Archive - January 2011

Rook Strategy: Poor Trump Distribution

There are times when you make a bid and you know you do not have the strongest of hands, but you are hoping that your partner has some help for you.  Maybe some extra 1s or a bunch of your trump color.  With these possibilities in mind, you set out to win a round that you typically would expect to loose.

The next thing you know, you partner has already shown that they are out of trumps, and not only that, one of your other opponents has already shown they are out as well.  You count down the amount of trumps in your hand and you know the sad truth, one of your opponents has exactly the same amount of trumps as you.

Do not panic, just make sure you are paying extra attention to all the cards being played.   You are going to need to know if your are able to slough that off-trump 9 or keep it and hope that it is actually going to win a trick.

A few things are extremely important to help avoid the inevitable set:

  • Know that if you trump in, you may be giving your opponent the last trick of the game if they are able to get the lead and lead trump to pull all of the trump from your hand.
  • Try your best to keep your opponent that has trump from getting the lead without them having to use trump.
  • Focus on getting the last trick primarily as it not only takes the 20 pts automatically, but it also takes the points in the kitty and the points of the trick (usually there are some nice points in the last trick).
  • If you have a choice between securing the rook or securing the last trick, choose the last trick and let them take the bird.
  • Count, count, count the points that have been taken.  On rare occasions, the partner may not have a lot of points to give.  So even though the opponent has a lot of trump and takes a lot of tricks, they may not have taken a lot of points.
  • You are not going to lose by simply losing a lot of tricks.  You are going to lose if you do not try and minimize the losses.  Conceding well timed losses may be the key to staying on track and not getting set.

Final note: Getting set is not the end of the world.  It happens to the best of us.  If you get set, don’t give up on the round.   Who knows, the very next hand you may be shooting the moon!

Rook Tournament Review: Jan 12, 2011

So we held our first rook tournament of 2011 this past week.  What a great day it was.  We had 8 people playing and there was of course food and treats along side.

After warming up with a game of Settlers of Catan while we waited for everyone to show up, the tournament began.  Quite a simple tournament actually.  Single elimination and each match went to 500.  So team 1 played team 2 while team 3 played team 4 and then winners played winners and losers played losers.

If you have never been able to set up a tournament, may I ask why?  I have to say that playing a rook tournament is the perfect way to have a game night.  As long as you have:

  • At least 8 people to make the tournament worth while
  • At least 1 to 2 hours to complete the entire tournament
  • 2 nice decks of rook cards
  • a group of players that are all of the same skill level

As far as the outcome…well, lets just say it wasn’t my partner’s and my night.  It was one of those nights that every time you stretched your bidding hoping that the kitty was going to at least help a little, the kitty completely messed you over.  And every time your opponents would go all out on a risky bid, their partner would have the exact cards they needed to bail them out.   Not to mention the few rounds where my partner and I couldn’t even get close to taking a trick because our opponents had every single high card in the deck.

Yeah, I am little bitter at the hands we got 🙂

No worries though, I am sure the next go around is going to be better.

Let me know your thoughts if you have ways to spice up a rook tournament someway.  We haven’t ventured out into the team trading realm yet, but I am sure that would be a major switch.

Playing Rook on Your iPhone

If you do a quick search for a rook app on your iPhone, you will find that there is really only one application that comes up. It is a rook application which allows you to keep track of your rook game scores on the phone. Including who’s deal it is, and what the bid was taken for.

Not quite a rook game app. It is helpful, however, some may find it unnecessary to pay the $.99 fee to purchase.

Back to the matter at hand, there is currently no way to play rook on the iPhone! This post serves as a request to all those iPhone programmers out there looking for something to do. Create an iPhone app that you can connect with friends to play in your network. The closest thing right now would be the PC version of the rook application.