Learning how to play Rook takes no time at all. It’s a family favorite card game that can be played with as many as four people. Adults and children alike enjoy the wholesome competition. Plus, it’s challenging to play and exhilarating to win.
How to Play Rook and Win
Grab a Rook deck and let the games begin. Before starting, remove the 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s from the stack because you won’t need them. Deal out 9 cards to each player while creating a nest of 5 cards in the middle.
Next, start winning tricks by playing your highest valued cards when it’s your turn. Also, respect the official card rank at all times:
- The Rook bird (20) trumps everything in the deck.
- Number 14 is the next highest regardless of color.
- The lowest value card is 5 in any color.
- The trump color beats any card in play except the Rook.
Meanwhile, the number in the small box determines how many points each card is worth. Points are tallied at the end of the game and the winner takes the bid.
Tips to Help You Bid Better
You can pass on bidding in Rook if you want to, but you probably won’t want to because it makes the game more fun. Placing bids is easy, too. The first thing to remember is that the minimum bid is always set at 70 points.
Bidding starts to the left of the dealer and moves clockwise around the table. Players can either meet the minimum, raise the bid by increments of 5, or pass on bidding entirely. The bidding cycle continues until only one player passes.
The bid winner gets to look at all 5 of the cards in the nest and exchange them for any of the cards in their hand. This can be a tremendous advantage during gameplay but it comes with some serious risks. That’s because the winner of the very last trick gets the nest and all the points in it. So, exchange cards carefully if you win the bid.
NOTE: You also get to call the trump color as the bid winner, so match your choice to what’s in your hand for maximum impact.
How to Play Rook Like a Pro
Here’s something that only the pros know: When the first player leads with a certain color and number that’s sure to beat what’s in your hand, play your smallest card. This move helps preserve the high-value cards you’ve got while keeping your opponents guessing. In many cases, using that tactic is the only way a difficult game can be won.
Be careful while tallying up your score at the end because the bid determines who actually wins. Your total score must meet or exceed it; don’t forget. The person (or team) to reach 300 points first is the champion, so the game can end quickly or go on forever depending on the cards played.
It’s easy learning how to play Rook, but winning isn’t always the same story. There’s some strategy involved here and you can’t dominate every trick. However, you can still take home a victory if you play your cards right.