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trick 17[edit]

In Germany we have the phrase "trick 17". The term means "startling problem solving", and many sources say, it is deduced from whist - "best trick of whist". May that be possible? Do "17 tricks" play a special role in this game? --De.Gerbil 22:00, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

My question ist still waiting for an answer... --De.Gerbil 07:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's been a while but here is an answer. There are only 13 tricks available in whist, so there is no trick 17. Wschart (talk) 14:33, 26 February 2016 (UTC)


Great entry. I am learning the game and this is a great resource. I did not see anything on how many points are needed to win a game. Could scoring be clarified some more? --Monterrey Ray 20:58, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Whist has trumps. The rules that were posted were for "Minnesota Whist", an inferior variation.

I reorganized the article.

Can someone work on a history section?

This is great. Can you please continue it?

Isn't there a Whist with trumps. I seem to remember playing Horatio Hornblower (a protagonist from C. S. Forester) Whist with trumps, but maybe I'm wrong? RedMabuse

Me too! We used to play six hands, four of trumps (alternating suits), the no-trumps, the misere

The 3 player version of Whist, called "Widow" whist, is played with clubs as trump. I can document this 3 player variation if people would be interested. (BTW, I'm the original author of the 4 player write-up) -Nafai

I'd love to see the 2 handed whist rules Mr. Author!

Thank-You Nafai for the 3 player "Widow" whist rules you wrote up. I used to play this game with my grandfather and mother (both of whom have passed away). We called the game "Merry Widow". I have been searching fruitlessly for the rules in card game books and the internet until I ran across this site. I always enjoyed playing the game and can now play it with my wife and daughter. Thanks again! -DBK

Isn't Whist the card game that Phineas Fogg played in Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne? I always wondered what he was playing. Thanks for enlightening me. --Wesley

It's "Phileas" Fogg, IIRC

You're quite right. Here's a paragraph from the book's opening chapter regarding his love of whist:
It was at least certain that Phileas Fogg had not absented himself from London for many years. Those who were honoured by a better acquaintance with him than the rest, declared that nobody could pretend to have ever seen him anywhere else. His sole pastimes were reading the papers and playing whist. He often won at this game, which, as a silent one, harmonised with his nature; but his winnings never went into his purse, being reserved as a fund for his charities. Mr. Fogg played, not to win, but for the sake of playing. The game was in his eyes a contest, a struggle with a difficulty, yet a motionless, unwearying struggle, congenial to his tastes.

When I used to play Whist in Whist drives in England (circa 1970) at the local golf club the trump order was given: Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades.

You played each game with a partner, but every few games, you would switch, with some players travelling to different tables and getting different partners.

The main body of the article was an unattributed, edited down cut and paste from the Rules of Card Games. I have moved introductory material from rules section to the introduction. Expanded the history a bit and linked to Hoyle. Made the play section simpler, as Whist should be. Expanded the scoring system, so people can see how Whist worked and how it influenced Bridge. Added a section on basic technique. Added references

Dewatf 09:18, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

When I played "whist" I had to bid on the trump and there was a kitty that the largest bidder one. What game was I playing? Jdufresne 01:21, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like 500 to me.

other references[edit]

Whist is also frequently mentioned in Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich

The line about House of Mirth is wrong...Lily (with one 'l') plays bridge, not whist. I commented that line out, it could be moved to the bridge page, if there is a section of literary references. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Inconsistent naming[edit]

Perhaps this is pedantic, but the Whist names and articles seem to be inconsistent in whether the "Whist" which comes after the pre-fix is capitalized or not. What should be the rule for this? PurpleXVI 15:10, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm removing the advertisement.Z07 12:41, 10 May 2007 (UTC)


This appears to be copied nearly verbatim from Is that permitted?

D'oh! That was introduced on January 2005, apparently as a verbatim copyvio, and no one has noticed so far. Thanks for pointing this out; it will require a serious purge to fix the problem. Duja 07:46, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Could someone explain rubbers better? I am a greeat reader of Horatio Hornblower, and rubbers tend to fit significantly into their version of play.

See Rubber bridge. Duja 07:38, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


As somone who read this article to find out how to play whist, I must sadly say I could not understand it. I had to give up once 'tricks' and 'play to the trick' were mentioned. These terms are not explained. I fear the article is only helpful to those who already know about the subject. Can someone clarify it? -- 11:11, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I've added a section called whist terms to help out here. I think that if one person actually writes that the article is "incomprehensible" that there is a good chance others left with the same impresion but wrote nothing. Please help flesh out the terms section. Z07 01:35, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Infobox and Image[edit]

Revising the Image link from the current setting |200px to |300px widens the infobox enough to display

"A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2"

on one line. At the same time it displays the label "Card rank (highest to lowest)" on one line. At Contract bridge the current setting Image |250px is enough to display the ranks on one line, because less space is provided for labels. Someone who knows approved methods for making such adjustments should tinker with Whist, Contract bridge, and Auction bridge, and probably other card games that use Deck: French. --P64 (talk) 23:44, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

"Basic whist technique" section[edit]

Is it okay for the technique section to be presented in imperative form? Does it have references? (There don't seem to be inline references in the section.) Mas2265 (talk) 04:52, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


The history section contained irrelevant duplicated and conflicting discussion on the origin of Trump, Ruff, Ruff and Honours and the distantly related Escarte making vague arguments about English or French origin which was uncited and belong elsewhere. So I have edited it down. That Whist is descended from Trump and replaced Ruff and Honours is all that would interest people, and all that is really known anyway since the exact forms of Trump, Ruff and Ruff and Honours are all contested and only known from a few literary references.

Removed statement on history in the introduction, because no one who hasn't studied the history of playing cards would understand it or be interested and it is now covered in the history section where it belongs.

Added a paragraph on Cavendish on Whist because this is kind of important.

Added links to Hoyle and Cavendish because there are descent wikipedia article on them.

Edited text into simple clear language that can be quickly scanned and absorbed by browsers.

Enjoy :)

Dewatf (talk) 19:56, 12 December 2013 (UTC)


This article claims at the very beginning that it has "enormous scope for scientific play". This has a reference. That's great but what is this phrase supposed to actually mean? Later on it says it was "first played on scientific principles", but again WTF is this supposed to mean?

The only thing I can imagine it meaning is that it involves particular attention to the use of probability theory, and if so some explanation along those lines would a better way of putting it. If something else is meant can someone please explain?

--Ericjs (talk) 02:32, 14 March 2014 (UTC)


It mentions "discarding", but doesn't elaborate. I'm making a wild guess that it's intentionally playing a low card of a different suit, and loosing the trick but getting the low card out of your way so it doesn't loose to a higher card of the same suit in a later trick?.45Colt 23:10, 22 March 2015 (UTC)