As in multiplayer games, the higher rated player deals the first hand, and dealers alternate every hand. However, the dealer makes a hidden declaration. The bid may be written on a piece of paper or recorded with cards under the table. For recording with cards, face up is high, face down is low, and the number of cards indicates the strength. The responder then declares in the open, at which point the declarer reveals his bid. If the bids have equal strengths, but one is high and the other is low, the current dealer shuffles both hands, along with any cards used to mark bids, into the deck and starts over - he deals again in this case. Otherwise, set the bids aside. High bids stay face up and visible, low face down and unseen.
If one player bid more strongly than the other and their bid was high, their opponent immediately takes a number of 2 card tricks (face up) from the deck equal to the strength of the winning bid. Then the player with the stronger bid discards two cards to the bottom of the deck and draws two. If the stronger bidder went low, they must take a number of 2 card tricks (face up again) from the deck equal to the strength of their bid. Then they discard two and draw two. If both bids were identical, nobody takes any tricks before play. Both players discard two and draw two.
The dealer leads the first trick, and every trick alternates. Both players attempt to go in the direction of the stronger bid. Otherwise, itís identical to multiplayer.
If the winning bid was high, the player with more tricks, including tricks taken as a result of a playerís bid, gets two points for every trick in excess of the other playerís number of tricks. If the winning bid was low, the player with fewer tricks, including tricks taken as a result of a playerís bid, gets two points for every trick the other player took in excess of theirs. If the number of tricks is identical, the dealer gets one point.