All Fours is a strategic card game involving four (4) with teams of two (2) partners seated opposite each other. The objective of the game is to be the first team to accumulate fourteen points. The game uses a standard deck of 52 cards. Card are ranked from highest to lowest in the following order:
Ace > King > Queen > Jack > Ten (10) > Nine (9) > Eight (8) > Seven (7) > Six (6) > Five (5) > Four (4) > Three (3) > Two (2) > One (1)
The object of a hand is to score points by winning rounds with ‘game’ points as well as to ‘hang’ the opponent’s jack of trump if possible. The team with the most ‘game’ points at the end of a hand earns the ‘game’ point for that hand. If a team ‘hangs’ an opposing team’s jack of trump, they are awarded three (3) points. Cards and their game points are given below in order of rank:
Ace – Four (4) points
King – Three (3) points
Queen – Two (2) points
Jack – One (1) point
Ten – Ten (10) points
Player take turns for both dealing and playing. Dealing and playing are also done in an anticlockwise order. Each player is initially dealt six (6) cards at the beginning of a hand and the dealer ‘kicks’ a card which is to be played as trump. The player to the right of the dealer may either begin play immediately or ‘beg’ if they are not satisfied with the trump card kicked. In this situation, the dealer may either give one (1) point to their opponents or return to the deck. If the dealer returns to the deck, every player received an additional three (3) more cards after which the dealer again kicks a card. If the card kicked is the same suit as the card previously kicked, an additional three (3) is shared and the dealer once again kicks a card. Play begins afterwards.
The dealer can be awarded points by kicking the following face value cards irrespective of suit:
Jack – Three (3) points
Six – Two (2) points
Ace – One (1) point
The player on the dealer’s right is the first to play a card. The player with first play for a round can play any card they wish. However the remaining player are restricted to the following rules:
- If a non-trump card is played first, remaining players must play cards of the same suit if they have any or can play a trump card.
- If a trump card is played first, remaining players must play cards trump cards if they possess any. If not, they can play any card in their hand.
Play proceeds until all cards in hand are exhausted.
At the end of a hand, points are awarded as follows:
High (1 point) – awarded to the team that possesses the trump card of highest face value
Low (1 point) – awarded to the team that possess the trump card of the lowest face value
Jack (1 point) – awarded to the team that wins a round with their own jack of trump
Hang Jack (3 points) – awarded to the team that wins the round containing the opposing team’s jack of trump
Game (1 point) – awarded to the team that accumulates the most game points at the end of a hand as described previously
Points are only awarded in the order of High, Low, Jack (or Hang Jack) and Game. This order ensures that a tie between games are impossible with the first team to reach 14 points winning.