Every year at Bambi's in the evening we play Ted's Game which is based upon the game "Oh Hell". And every year someone asks me for the rules. So here goes:
The number of players shall be from 3 to 8. The game is best when played with 4 to 6.
The number of cards used shall be 52 (the standard deck), with aces high.
The game consists of a series of hands. The first hand is played with 6 to 10 cards per player, depending on the number of players: 3 to 5 players, 10 cards each; 6 players, 8 cards each; 7 players, 7 cards each, 8 players, 6 cards each (due to the limit of 52 cards available). Each successive hand is played with one card less, down to a hand of just one card each, then one card more per hand back up to the starting level.
Example: With 7 players, the hands are: 7 cards, then 6,5,4,3,2,1, then 2,3,4,5,6,7, for a total of 13 hands to the game.
The object of the game is for each player to bid the number of tricks he thinks he can take from each hand, then to take exactly that many; no more and no less. Points are awarded only for making the bid exactly, and are deducted for missing the bid, either over or under (see SCORING below).
The HOOK is that at least one player will get screwed on each hand, because the total number of tricks bid by the players may not equal the number of tricks available on that hand.
To DETERMINE THE FIRST DEALER, draw cards. The player with the lowest card deals first.
The DEAL begins with the first dealer and rotates clockwise with each hand.
A TRUMP SUIT is determined on each hand by turning over the top card left on the deck after the deal; the suit of that card is trump. The trump suit beats any of the other three suits played in that hand.
The BIDDING in each hand begins with the player to the left of the dealer, then continues clockwise, back around to the dealer, who bids last. A bid may be changed only if the next player to the left has not yet bid. Remember the HOOK: the dealer may not bid the number that would cause the total number of tricks bid to equal the number of tricks available; a hand will always be “over-bid” or “under-bid.” Keep in mind when bidding that not all cards in the deck are in play in any hand.
The PLAY begins with the person to the left of the dealer, who leads the first card. The lead may be any suit, including trump. Play follows clockwise. Each player must follow the suit led, if he can. If not, he may play any other card in his hand, including trump. The player who has played the highest card of the suit led, or the highest trump card, wins the trick. That player then leads the next trick. Continue until all tricks have been played and won.
The SCORING is simple: If a player makes his bid exactly, he gets 10 points plus the number of cards bid squared. A “zero” bid wins 10 points plus the number of cards dealt for that hand. If he misses his bid (over or under), he loses the number of points, which is calculated by cubing the number of cards he missed by.
Examples of scoring:
10 Cards Dealt
Person who bids 3 and takes 3 – 10 points plus 3 squared (3x3=9) = 19 points
Person who bid 0 and takes 0 – 10 points plus # of cards dealt (10) = 20 points
Person who bid 2 and took 4 – Missed by 2 – 2 cubed (2x2x2=8) = Negative 8 points
5 Cards Dealt
Person who bids 1 and takes 1 – 10 points plus 1 squared (1x1=1) = 11 points
Person who bid 0 and takes 0 – 10 points plus # of cards dealt (5) = 15 points
Person who bid 2 and took 3 – Missed by 1 – 1 cubed (1x1x1=1) = Negative 1 point
# of Cards Bid Missed By
1 – Go back 1 (1 cubed)
2 – Go back 8 (2 cubed)
3 – Go back 27 (3 cubed)
4 – Go back 64 (4 cubed)
1 – 11 points (10 points plus 1 squared)
2 – 14 points (10 points plus 2 squared)
3 – 19 points (10 points plus 3 squared)
4 – 26 points (10 points plus 4 squared)
5 – 35 points (10 points plus 5 squared)
6 – 46 points (10 points plus 6 squared)
1 Card Dealt – 11 Points
2 Cards Dealt – 12 Points
3 Cards Dealt – 13 Points
4 Cards Dealt – 14 Points
5 Cards Dealt – 15 Points
6 Cards Dealt – 16 Points
7 Cards Dealt – 17 Points
8 Cards Dealt – 18 Points
9 Cards Dealt – 19 Points
10 Cards Dealt – 20 Points
If you want a copy of the rules and score sheet - send me an email and I will send you a copy in Word.