2. Play of the Game
If the players have played before, the highest rated player will be the "first declarer." If no players have played previously, or there is a tie for the highest rating, then choose at random. The first declarer deals out 10 cards to each player, dealing first 1 card to every player, starting with themselves and rotating left, then 2, 3 and finally 4 cards at once. After each hand, the player to the left of the current first declarer takes over as first declarer for the new hand.
I. Two players
Duels are a special case. See section 4.
II. Three or more players
Starting with the declarer and rotating left, each player declares whether they want to try to take tricks, declaring "high," or avoid taking tricks, declaring "low." If at any time more than half of the total players have declared into a single direction, than all remaining players are "forced" into the other direction. After each player declares or is forced, that player puts two cards from their hand on the bottom of the deck and draws two. Note on the scoresheet either a HD (High Declared), LD (Low Declared), HF (High Forced), or LF (Low Forced) for each player.
Declarer leads the first trick, by putting any card from their hand into play face up. Play then passes to the left until all players have played one card each. After the initial lead, if a player has at least one card of the suit led* , he must either play a card of the suit led, a Joker of the same color as the suit led if there are two distinguishable Jokers in the deck, or any Joker if the deck contains only one Joker or both are indistinguishable. If a player has no cards of the suit led they may play any card from his hand. After each player has laid down a card, the player who set down the "highest card" takes the trick. Highest card is determined as follows. 1. Red Joker takes any trick. 2. Non-red Joker takes the trick if no Red Joker. 3. If no Jokers have been played, the highest card, Ace high, of the suit led takes the trick. 4. In the event of duplicate copies of the highest card, either from a game with two decks or a deck with two identical Jokers, the one played earlier takes the trick. The winning player takes the trick and sets it aside. The lead passes left after each trick.
* - If a Joker is led, then the suit led could be either suit of the same color as the Joker. The next player who has any card in either suit of that color in their hand must choose the suit led from any suit available in their hand. If the deck contains only one kind of Joker, the next player with a non-Joker card in hand must either choose the suit led from any suit present in their hand, or play another Joker. In this case, the first Joker played is considered the higher card.