Tips & Strategies (5)

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Tips & Strategies (5)

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Professional Grader
20 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Get the kids off the street.”

Most of what I have to spout on about could apply to any trick taking card game, since this is the only one I have found on this site I’ll rant here. These basics will help the novice card player not drive their partners crazy and probably help you be a little more competitive when play Rook.

1. Pay attention! Most mistakes that “bad” card players make is because they aren’t keeping track of what has been played or what trump is. It is a simple discipline, but a discipline nonetheless. You may have to train yourself to focus.

2. Remember in Rook it’s about “point cards” not how many tricks you get. So when your partner is winning the trick and you can play points do it. Unless the card you play would be the next highest trump card, for instance is your partner plays the 11 of trump and you have the 10 and 7. I would play the seven, knowing that I have the highest trump and I will be able to take a trick with it later.

3. Short suiting is your friend. If you can get your hand down to 3 suits (2 suits even better) This allows you to trump your adversaries’ suit since you are out of them. Or if your partner is winning the trick and you have a definite losing card you play it to get rid of the loser.

4.If you are long in trump, bleed everyone else out. An old-timer friend called this get the kids off the street, you don’t want to be surprised by a trump you miscounted being played on your off-suit 14 when you could have bled them dry.

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Rated 50 Games
20 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Rook is not the Highest Trump”

There are many, many variations on the rules for Rook, here’s one that our group thinks makes the game much more interesting, just in case your rules don’t include it:

The Rook is is valued at 12.5 of the trump suit. This means that it will beat a 12 of trump, but will not beat the 13 or 14 of trump. Some rules state that it is always the highest card.

This makes the timing of the Rook, counting what trump has been played, and leading trump much more interesting decisions, instead of just a guaranteed 20+ points for whoever holds the Rook.

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Intermediate Reviewer
Professional Grader
20 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“House rules by state.”

I have played Rook for a long time and anytime I sit down with a group of people to play we have to clarify the rules. From my experience playing with friends from different states there are different house rules. Here are a couple that are the most common when we play.

Minnesota/Iowa- we remove the 1’s,2’s,and 3’s. The Rook is the lowest trump but worth 20 points. 14’s and 10’s are worth 10 points and 5’s worth 5 points. There are 5 cards in the blind. We use an auction bid, with the highest being 120. You must call the color before looking at the blind. We play to 500.

South Dakota – Play with all the cards. Rook is the highest trump. The 1’s second highest, worth 15 points. 14’s & 10’s worth 10 points and 5’s 5 points. Auction bid with the highest being 180. 5 cards in the blind, you get to look at the blind before you call your color.

Either way is great fun, I find calling your trump before you look at the blind a little more challenging which I like better.

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Critic - Level 2
Amateur Reviewer
21 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“Lead your partner”

If you took the bid, play the highest trump card you have. You want to let your partner know what cards you have in your hand by playing accordingly.

If you take the bid but do NOT lead with high trump, your partner will become worried and will be fearful to play any trump cards to you for fear of losing the tricks.

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Count / Countess
Went to Gen Con 2012
I play black
21 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“Low bids force blind nest”

We don’t care for low bids like 80, so we made a rule that if you win the nest with a bid of less than 90, you have to declare trump BEFORE you look at the nest.

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