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CALYPSO

CALYPSO card game was invented by R.W.Willis of Trinidad: it dates from the mid 1950s, and though designed on entirely new lines, inevitably borrows some of the best features of Bridge and Canasta.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Calypso is for four players poker playing in two partnerships, but can be played cut-throat by three, as described later.

CARDS

The game is played with four packs of cards (with identical backs) shuffled together, but the cards are shuffled only at start of a game, and a player holds only 13 of them at a time.It is a novel feature of the game that each player has his own trump suit.  Spades and hearts play in partnership against diamonds and clubs.  The players cut for seats and trump suits. 

The highest has the choice of both, and his partner takes the corresponding suit and sits facing him.  the choice of a trump suit conveys no advantage; it is purely a matter of personal preference.

Thirteen cards are dealt to each player, and the dealer places the rest of the pack to his left, ready for the next dealer after the poker hand has been played.

 

THE PLAY

The object of the game is to build calypsos.  A calypso is a complete suit (from Ace to 2 ) in a player’s trump suit.

The player on the left of the dealer leads to the first trick.  Thereafter the lead is made by the player who wins a trick.  when playing to a trick a player must follow suit if he can; otherwise he may either discard or trump by playing a card of his own trump suit.

A trick is won by he who has played the highest card of the suit led, or by he who has trumped it, or over-trumped it by playing a higher trump of his own trump suit.  If two or more players play identical cards, the first played takes priority for the purpose of winning poker tricks, and perhaps the most important feature of the poker game is that if a player leads a card of his own trump suit, he wins the trick automatically unless it is trumped by another player or over-trumped by another.  To illustrate:

North ♣           East ♠               South ♦            West ♥
  ♥ 8                   ♥ J                   ♥ 10                 ♥ 3
North has led the ♥ 8, and East wins the trick because he has played the highest heart.

North ♣        East ♠            South ♦            West ♥
♦ 4                 ♠ 6                   ♦ 7                   ♦ 3
North has led the ♦ 4, and East wins the trick because he has trumped.  South has merely followed suit to North’s lead.

North ♣           East ♠              South ♦           West ♥
♥ 3                   ♠ 4                   ♦ 6                   ♥ J
North has led the ♥ 3, and South wins the trick, because although Eat has trumped, he has over-trumped.  West has merely followed suit to North’s lead.

North ♣          East ♠             South ♦            West ♥
♣ 9                  ♣ J                   ♣ 6                  ♣ 5
North has led the ♣ 9 and wins the poker trick because clubs is his own trump suit.  That East has played a higher club does No-Trumps score.

North ♣         East ♠               South ♦            West ♥
♣ 6                  ♠ 7                   ♦ 9                   ♣ 5
North has led the ♣ 6, East has trumped, but south wins the trick because he has over-trumped.

North ♣         East ♠               South ♦            West ♥
♥ 6                   ♥ Q                  ♥ Q                  ♥ 10
North has led the ♥ 6, and the trick is won by East as his ♥ Q was played before South’s.

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