How to Play All Fours

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

All Fours is a trick-taking card game that is normally played with 2 players, but can be played with 4 people playing in teams of 2. There is a lot of strategy involved as you try to take tricks and rack up points with a limited amount of available cards. Read on for hints on how to be a great All Fours player.

Dealing

Have each player take on card from the top and reveal it. The player with the highest card is the dealer. The dealer places the cards back in the deck and shuffles the cards, deals out 6 face-down cards to each player and turns one final card face up on the table. Players may view their hands.

Score one point for the dealer if the card turned face up is an ace. The dealer gets 2 points if it is a 6 and 3 points if it is a jack.

Look at the face up card and decide if you want that suit to be trump if you are the non-dealer, or the player to the dealer's right in a 4-player game. If you don't want that suit to be trump, say, "I beg." If you want to proceed with play with the current suit as trump, proceed to Section 2.

Decide if you want to allow or deny the trump suit to be changed if you are the dealer. If want trump to stay the same, say "Take one" and score 1 point for your opponent. Proceed to Section 2.

Set the face-up card aside if you decide to allow the change in trump suit. Deal 3 more face-down cards to each player and turn another card face up on the table. That suit is now trump; score points for yourself as you did in Step 2 if the card is an ace, 6 or jack. If the card that is turned face up is of the same suit as the previous face-up card, deal 3 cards and turn another card face up. Repeat this until you get a card of a different suit, remembering to score points for yourself for each face up card that is an ace, 6 or jack.

Playing

Begin play with the non-dealer or player to the dealer's right. He may lead with any card. The next player should play a card of the same suit if she can. If not, she should play a trump. If she has neither a card of the same suit or of the trump suit, she may play any card.

Take the trick if you played the highest trump card or the highest card of the same suit that opened the round.

Continue play counter-clockwise around the table, or with the dealer if there are 2 players, until all players are out of cards.

Scoring

Score 1 point for the player or team that had the highest trump card in the hand. Also score 1 point for the player or team who originally held the lowest trump card. It doesn't matter who won the card in a trick; the point goes to the person or team who had it in their hand.

Award 1 point to the player or team who won a trick by playing the jack of trump. If a player or team captured the jack of trump in a trick, score 3 points for them.

Add up the cards in won tricks for each player or team using the following formula: aces are worth 4, kings are worth 3, queens are worth 2, jacks are worth 1, and tens are worth 10. Cards 2 through 9 have no value. The player or team with the highest total after calculating these cards scores one point.

Continue playing hands until one player or team reaches 49 points. The first player or team to reach 49 points is the winner.