The card game known as “Twenty Eight” takes its name from the points available in the cards used for each trick. To play, the dealer must strip the two through six cards from the deck, which leaves 32 cards for the game. For this game, the remaining cards in the deck are ranked as follows: J, 9, A, K, Q, 10, 8 and 7.
How to Play Twenty Eight
To begin the game, it requires four players seated opposite their partners. The dealer hands out four cards to each player and the remaining cards are temporarily set aside. This is the point in the game when bidding takes place. The bid is for the right to declare trump as well as the number of points via winning tricks that the players expects their teams to win. The lowest bid is 14 and the maximum is 28 (which are the total points available).
The player with the highest bid gets to pick trump, but does not tell the players what suit they have selected. Instead, they must lay a card in the trump suit face down in front of them.
The dealer will then provide four more cards to each player, bringing the total to eight cards. The player to the left of the dealer must lead, and places a card on the table. The succeeding players must try to follow suit, and the highest suit takes the trick. If a player cannot follow suit, they must ask for the trump to be revealed. They must then play trump if possible, or throw off trump. The highest trump card will then take the trick. The winner leads on the next trick. Play continues until no cards remain.
During the part of the game in which the trump card is unknown, the highest suit is going to always win, regardless of the trump suit which is revealed later. After that point, the trick will always be won by the highest trump rather than the highest suit. Should no player ask for the trump to be called during the first seven tricks, the highest bidder will be forced to use the trump card in the last trick, since they will have no cards remaining in their hand.
To determine the score, the point cards in each winning trick or totaled. The points for the cards are as follows:
- Jacks are worth 3 points
- Nines are worth 2 points
- Aces and tens are worth 1 point
Additionally, one point is added to a team’s score if they were able to take at least the number of bids called. Another two points are given to the opposing team if they prevented the high bidder from getting their points goal. The high bidding team must have as many card points as their initial bid to win the game. The game ends when a team acquires ten points.
Twenty Eight has many variations from region to region, including a three and six player version, differing points systems and card values, double pack versions and many more.