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How To Be A LadyNerd: Pride And Prejudice Style, Part 2

Finally, we'll all have something to do whilst the men retire to pass the port after dinner!

How To Be A LadyNerd: Pride And Prejudice Style, Part 2

Because, I've just spent the last two days researching, translating strange words, and developing a case of nerves to rival Mrs. Bennet -- figuring out how to play Whist!  Just so I could explain it here!

When the card tables were placed, he had an opportunity of obliging her in return, by sitting down to whist.  "I know little of the game, at present,'' said he, "but I shall be glad to improve myself, for in my situation of life --'' Mrs. Philips was very thankful for his compliance, but could not wait for his reason.

So read on, fellow P&P fans, and educate yourself!  ('Cause nobody likes a Wickham.)  And, of course, it wouldn't be an FYA game if there wasn't drinking involved, so I've come up a few extra rules that will ensure you all have a time worthy of Mr. Hurst!

A Whist marker made by the English cardmaker Charles Goodall in olden days.

You Will Need: 4 People, 1 Deck of 52 Playing Cards, Adult Beverages Of Your Choice.

Picking Teams: Each player draws a card at random from the deck.  The two people with the lowest cards will form one team, the two with the highest cards form the other.  Team members must sit across from one another.

Getting Started:  The cards in each suit rank high to low: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.  The person who drew the highest card when picking teams deals first.  The cards should be shuffled by the player to dealer's left and cut by the player to dealer's right. The dealer deals out all of the cards one at a time so that each player has 13. The final card -- which will belong to the dealer -- is turned face up to indicate which suit is trumps (Trumps is a suit in card games that outranks all other suits for the duration of a hand -- i.e. if the card was a club, that means that for that deal, clubs are better than any other suit.). The turned trump remains face up on the table until it is dealer's turn to play to the first trick (A trick is essentially a round, where each player lays down one card).

Playing The Game:  The player to the dealer's left leads to the first trick (again, round) with any card of their choosing from their own hand. The other players, in clockwise order, each play a card to the trick. Players must "follow suit" by playing a card of the same suit as the card led -- if they can; a player with no card of the suit led may play any card. The trick is won by the highest card played in the suit, or by a trump card, if a player has no cards in that suit.  The winner of a trick leads (goes first) for the next.

Scoring:  When all 13 tricks have been played, the side which won more tricks scores 1 point for each trick they won in excess of 6 (This is assuming, that with 13 rounds, the winning team will have had to win more than 6 of those rounds, so each round over 6 counts as 1 point.).  The team which first reaches 5 points wins the game.

Okay, easy peasy, right?  Now, there are a lot of crazy detailed strategies you can get into, like how laying down a certain card in any suit signals to your partner that you have either higher or lower cards of that suit, so that they can know what suit to lead with if they get control of a trick, but that's crazy talk for us beginners!  There are also lots of variations on the game that include, but are not limited to, things called Court Piece, Catch The Ten, Bid, and Blob.  We aren't going to learn about those, either.  BUT, what we ARE going to learn is some fun Whist Terms!!!!  (Psst!! You've heard Austen's characters saying some of these things, and if you're like us, were totally baffled!  UNTIL NOW.) Like this one:

Rubber: The best of three games.
Dummy: In some variations of whist, a hand is turned face up and is played from by the player seated opposite. This allows for whist to be played by three players.
Finesse: Playing a lower card even though you are holding a higher one, hoping that the intermediate card is held by a player who has already played a card. 
Grand Slam: The winning, by one team, of all thirteen tricks in a hand.
Small Slam: The winning, by one team, of twelve tricks in a hand.

And now is when we add the drinking game into the mix!

The Official FYA Whist Drinking Game

Take A Sip:

*When any player leads with an Ace, the other three players must drink.
*When you win a trick.
*When you play the lowest card in a trick.
*Each time you play a trump card.
*If your team wins a Small Slam.
*Any time anyone mentions Jane Austen, her books, or her characters.

Chug The Contents Of Your Beverage:

*If your oponents win three tricks in a row, they must shout out "Rubber!", and the losing team must chug their beverages.

Take A Shot:

*If your team wins a Grand Slam

And there you have it!  No longer will you be confined to idle gossip or needlepoint while the menfolk are in the study!  Now it's time for Whist!


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Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.