Trick Taking

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A play of cards or tiles by several players which is won by one of them.

Trick Taking is the action in card games where each player plays a card and all the cards - forming a trick - is won by one of the players. Often winning is determined by playing the highest card in one suit although trumps may beat this.


Many well-known Card Games use Trick Taking. Examples include Contract Bridge, Hearts, Oh, hell, and Whist.

42 and Tien Gow are Trick Taking games played with dominoes rather than with cards.

See The Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games[1] for more examples of Trick Taking card games. Wikipedia also has a list of Trick Taking games[2].

Using the pattern

Trick Taking requires the presence of Cards or Tiles in Multiplayer Games, and is nearly always regulated through Turn Taking. Taking a trick is basically trying to achieve an Overcome goal, and the winner is determine by the values of the Cards or Tiles played; although Trick Taking is a way to modulate these game elements this pattern may be so central to gameplay that it motivates the actual design of these game elements. Tricks may be collected individually or shared by Teams (as for example in Contract Bridge).

One design choice need to make regarding Trick Taking is if the goal of taking tricks is to get as many as possible (as for example in Contract Bridge), as few as possible (as for example in Hearts), or trying to hit an exact number of tricks, possibly determined by Bidding (as found in Oh, hell). In games with suits, it is often required that tricks can only be won by playing the highest card in the suit that opened the trick, but an option is that one suit can beat the played suit by being a Trump - this can either be done through having one suit permanently assigned as the Trump or having some mechanism for alternative the Trump between Rounds.

Trick Taking often have rules regarding which Cards or Tiles can be played based on the first one played. That these rules are followed can rarely be judged during the trick and rules violations tend to be revealed several tricks later. Revoke Rules are sets of rules that are designed to handle these cases.


Trick Taking is a type of Overcome action in Multiplayer Games using Cards and Tiles. It can be seen as an alternative or special form of Discard Piles, allowing players to enact Replays after gameplay if each trick is saved by itself as a form of Discard Pile. Games with Trick Taking are even more likely than other games with Cards or Tiles to encourage players to engage in Memorizing.


Can Instantiate

Memorizing, Overcome

with Discard Piles


Can Modulate

Cards, Discard Piles, Multiplayer Games, Tiles

Can Be Instantiated By

Turn Taking

Can Be Modulated By

Bidding, Revoke Rules, Teams, Trumps

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Parlett, D. (2000). The Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games. Penguin Books Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition.
  2. Wikipedia list of Trick Taking games.