Written by Howard Fosdick © BestFreeNewGames.com
Overview: Ever have a large crowd on hand to play cards? Here's a fast, simple trick-taking game that’s great fun for mixed groups of from 3 to 12. Works best for 5 to 8 players.
Cards and Deal: Use two standard 52-card packs shuffled together. Draw to see who will be Dealer. High card is Dealer. That card also defines the initial Trump Suit for the hand. Dealer deals 7 cards to each player face-down. The remaining cards become the drawing stock.
Card Ranking: From high to low, the cards rank: 2 - A - K - Q - J - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3. So rank is as per typical -- except that the 2 is the highest card.
Objective: The goal is to win the hand and the game by winning the most card points in tricks. Card points are as follows:
Play: Eldest leads the first trick. Others must follow suit if possible. If they cannot follow suit, they can either play a trump card or a discard. The trick is won by the highest trump played (if any), otherwise it is won by the highest card of the suit led.
If two identical highest cards are played, the second one played to the trick wins it.
After playing a card to a trick, each player draws a replacement card from the stock. The winner of one trick leads to the next.
Trick play continues until there are not enough cards left in the stock for each player to draw one. At that point, the final cards in the stock are turned face-up, and players play the remaining 7 cards from their hands to tricks. Then the hand ends.
The Pip-Pip!: What makes this game unique is that players can change the Trump Suit during play. The way this occurs is -- when a player acquires in hand a King and Queen of the same suit, he can call “Pip-Pip!” and place these two cards before him face-up. This changes the Trump Suit for the hand to that suit immediately upon the lead to the next trick.
The player immediately scores 50 points for any Pip-Pip!. Pip-Pip! can only be declared if the suit of the King-Queen combination differs from that of the current trump suit.
If two or more players declare PIp-Pip prior to the next trick, each scores 50 points for his declaration. The trump suit is changed to the last one called.
Calling PIp-PIp! is optional. So a player might acquire a King-Queen pair and declare Pip-Pip! immediately, or he might wait to declare it at a more advantageous time (in order to win more tricks based on that trump suit). The 50 points is only awarded for Pip-Pip’s that are declared.
Cards laid on the table for Pip-Pip! are played to tricks just as if they resided in the player’s hand. A King or Queen can only be used in a single Pip-Pip! declaration (any particular card can not be reused for another Pip-Pip!). A player may call Pip-Pip! twice in the same suit if he has both Kings and Queens of that suit. A player may also call Pip-Pip! before the first trick in the hand should he be dealt appropriate cards. In this case the trump suit changes prior to playing the first trick of the hand.
Winning Game: The Game ends when each player has dealt an equal number of times.
Sources: Pip-Pip! is described by George F. Hervey in his card compendium published by Hamlyn in the UK, as well as by the prolific author of card expertise, Hubert Phillips (1894-1961). I’m unaware of any other published descriptions. Note that Hervey says for multiple Pip-Pip! declarations, the first suit called takes effect, whereas Phillips says the last one called supercedes the other(s). It doesn't make any difference which way you play, just ensure that everyone understands the rule in force before play begins.