How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (2024)

How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (1)

Wizard:

"One endowed with exceptional skill or able to achieve something held to be impossible".

-Webster's Dictionary

No other card game combines such ease of learning with such opportunity for skillful play.

In fact, it is the only game which a master player can consistently win regardless of the cards dealt.

While definitely a game of skill, young and/or inexperienced players can join in without disturbing the quality of play.

How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (2)

Components

  • Cards with numbers 1-3 in 4 colors
  • 4 Wizard (Z or W)) Cards
  • 4 Jester (N or J)) Cards
  • Score pad
  • Instructions

The Jesters are lowest in value, followed by two up to ace, with Wizards highest in value.


Object of the Game

The object is to correctly predict the number of tricks you will take in each round. You receive points for being correct, and the person with the most points wins the game.


The Deal

To determine a dealer, each player is dealt one card. High card deals. On the first deal, each player receives one card. Two cards are dealt on the second deal, three on the third and so on.

The deal passes to the left after each round and the new dealer shuffles all 60 cards. After the deal, the next card is turned up to determine the trump suit.

If the card turned up is a Jester, it is turned down and there is no trump for that round.

If the card turned up is a Wizard, the dealer chooses one of the four suits as the trump suit. On the last round of each game all cards are dealt out so there is no trump.


Bidding

Each player, in turn, beginning to the left of the dealer states the number of tricks he/she will take (zero or one on the first round) and the scorer records it on the score pad. The total number of tricks bid may or may not equal the total number of tricks available.


Keeping Track of Tricks

Before play begins, the scorer should announce how many tricks have been called for by each player. Each player should also keep tricks won in plain view for others to see.

Some players find it helpful to use coins or poker chips to indicate the number of tricks called for. This enables all players to readily see how many tricks each player needs.

How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (3)

Game Play

The play begins to the left of the dealer. Any card may be led. Players continue to play in clockwise order and must follow suit if possible.

If a player cannot follow the suit led, the player may play any other suit, including the trump suit. A Wizard or a Jester may be played at any time, even if the player is holding a card of the suit led.

A trick is won:

  • by the first Wizard played.
  • if no Wizard is played, by the highest trump played.
  • if no trump is played, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of the trick leads next.

Leading Wizards or Jesters

If the lead card is a Wizard, it wins the trick and players may play any card they wish, including another Wizard. If the lead card is a Jester, it is a null card and the suit for this round is determined by the next card played. Jesters always lose.

The one exception to this is if only Jesters are played, the first Jester played wins the trick.

How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (4)

Scoring

For correctly predicting the number of tricks taken, a player scores 20 points and receives 10 additional points for each trick taken.

A player whose prediction is incorrect loses 10 points for each over or under trick.

Sample Play and Scoring

Round One

Paul called for 0 tricks and made it. He scores 20. Thomas called for 1 trick but broke. He loses 10.

Marie called for 1 trick and made it. She scores 20 plus 10 for 30.

How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (5)

Round Two

Paul called for 2 but only made 1. He loses 10 points. Thomas called for 0 tricks and made it. He scores 20. Marie called for 0 tricks but made 1. She loses 10.


End of the Game

There are 60 cards in the deck. Play continues until the round in which all the cards are dealt out.

Consequently, three players play 20 rounds, four players play 15 rounds, five players 12 rounds, and six players 10 rounds.

The player with the most points wins the game

Bidding Variations

  1. Hidden Bid: All players simultaneously reveal their bid.

  2. Delayed Reveal Bid: All players record their bid. After the hand has been played the bids are revealed.

  3. Optional Rule: If the last player to bid has the highest score recorded on the scorepad, he/she can- not bid so as to make the bids "even".

    An "even" bid is when the total tricks bid equals the total tricks available.

    This means that someone must lose points after the play of a hand because more or fewer tricks have been bid than are available.

    This rule does not apply if there is a tie for the lead.


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How to play Wizard | Official Game Rules (2024)
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