The card game Rook was originally published in 1906 by Parker Brothers, a company that still provides fun family games today. The game has survived the years, becoming a popular partner game to pass the time with friends and family. Though rules vary from table to table, some basic strategy tips can make you a Rook winner every time.
Use Your Partner
Unlike other card games like Rummy, Phase 10 and poker, Rook is a partner game. This is any important fact to remember, no matter which rules you follow. If you try to play the game without using your partner's strengths, you will definitely lose.
If possible, talk with your partner before the game to come up with some kind of signal regarding your hands. Obviously, you won't be able to communicate every card you hold to your partner, but you can indicate whether or not you have a good hand. This signal can be anything from a scratch of the nose to a kick under the table, but it should be something you've both agreed on, and something whose meaning is not immediately obvious to your opponents.
When you are bidding your hand, be careful not to overbid or underbid your hand. Start by calculating the number of point cards you know you and your partner have. If you have a large number of cards for a potential trump suit, the big can go up, since you know that you will win many of the tricks, or smaller hands, during play.
If you hit your bid, you receive the number of points you originally bid, as well as the number of points by which you exceeded your bid. Remember, though, to study the rules of your game because in some rule systems bidding too low can incur a points penalty. Do not bid too high either, because if you do not hit your bid, you will lose the number of points you originally bid.
Call a Good Trump Suit
This may seem obvious to many players familiar with Rook or with similar games like Pinochle, but it can sometimes be difficult to do. Calling the right trump suit can make or break your victory in Rook. The player who bids also gets to call the trump suit before the official start of each hand; a card from the trump suit will automatically beat any card that is played before it, regardless of the value of either card.
When you get a chance to call trump, you generally want to call the suit that you have the most cards in. This includes your partner's cards; if you are calling trump, and you know your partner has a huge number of cards in one suit, call that suit as trump. The points your partner wins are your points too.