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SOLO WHIST

SOLO WHIST, usually just called Solo, is based on the ancient game of Whist but it includes a bidding principle and each player plays for himself.  It is a betting game.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Solo Whist is a game for four players, and cannot satisfactory be played by any other number.

CARDS

The full pack of 52 cards is used.  Thirteen cards are dealt to each player in three bundles of three cards each, and the last four cards singly.  The dealer turns up the last card to indicated the trump suit.

THE PLAY

Each player in turn, beginning with the player on the left of the dealer, must either pass or make a bid.

The bids (declarations) are:
Proposal: The player who makes a Proposal asks for a partner with the object of making eight tricks in partnership with him against the other two players.  In turn, any other player may Accept, and the two play as partners from the seats in which they are sitting.  The declaration of Proposal and Acceptance is usually called Prop and Cop.

Solo: is a declaration to win five poker tricks against the other three players.

Misere: is a declaration to lose all 13 tricks. The hand is played without a trump suit.

Abundance: is a declaration to win nine tricks against the other three players; the declarer chooses his own trump suit.  A player who wishes to play abundance with the turned-up suit as trumps may overcall with royal Abundance, but the stake value of the bid remains unchanged.

Open Misere: is a declaration to lose every trick, and after the first trick has been played with his cards exposed on the table in front of him.  there is no trump suit.

Declared abundance: is a declaration to win all 13 tricks with a trump suit of his own choice.

Every bid must be higher than the previous one, and with the exception of the player on the left of the dealer, who may accept a proposal after passing, no player may re-enter the bidding once he has passed.  The bidding ends when a bid has been passed by the other three players.

If the final bid is Declared abundance, the declarer leads to the first trick.  Against any other declaration the opening lead is made by the poker player on the left of the dealer.  The play follows the general principles of trick-taking games; a player must follow suit if he is able to, otherwise he may either discard or trump, and the winner of a trick leads to the next.
            Stakes are scaled to the value of the bids:

            Proposal and Acceptance         2 units*
            Solo                                         2 units
            Misere                                      3 units
            Abundacne                               4 units
            Open Misere                            6 units
            Declared abund                        8 units

(* Proposal and Acceptance does No-Trumps carry equivalent stakes to Solo because they are paid by and received from two players, whereas in Solo (and higher declarations) they are paid to and received from three players.)

Solo is a combination of whist and nap (oleon).  It is a fairly simple game, and by far Proposal and Acceptance.  As no player will propose without some strength in trumps, the partnership hardly ever fails to make eight tricks.  It is a notoriously dull contract, therefore, and most modern players reject it.

The declaration of Solo is another that is fairly easy to win, though it must never be forgotten that the player has to compete against three.  It is unwise to bid Solo without a good trump suit, and the dealer is in the ideal position to bid it with success because he plays last to the first trick: it gives him the best chance to win it and make an immediate attack on the trump suit.

Misere is not such an easy declaration as it may seem.  A five-card suit, unless it contains the 2, is likely to spell defeat.  If a player holds 7,6,5,4,3 of a suit he will usually be defeated if another holds four of the suit including the 2.

Abundance should not be attempted without a very good trump suit, and Declared abundance is best avoided by any except an experienced online poker player.

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