Manille rules

On this page you will find the complete rules of Manille as used on Whisthub. In contrast to, for example, Colour Whist, there are far fewer variations of the rules in circulation. If you already have experience with Manille, the rules of the game will seem familiar to you, although there may be some subtle differences, especially in the scoring.

General

Only the 4-player variant is played on Whisthub. This variant - which is by far the most popular - is played in fixed teams of two players. Players from the same team sit across the table. On Whisthub, the teams are based on the order of joining a table, but premium users can change the positions - and hence the teams - if they want to.

The game is played with 32 cards - the so-called piquet deck. In order from highest to lowest, the ranks of the cards are 10 A K Q J 9 8 7. Note that this means that in Manille, the 10 is the highest card and not the ace as is common in most games. The 10 is also called the manille.

The goal

The goal of the game is to be the first team to collect a number of points that is decided upfront. Points are earned for winning tricks with valuable cards. The number of tricks won in a game is therefore not relevant, only the number of points in the tricks that were won. In other words, it is possible to win a game with fewer tricks than the opponents.

On Whisthub, by default a game is played until a team has gained 101 points. This is called a full set. As a premium user it is possible to change this number. For example, you can also opt for a half set up to 61 points, or a higher number such as 121 points or even 151 points.

As a premium user you also have the option to play a so-called best-of. In this case you can define a maximum amount of sets to be played, being either 3 or 5. Keep in mind that if you play a best-of-5, the game ends once a team has won 3 sets.

The deal

On Whisthub, the cards are obviously dealt by the computer. Still, it is important to know which player is the dealer as this player is the first player on turn. The current dealer is indicated in the game via the icon .

The first dealer is the player who created the table and subsequently this continues clockwise. In physical games, the cards are shuffled before each game, the player to the right cuts the deck, and the cards are dealt out according to the 3-3-2 pattern.

Choosing trumps

After the cards have been dealt, the dealer picks a trump suit. He has a choice between four suits - hearts , diamonds , clubs and spades - but there is also a possibility to play with no trump. When playing without a trump suit, the points of that game are doubled. Note that there is no bidding: the players simply have to accept the dealer's choice.

After the dealer has chosen a trump suit, the other team is given the option to go along. This is done if the choice of trump is favourable to this team and it will double the points. In other words, by going along, the opposing team is actually indicating that they expect to get more points than the dealer's team in the chosen trump suit. Partners are not allowed to discuss whether to go along. Each player must decide for themselves whether it is useful to go along or not.

If the dealer or his partner think they can still get more points though, they get the opportunity to go against. This causes the points of that game to be multiplied by 4. Discussing this is not possible either. However, the points can never be multiplied by more than 4 per game. So when it has been decided to play with no trump and the other team goes along, it is no longer possible to go against as this would cause the points to be multiplied by 8.

The game

The player to the dealer's left leads to the first trick. He can play any card. Each trick is won by the highest trump card, or the highest card of the suit led if it contains no trumps. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick.

In Manillen, there are strict rules about which cards can be played:

  • Players should always follow suit if possible. This means that if the player still has cards of the suit that was led, a card of the same suit must be played. This rule takes precedence over all other rules.
  • If the trick is currently won by the opposing team, the player must takeover the trick if possible. If this can only be done by throwing a trump card, the player is therefore obliged to trump. However, if the trick is currenetly won by the partner, there is no obligation to play a trump card.
  • Undertrumping is not allowed, unless the player only has a series of low trump cards. In other words, if it is not possible to win the trick with a higher trump card, the player must play a card of a different suit if possible.

Example: mandatory takeover

Consider the game situation below where is the trump suit. The other team is currently winning the trick with A .

  • If the player has 10 , he is required to play it.
  • If the player has no more but still has , he is obliged to trump the trick with a .
  • If the player has neither suit left, he can play any card.

Example: free choice

Consider the following game situation where is the trump suit. The trick is currently won by the player's partner.

  • If the player still has , he is required to follow suit, but is not required to play 10 .
  • If the player can no longer follow suit, any card may be played. In this situation it is not mandatory to trump, but it is allowed. Often in such a case a valuable card of a suit that is not the trump suit is played.

On Whisthub it is always clearly indicated which cards can be legally played. Cards that cannot be played are grayed out. It is therefore not possible to play illegal cards - be it voluntary or involuntary.

The scoring

As mentioned above, in Manille the amount of tricks won is not relevant, only the amount of points in the tricks won. The following values are assigned to the cards.

CardPoints
105
A4
K3
Q2
J1
9 8 70

In other words, a total of 60 points are available per game. The team with the most points gains the amount of points won, minus 30. In other words, if one team gets 39 points - and the other team 21 points - then the winning team earns 39 - 30 = 9 points. The losing team does not get any points, but it also does not lose any points.

If both teams get 30 points, the game is a draw and neither team wins points. However, in this case the points are doubled in the next game. If a team wins all 60 points, the points are not doubled.

As mentioned before, the points can also be doubled if a team goes along or goes against. However, on Whisthub, the points can never be multiplied by more than 4. The maximum number of points that can be earned per game is therefore 4 * (60 - 30) = 120. This also has an impact on the ability to go along or go against. If this would result in the points being multiplied by more than 4 - for example if the previous games were a draw - there will not always be the option to go along or go against.

More information

More information can be found on pagat.com, a website with information, rules and tips for hundreds of card games. Well worth a visit! The best way to learn the game though is simply by playing!