Gongor Whist
Designed by P.D. Magnus
Players 1
Length quick
Extra Material None

a solitaire trick-taking game

Gongor Whist is a solitaire trick-taking game in which you try to win tricks against a dummy hand. The trump is randomly determined by flipping over an Ace, but with every trick you have the option of randomly determining a new trump. Each pass through the deck is two hands; you play a second hand (called the aft hand) without reshuffling the cards.

Setup

Make a score sheet with the numbers 0 through 7 on it.

Separate the Aces from the basic deck. Shuffle them together in their own pile and flip up the top card. This determines the initial trump suit.

Shuffle the rest of the deck together. Deal seven cards each into two face-down piles. One of these is your hand of cards. The other is the dummy.

Looking at your hand, decide how many tricks you think you will be able to take. This is your bid for the hand.

When you make your bid, check off that number on the score sheet. You may not bid that number of tricks again.

For example: You bid four tricks and make exactly four, check off 4. You may not bid four again.

Game play

Flip up the top card from the dummy hand. You must play a card that shares a suit with the dummy's card, if you have one; otherwise, play any card from your hand.

After playing your card, but before resolving the trick, you have the option of twiddling trump. Flip over the next card in the Ace stack. That suit is now trump, instead of the suit of the previous Ace. The new trump determines whether or not you win this trick and remains in effect until you twiddle the trump on a later trick. If you twiddle the trump when there are no cards left in the Ace stack, then there is no trump for the remainder of the hand; with no trump, the highest card that shares a suit with the dummy's lead wins.

  • You win the trick if you played a trump and the dummy didn't, if you played a higher trump than the dummy, or if no trump was played but you followed suit with a higher card. Otherwise, you lose the trick.

Regardless of who wins the trick, start the next trick by flipping over the top card from the dummy hand. Continue until you have resolved seven tricks and depleted both hands.

If you won exactly as many tricks as you bid, then you go on. If you won either more or fewer tricks, you have lost.

Set aside the tricks from this hand and, without reshuffling, deal the aft hand.

The aft hand

Leave the Ace pile as it is. Using the remainder of the deck, deal again: Seven cards to yourself and seven to the dummy. (There will be two cards leftover. Set them aside without looking at them.)

Bidding and game play for the aft hand are the same as for the fore.

After completing the aft hand, reshuffle both the Ace pile and the main deck. Continue with another fore hand.

Succeeding at four fore hands and four aft hands requires requires making all eight possible bids. If you can do that, you win the game. If you ever fail to make even one bid along the way, however, you lose.

The extended deck

You are welcome to come up with your own ideas for adding extended deck cards to the game. If you try something that works well, share it either in the forum here or over at BGG.

Credits

Design: P.D. Magnus

The game is inspired by Richard Hutnik's Oneonta Whist.

The game originally appeared in the Decktet Book, although with a different scoring rule.

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