This variant played as a normal Whist, with the last card dealt face-up to determine the trump suit. the other suit with the same color as the trump suit is now the point suit. For example, if hearts is trump, then diamonds is point.

There are there new rules:

  1. You get points by how many point-suited cards your partnership has taken (same as in Hearts).
  2. The "breaking hearts" rule - A player can not lead with a point suit until a point suit has been discarded. This rule to prevent the partners with high point suits from dominating the game early.
  3. Point cards are anti-trump - If a player leads with a point suit, then any other suit can trump it. (Trump will trump non-trump trumps, obviously).

(Personal Note: This variation also makes use of the fact that there are four suits but only two colors in a traditional deck, which always bothered me a little.)


  1. Are there any problems with this variation which make it unplayable, or unbalanced?

  2. Is there a way to exploit the rules, or a way to play where understanding the rules more deeply conveys an advantage?

  3. Does this variation add to the complexity and fun of the game, or is it merely a complication which adds nothing unique or interesting to standard whist?

  4. Would the game play better with only one of the rules rather than both?

  • 1
    I voted to close because it's not a Q & A so much as a discussion, but I personally prefer these opinion questions to remain if possible, so maybe a nice middle zone is, for these types, to do a large amount of diligence analyzing the pros and cons or the ways in which the variant changes the dynamics, then post the question as asking whether the game is balanced or how lopsided it becomes or something more pointed? Just a thought.
    – Joey
    Jul 9, 2015 at 20:56
  • @Joey Thanks for your thoughts. I've taken your recommendations and modified the question accordingly for your review.
    – ridthyself
    Jul 12, 2015 at 16:20
  • 3
    To me it looks like only play-testing with big enough group of play testers can answer these questions. Jul 16, 2015 at 8:51
  • 2
    If you are looking to distinguish the four suits more clearly, why not try Auction Bridge (simpler than Contract Bridge) or Bid Whist. Check out links here: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/25644/… Aug 21, 2015 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


After some play-testing with friends, the complexity was intimidating, and so we settled on these rules:

The last card is dealt face up, and it is the point suit.

There is no trump suit.

You cannot lead with a point suit until a point suited card has been discarded.

When a point suit is led, any other card can trump it.

The results were interesting: Once players caught on to the game, they would discard points often rather than hording them, hoping their partners can pick them back up. Teamwork seemed more vital in this variation than any trick taking game I've played.

It turned out that having a both trump suit AND an anti-trump suit was an unnecessary complication. The goal was to acquire point-cards which could be trumped by any card, and so having a trump suit felt superfluous.

Alternatively, we played the following variation:

The trump suit is the last card dealt, the point suit is the other suit of the same color as the trump suit.

The point suit cannot be led until a point suited card has been discarded.

The point suit is a normal suit, and is not trumped by any suit except the Trump suit.

This variation worked well, and it satisfied my requirement that the game make use of the fact that there are four suits but only two colors.

However the first variation in this answer seemed more fun. I'm not sure why.

  • "Teamwork seemed more vital in this variation than any trick taking game I've played." Have you played contract or duplicate bridge? Teamwork in play is utterly essential there. If it is even more so in this whist variant, I would be surprised. Apr 12, 2021 at 13:35

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