German Whist

About German Whist

German Whist (or Hamburg Whist) is a variation of the classic card game whist for two players. There are two scoring variants of this game: either all 26 tricks count towards your score or only the last 13.

This two player card game is played in two sections: the foreplay and the endgame. During the foreplay, players select cards from their hand in order to win or lose cards turned over from the deck. In the endgame, they play their resulting hands against each other.

This version of whist is the most skilled game of all for two players with a common deck of cards. It is possible for players with a good memory to determine exactly which 13 cards their opponent has after the foreplay, and use this knowledge to plan their endgame.

It takes real skill to beat the computer on hard mode with its perfect memory.

If you fancy a quicker game, then try the new 'small whist' game option which plays the same way but with a cut down piquet 28 card deck!

A great game to learn card skills, and fun to play!

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Available on App/Play Store

How To Play

German Whist is a two player game using one standard deck of 52 cards ranked Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, (low).

The aim of the game is to score points by winning more tricks than your opponent. The winner of the game is the player whose score first reaches or exceeds the win target (see Settings).

The rules of play are those of standard trick-taking games. During a hand, one of the four suits is allocated as the trump suit. A card is beaten by a higher card of the same suit or any trump card. A lower card of the same suit or any card of the remaining two non-trump suits loses. When a card is played, the other player must ‘follow suit’ (play a card of the same suit) if possible. If they do not hold any cards of the leading suit, they may choose to ‘trump’ by playing any trump card to win, or ‘throw away’ by playing any non-trump card to lose.

Deal

The initial dealer is chosen at random and then alternates for each hand. 13 cards are dealt to each player and the 27th card is placed face up on the deck. The suit of this card determines the trump suit for that hand.

Play

Foreplay (13 tricks):

The non-dealer is the first player to act. They must decide which card in their hand they wish to play in order to win or lose the card face up on the deck. The other player must respond by playing a card from their hand. The winner takes the card face up on the deck into their hand and the loser takes the next hidden card from the deck. The two cards played are discarded. The next card in the deck is displayed and the winner of the previous trick is the first to act. This repeats until there are no cards remaining in the deck.

End game (13 tricks):

The player who won the final trick during the foreplay is the first to act in the end game. They select a card to play and their opponent must respond by playing a card from their hand. The winning card (a higher card of the same suit or, if trumps was not played first, any trump card) takes the trick, and the winner is the first to act next. This repeats until all cards have been played.

Scoring:

Classic Whist scoring:

There are two scoring options (see Settings). With last 13 scoring, a point is awarded for every trick in the end game. With every trick scoring, a point is awarded for every trick during both the foreplay and the end game. In last 13 scoring, at the end of a hand, the winner scores the number of tricks by which they exceed 6. In every trick scoring, at the end of the hand, the winner scores the number of tricks by which they exceed 13. For example, 8 tricks to 5 would score 2 (last 13 scoring) and 23 tricks to 3 would score 10 (every trick scoring).

In last 13 scoring, 10 points are awarded to a player if they win every trick that hand.

Small Whist scoring:

There are two scoring options (see Settings). With last 7 scoring, a point is awarded for every trick in the end game. With every trick scoring, a point is awarded for every trick during both the foreplay and the end game. In last 7 scoring, at the end of a hand, the winner scores the number of tricks by which they exceed 3. In every trick scoring, at the end of the hand, the winner scores the number of tricks by which they exceed 6. For example, 5 tricks to 2 would score 2 (last 7 scoring) and 10 tricks to 4 would score 4 (every trick scoring).

In last 7 scoring, 5 points are awarded to a player if they win every trick that hand.

Settings

Choose from the following settings (defaults shown in italics):

Sound: On, off.

Speed: Normal, fast.

Orientation: Portrait, landscape.

Hand display: One row, stacked.

Cards: Modern, classic.

Deck: Choose from four different deck designs for classic, 16 for modern.

Suit order: Alternate: trump suit followed by alternating colours (where trump suit is black, hearts precede diamonds; where trump suit is red, spades precede club). classic: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.

Single click play: On, off.

AI level: Easy, hard.

Game type: Classic, Small Whist.

Scoring: Last 13: only the end game tricks score points. Every trick: tricks in both the foreplay and the end game score points.

Win target: 10, 25, 50. A game is won when a player reaches or exceeds this score.

Game Mode

Classic:

Classic German Whist is the official 52 card version of the game identified above.

Small Whist:

Small Whist is a quicker 28 card (piquet deck) version, where the 2-7 of each suit is removed from the deck before playing. It plays the same way as Classic German Whist, but the foreplay and the end game are each only 7 cards long.

Interface

Home screen:

From the home screen you can access the following options:

  • Touch to play (first game of the session) or Start new game (subsequent games): this starts a new game.
  • Settings (cog icon, bottom left). You can also access the settings screen by swiping the home screen left to right. Once open you can close it by swiping right to left, tapping close or tapping > at the top right.
  • Information (question mark icon, bottom right). You can also access the information screen by swiping the home screen right to left. Once open you can close it by swiping left to right, tapping close or tapping > at the top right.
  • Stats (trophy icon, top left).
  • Sound: Tap the speaker icon at the top right of the home screen to toggle between sound on and off.

During a game:

Your cards are displayed face up at the bottom of the screen and your opponent’s cards are face down at the top. Within a suit, your cards are ordered high to low from left to right. The suit order depends on the chosen settings (see Settings). Your opponent’s cards are ordered at random.

Each player’s score is shown to the right of their hand. A green light is displayed next to the score of the player whose turn it is to act.

During the foreplay, the deck is positioned to the left of the screen. The symbol above indicates the trump suit and below is the number of cards remaining in the deck. The trump suit symbol is shown to the left during the end game.

When it is your turn to act, tap the card in your hand that you wish to play. The card will rise above the rest of the cards in your hand. This selection can be changed by tapping a different card. Tap the chosen card a second time to play. If your chosen card ‘bounces’ and cannot be selected, it is because you are attempting not to follow suit or to play out of turn.

When a trump card is revealed on the deck or played by your opponent, a sound is heard and the trump suit icon above the deck pulses.

At the end of each hand a scoreboard is displayed. From here you can choose Continue or Home (this ends the current game). When a player reaches or exceeds the win target (see Settings) a trophy is displayed next to their score and the game ends. From here you can choose New game or Home to return to the home screen.