SOMERSET CARDS

 

Fun for all Generations

THE CARDS

There are 50 cards in a Double Somerset deck that consist of 7 suits that are portrayed as FRACTIONS. The numerator(top number of the fraction) is the value of the card and the denominator(bottom number) is the suit; in Double Somerset the denominators are even numbers from 2 to 12. One card in each suit has an extra value in counting the score; it is called a Count Card and is printed in red. There are 2 extra cards in the deck that have special privilege: the S/S and the 0/0. Each suit varies in quantity of cards which adds to the interest of the game.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

The object of the game is to take at least as many points as the bid. A bidder that is too optimistic will find that "Some Are Set".

BIDDING

Each player bids his estimate of the number of points that he (and his partner with 4 players) can take. Points are awarded with 1 for each trick and the 1, 2, or 3 indicated on the Count Cards and on the S/S. There is a total of 24 points per hand with 4 players: 12 from tricks and 12 from Count Cards.

PLAY OF THE GAME

The game is usually played with 4 players working as 2 sets of partners. Fortyeight cards are equally dealt among the players with 2 cards left for the highest bidder. The highest bidder may replace any cards in his hand with the 2 extra cards.

The highest bidder plays the first card and declares trump with it. Other players must follow suit; if they can not, then they may play trump or any other card. The trick is won by the highest card matching the lead card's suit or by the highest trump card. The player of the winning card makes the next lead.

SPECIAL CARDS: S/S and 0/0

These two cards make the game fun.

The S/S card is the lowest powered trump card and the most valuable single card. It varies in suit from hand to hand.
The 0/0(ought-ought) card is less powerful than any trump card or double card, i.e., 12/12, 10/10, etc., but more powerful than the other cards. It is not trump and must not follow suit when a trump is led. The highest double played on the trick with the 0/0 takes it.

If the bidder declares "No Trump", the S/S has no taking power, but the 0/0 does because it is the only card in its suit.

SCORING

After all 48 cards are played, each set of partners counts their points: one point for each trick and the total points shown on the red Count Cards that they took.

The first set of partners to accumulate 66 points wins the game of Somerset.

If the bidder does not take as many points as he bid, he is "set" and loses as that many points.

SOMERSET FOR 2, 3, OR 6 PLAYERS

For 2 players, deal 8 cards to each player and place the deck face-down for a drawing pile. The above rules for bidding and play are followed, but the total points per hand are 37. After each trick, each player draws from the pile. All cards in the pile and in both hands are played.

For 3 players, use the 2 player procedure, but the winner of the first trick gets 2 extra cards from the drawing pile. There is a total of 28 points.

For 6 players, players may play as single, double partners, or triple partners. Use the 3 player procedure.

VARIATIONS

In 4 player partner play, the bidding may be started at 15 and the bid forced on the dealewr if the first 3 players pass the bid.

In scoring, if the bidder makes his bid, th opponents get no points. Or, when the bidder goes set, he loses double his shortfall and his opponents get double their points.

SOME ARE SET AND SOME ARE NOT.