at once by a player during play, thus resulting in one team being one card short on the last trick played, there will NOT be a misdeal. The winner of the last hand takes the trick.

11. Play information:

a) Four players of one table form a team to defend markers or flags at their own table or to win markers or flags at another table. Two go out as indicated below and two stay at home. For convenience sake, players call themselves A, B, X, and Y. For example A and B go out to win a marker or flag. X and Y stay at home and play as partners to defend their flags. Tables are in numbered sequence.

b) Play follows the pre-set plan and is controlled by the leader. He is the final authority on any point of play.

c) Only a visiting team can win a marker by taking 7 or more tricks. To keep the markers at home, the defenders must win 7 or more tricks. Should the visiting team win 10 or more tricks, they take away 2 markers. Visitors return to their home tables after each hand and wait for instructions to move for the next hand.

d) Play ends at the conclusion of the pre-set pattern or at the direction of the leader. The winning team is the one with the most markers.

12. Common courtesy

Requires good sportsmanship and disclosure of any special signals to opponents. Movement of body parts to indicate a special lead is considered cheating and is not good sportsmanship.

SAMPLE 30-HAND ROTATION: DOWNLOAD THE PDF FOR SAMPLE

At end of designated number of hands, place markers in fives on table. Wait for check by verifiers.

Area level – all teams welcomed. Play 30 hands – 15 in the morning, 15 in the afternoon. Two teams from area advance to zones.

Zone level (2 teams per area) play 30 hands – 15 in the morning, 15 in the afternoon. Two teams from each zone will advance to the Provincial Games.

Provincial Games – 16 teams – play 50 hands. First Day: 15 hands in the morning,

15 hands in afternoon; Second Day: remaining 20 hands. Tournament format: 16

tables – players will be assigned to tables in zone order (1st teams from zones on Tables 1 to 8, second teams from zones on Tables 9 to 16), and move in sequence to complete 50 hands.

Winners will be determined by the most flags won. Each table will commence the tournament with 12 flags. At the conclusion of Day 1, the number of flags at each table is recorded. Then all flags are re-distributed so that each table commences Day 2 with 12 flags again. The number of flags at each table is then recorded at the conclusion of Day 2 and the two totals are added together. The table accumulating the most flags over the two days of competition is declared the winner.

Tie Breakers

– If 2-way tie exists after all hands played, one more hand will be played by “A” and “B” players of tied teams. Trump for this hand will be determined by a cut of the deck by the director of the competition. To determine who deals the extra hand, all players are to cut one card from the deck. Highest card becomes the dealer.

– If a 3-way tie exists after all hands played, additional playoff hands will be played by “A” and “B” players of the tied teams. “A” players from each tied team draws a card from deck, with player drawing lowest card to receive a “bye” in the first playoff hand. The other two teams play an extra single hand, with the winners of this hand going on to play an additional single hand against the team who received the “bye”. The team winning this hand receives the higher standing.

– Trumps for all additional hands will be determined by a cut of the deck by the director of the competition.

– To determine who deals each extra hand, all players are to cut one card from the deck before each extra hand. Highest card becomes the dealer for each respective hand.