Up And Down the River
Up and Down the River is probably one of the most addictive card games around, since there’s always a different trump, a different number of cards in your hand and always a different screw-over in each round. Once you get a handle on the rules, Up and Down the River is pretty straightforward and rather fun, especially if you’ve got seven players.
- Create a score sheet by numbering the amount of rounds you and your opponents will play for Up and Down the River. Four players will play a total of 22 hands, five players will play a total of 20 hands, six players will play a total of 16 hands and seven players will play a total of 14 hands. In the case of four players, you should mark a column along the left side of the paper from 1 to 11 and then 11 to 1.
- Determine the player who will begin as the first dealer by dealing out cards. The first person to be dealt a Jack will start off.
- Deal out the cards. After shuffling the deck, deal out the cards according to what round you are currently on. When in the first round, you deal each player a single card. In the second round, each player will get two cards. In the third round, each player will get three cards. The number of cards for each round will continue to increase until you are all the way up the river (maximum being 11 for four players, 10 for five players, 8 for six players and 7 for seven players). Once up, the number of cards for each round will decrease until you are all the way down the river.
- Turn over trump. After the cards for that particular round have been dealt, the dealer will set the remaining cards to the side and then flip over the top card. This card will act as the trump for this round.
- Bet on your hand. Once trump has been decided, take a look at your hand and bet the number of tricks you believe you can take during this round. You must take exactly the number of tricks you bet, not over or under. There are exactly the number of tricks for each round as there are cards in your hand. If you have five cards in your hand, there will be five tricks. Of those five tricks, how many of them do you believe you can take?
- Note all the tricks on the score sheet. As players bet the number of tricks they will take in the round, the score keeper will note this on the score sheet under the name of each individual player.
- Play your hand. The player to the left of the dealer starts. It is up to him, and his bet of tricks, how he’d like to lead. No one may lead trump in any round until it is broken or those are the only cards remaining in his or her hand. Also, you must follow suit. If a heart is led, you must play a heart from your hand. If you do not have one, you can either lay trump or throw off.
- Take your tricks. After everyone has laid a card, the player with highest card or highest trump card takes the trick and places it front of him. Laying the tricks in front of you is a good way to track the number of tricks you’ve taken for the hand.
- Tally the score. After all the cards have been played for the round, each player will indicate if they’ve either gotten their tricks or busted. For those people who’ve gotten their tricks, they will receive a “1” in front of their bid. This means if someone bet 1 trick and they managed to get exactly 1 trick, they would receive 11 points for the round. If a player bid 0 tricks (meaning he believes he will not take any tricks in that round) and he took 0 tricks, he would receive 10 points. The same can be said for all other bets—2 tricks = 12 points, 3 tricks = 13 points, 4 tricks = 14 points and up. If a player was unable to take the proper number of tricks, they would receive zero points for the round.
- Gather up the cards and pass them to the next dealer. Play continues around the table, either dealing more or less cards, in a clockwise direction following the same rules already described as you go up and down the river.
- Win the game of Up and Down the River by ending with the most points.