Playing Rook 3-Handed

Rook is one of our favorite games!  It lasts the perfect amount of time. We can have our friends over and have dinner and then play for about one hour, and then we’re done.  But the one drawback we’ve always run into has been getting the exact number of people to come and play.

For example, the other night we were trying to get a game of rock going (my wife and I) and we couldn’t find two other people to play with. With people with busy schedules, it’s hard to find a consistent group that can play with each other.

So playing rook three handed is something that we certainly have wanted to incorporate. There are often times where we were able to get 3 people together, or have 3 people for most of the time before the 4th was to arrive.

It wasn’t until recently that we were introduced to a new way to play rock three handed that we have really enjoyed.

This is how it has been described.

It flows much like the game of bridge. Each player bids for the amount of tricks they are going to take.  So rather than points, the player is bidding on the amount of tricks they will take. There are are a total of 20 tricks available.

The game is also played with two Rook cards rather than one. The rook is played as the lowest trump.

Every player bids on how many tricks they think they’re going to take, and then the winner is given a Kitty of four cards.

The rounds are then played where players follow suit just like the regular rook, and trumps can be played just like the regular rook. The only difference is that players are not trying to collect points, but rather they are trying to simply win tricks.

The end of the game the players total their tricks, and if the bidder makes their bid, they are awarded their points. However, if the two defending the bid stop the bidder from getting their bid, then they are awarded the total amount of tricks that they took individually.

A player wins the game when they have amassed a total of 50 points.

The last thing to note is that the Rook cards are worth one trick each. This is what makes a total of 20 tricks possible each round.

Have you ever played 3-handed rook like this?  Do you have another way of playing rook 3-handed?  Please let the community know.  I’d love to get the best version of 3-handed rook listed.

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  • Deal the cards exactly as usual for 4 players. The 3 players play as individual players and the fourth hand is the “dummy” . No one sees the dummy hand. The 3 players bid for the nest as usual . The high bidder discards and names trump. The dummy hand does not have to follow follow suit and plays blind. This means that the bidder can’t rely on catching tricks with high cards that aren’t trump. Also it is to the other 2 players advantage to throw points to one another in order to set the winning bidder.
    Bidder has to consider those things when bidding . A bid of 100 is often hard to make.

  • 3 player rook. the way i play with my kids and/or wife: Kentucky rook style with or without ones not a big deal. but keeping 5’s as the lowest card, dealing a nest/kitty and evenly dealing the cards accordingly. each person bids individually. but after the bid has been won and nest taken, the other two players play together against the one, and points for that hand are combined. Sort of a rotating partnership. or sometimes just playing each person for them-self. Cutthroat Rook.

  • Another look at three player rook that I have played with my kids and thought was rather enjoyable. considering that the Hasbro version of rook comes with three discard cards left over from the printing process it gives you a total of 60 cards that can be used. We deal 22 each player 10 of which are in the hand antenna which are face down before the player. The first half of the game is played with no Trump. With each trick, each player replenishes their hand to 10 cards from the pile in front of them. the last half of the round with the remaining 10 cards in each player’s hands begins with bidding before continuing to play. There is no nest obviously. Bidding is to simply decide what will be Trump. the discard cards are simply that they are a discard that allows a player to throw out a card without following suit. note that the bid that does not have to reflect what you think you can win within those 10 hands but within all 20 cards. so it should be noted that you should mentally recall what you have already won in the previous tricks. in the other variations could be incorporated such as the one being 15 points the record being high or low I suppose anything to be adapted into this version align for three people to play. also if Trump wanted to begin from the beginning of the game you could deal 10 to each player leave all cards in the middle like in pinochle and flip the top card and stuff it under the bottom. Then at the end of the first 10 rounds the bidding player could bid to change Trump.

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