The Fun of the Whist Drive

Card players that love to get together for a whist drive will know what I'm talking about here. It can be a lot of fun while also being a little serious. After all, you're still playing to win, right?

So what exactly is it that sets this particular game apart from the rest? Why is it still so popular despite the onslaught of online games that seem to threaten the very fabric of traditional games that people sit around a real table to play together? Let's take a look and see!

Where Did Whist Come From?

whist driveThis classic English card game has been around for a very long time. According to this Wikipedia article on whist, it appears to have descended from the 16th century game known as "trump" or "ruff", replacing a trump variant called "Ruff and Honours" and took its name from the word "whist or wist" meaning "quiet and attentive".

The first record of whist being played appears to have been in 1728 when a group of gentlemen met in the Crown Coffee House situated in Bedford Row in London. In 1742, a member of the group, Edmond Hoyle published "A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist" which went on to become the standard rule book for the game and increased its popularity as a fashionable game for the gentry of the time.

Much later, in 1862 Cavendish published what became the standard text for the game, "The Laws and principles of Whist." The game became governed by a set of rather rigid and elaborate rules and etiquette making it a game that took time to master.

A variant of the game came into being in the 1890s called "Bridge Whist" which eventually became the popular game "Contract Bridge."

What Are the Rules of Whist

Without going into a serious manual-style write up of the game, I'll give you an abridged version of what the rules of whist are. We start with the standard 52 card deck with cards ranked from highest to lowest (Ace high).

There are four players partnered in two pairs and these are determined by each player cutting or drawing a card with the two highest cardholders playing against the two lowest. Then the cards are cut to see who deals.

Cards are shuffled by the player to the dealer's left and finally cut by the player on the dealer's right. All cards are dealt with 13 cards to each hand. There is no commenting allowed on the content's of a player's hand and no signalling to a partner.

The player to the dealer's left leads with a card of his or her choice and the others must follow suit where possible. If a player cannot follow suit they may trump or discard. The trick is won by the highest card or highest trump. The trick winner leads the next trick.

The game is scored with one point for each trick won above six. The game ends when one partnership reaches five points scored.

Is This Fun?

It depends on what you mean by fun, but most people get a lot of pleasure by playing this game. So if pleasure equates to fun (and it does in most things) then you could say hand on heart that this game is fun!

There are loads of variations of the game to add spice to the original, but most serious players tend to stick to the traditional rules and format. But whatever you prefer to play, as long as everyone enjoys it, then it's good to go!

Some Timely Tips for Playing Whist

Anyone who ever tried to play this game to the limit through a strategy of any kind will know that it can sometimes be tougher than they initially thought it would be. That is why it is always helpful to make sure they help their efforts by getting hold of some useful playing tips that will make the process more easy to get through.

Tips can include things that will make the strategy work more effectively, such as being mindful of the cards that are laid down for each trick and counting the suits so you have a good idea of what is left in player's hands while spending less time being distracted by whatever is going on outside the game.

A game can be made more enjoyable by providing some snacks and savoury bites and drinks. It is all too easy to be tempted to reach for the snacks and getting up and out of the game to get some more that will take their mind off the fact that they are supposed to be concentrating on the game!

There are all kinds of really workable tips that really can make a player's strategy more on the easy side and less fraught with obstacles that are often getting in the way or trying to derail their efforts to win. Exercising restraint and avoiding rash play are also good tips that help a person stay on track and get the most from their game.

There are tons of good tips that are also highly useful and all these great aids to playing a better game can be found online at the best websites where the information is given freely to anyone who wants to put in the research hours.

The Playing Tips that Work are the Ones to Use

It is probably not an earth shattering revelation that the best way to win at whist is to first get a better understanding of how the whole process works from start to finish. But it really helps when that information is formed at least in part by some really useful tips that work as opposed to just theories that may or may not be of any real use in the real world.

There are plenty of people who are trying really hard to learn the game but are failing mainly through lack of understanding what they are doing. This can be easily turned around by doing some research about the playing process and how certain aspects of it affect the game in different ways.

Like for instance how the inclusion or omission of certain strategies can make a bigger difference to the outcome than you may realize. Or that doing a certain amount of strategic discarding for a certain type of trick can be far more beneficial than trumping, especially when a subsequent player might be in a position to overtrump you.

There is much to know about whist and the information is there to be found simply by going and looking for it while gaining experience by playing as much as possible with other very good players. But at the end of the day, it's about enjoyment as much as defeating your opponents that make this such a great game to get involved with.