Card Game 56

online card game 56

This page is mainly to introduce you to navigate the game room with a summary of the Rules & Bidding Conventions.

Link to learn the 56-card game


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Download Google Chrome Browser, if you do not have it. Copy and Paste into Chrome:

Registration is based on email id.Create a 5-letter user name(ex: MayaK) to be your game name.

A code will be emailed to you to sign-in (also check the Trash bin), needing to be used once.
Check the box to Save the PW.
Save the sign-in page to the desktop for quick access (3 dots at top corner > More Tools > Save as > Desktop….). Signing in takes you to the Game Lobby.


A good understanding of card game 56(Ambathiyaaru) is required to enjoy this game. This game is played between two teams of three players each, who understand the bidding rules, and protocols. Therefore, pleaseclick on VIEW to enter the Card Game 56 Room and enquire with Chair:1 at the Table, before you return to the Lobby (Lobby button to the right side) and take an empty chair. (In all other situations needing to go to the lobby, use the ALT+<(bottom Rt) and ALT+>(bottom Rt) to return to the game room preserving your spot in the watch list.)

NEW PLAYERS are encouraged to VIEW the games until they are comfortable playing. Or bring your group of 6 to take a table.

You may post comments at the top left corner of the entry page. The user's list appears (TBD) next to it.


All players will see them seated in the bottom chair on the screen with the other players seated relative to you. The chairs are identified 1 through 6 counterclockwise, with the 2 teams color coded Red and Blue.

The cards are dealt by the computer. The chair to lead the bidding is identified by L with subsequent bids moving counterclockwise. Bids are first entered into a 2-cell ‘parking lot’. Clicking the BID button displaysthe bid in the 3 cells against the bidder. A bid can be corrected when still in the parking lot by clicking the new bid over it if the order of bid Number | Suit or Suit | Number is the same. Otherwise, use CLEAR button to empty the parking lot. Your turn to bid will be announced by a chime whichis repeated every 10sec. A timer will also start against the player. PLEASE BID WITHOUT DELAY to make the game enjoyable for all. Click the Think button if you need extra time (more than 5 sec). Click the Hold Button if you need to handle an interruption.

The bid keys are cleared from the table when a bid is final. The final bid is entered in the Score Board to the left of the table, including who made the final bid, who doubled it or redoubled. The player to lead the 1st trick retains the L marker.The timer moves to the player next to make a move. The winner of the trick clicks the FOLD button at thecenter of the table. Rules & Restrictions are programmed in to prevent most violations.

The VIEW list is in the bottom left corner in the order of arrival. A vacated seat may be taken by the 1st player in the list. Ch:1 should ensure empty chairs are taken by those in the arrival order in the Watch List. It is important that when just a couple of seats are open in the lobby, a new player just signed in to the Lobby should go to the Watchlist first to check with Ch:1 regarding the availability of open chairs.

Card game 56 Settings

Only Chair:1 can operate the Settings button.

The settings includes selection of: Rules/Convention between Kerala, International or Open, starting bases (scores), chair to start Lead bid/play card, penalty multipliers/adders for doubling (X) and redoubling (XX) bids, play all tricks even after a game is determined won/lost and Hide game points until after 7 tricks. The current game can be deleted as well as a player removed. A crown is clicked to hang “kunuks” (inactive). Duplicate 56 is also inactive. The match is played in the Tournament format for a fixed number of games.

Card game 56 Game Log

The Game Log button to the right edge tracks all completed games in the current match. Prior matches are (TBD) saved for over 1 month.

Player Status (TBD) to include player records.


The online- (card game Fifty Six )56 game offers two sets of rules in addition to the Open option, selectable by Chair 1, as agreed to by the players at a given Table. The two sets of rules are based on the rules of 56 tournaments in Kerala and North America and referred to here as Kerala Tournament Rules/Convention (KTR/KTC) and International Tournament Rules/Convention (ITR/ITC) respectively. Refer to for ITC and ------- for KTC.Both are summarized below.

Rules lead to different conventions/treatments. The word ‘convention’ refers to the meaning of certain bids that are not so obvious under each set of rules, communicating support in a manner understood by all at the Table. Treatments constitute variations within the broad conventions. It is critical that all players at a Table understand the meaning of bids as understood by the partners of an opposing bidder. Private conventions within a team are against the spirit of the game and sportsmanship.

Kerala Tournament Rules(KTR) require the first part of a bid to be a number from 28 to 56. The second part is selected from one of the 4 Suits (as Trumps) or ‘Nos’, short for No-Trumps, played without a trump suit, where the highest card wins. ‘Nos’ is also code for the absence of a suit and also carries other meanings such as in a forced bid. Bidding is compulsory for the 3rd partner of the team slated to open the bidding, with 4 prior Pass bids. A double (X) or redouble (XX) is a bet for additional scoring points. The XX bid is not terminal. All players must Pass a bid to make it the final bid.

For International Tournament Rules (ITR), bidding is compulsory for the 1st partner. ITC permits reverse bids, i.e., a suit followed by the bid count. In addition to ‘Nos’ to mean voids in suits, ITC permits ‘NT’ (also short for No Trumps) specifically to mean the ability to win tricks with the highest cards in suits. ITC also permits Plus bids, either straight or reverse. A bid of XX instantly becomes final.

Common to both KTR & ITR:
  • Once all 5 players PASS on a bid, the bid can be raised to honors levels (40, 48 or 56) just ONCE in the same suit. Note a final bid of Pass = Ns = NT. The raised bid is subject to X & XX.
  • Mostly all illegal bids such as not follow suit when playing the cardsorbidding a void suit (other than X or XX a void suit)or all 8 Js or the same suit in one hand are restricted through programming. But all trump cards with the same team must be redealt after the trump is set.
  • No chats related to the current game in progress. No corrections can be made to an unintended bid or play of card, given the parking lot for the bids and needing the Bid key to place the bid and the Play key to place a Lifted card to Play. You may beg mercy after the game is over!
  • It is customary that partners of the player who Xed a bid do not overbid the X.

Bidding communicates the strength of your hand from many factors: Length and strength of a suite, Number of Jacks for its potential to winning Tricks, Ability to trump if void in suit/s, etc., determining potential ability to win Tricks. Remember, a Trick of 6 cards on an average has a potential 7 points.

The intent is for the team to come up with their best bid. IT IS A TEAM GAME. It is necessary that all partners understand how to play/lead when it is their turn. However, you may limit the bids more advantageous to the opposing team. Supporting bids are considered a priority to be able to arrive at the best bid possible. The 56 Card game is also called: Support. If the treatment at a table gives priority to supporting a bid above communicating your strength of asuit,it is customary that the supporting bidderis given a chance in the next round to make herown bid.

The key skillsets needed are to remember the bids and estimate all 6 hands, all the way thru the end of the game; remember the progression of points made or lost and trumps remaining.

Given this is a team game and requires all partners to bid/play appropriately at their turn to be able to win, it is necessary to “bring others with you”. For example, when there is bid space available to go to higher honors bids, you may want to show your preference to go with a NT or trump and seek concurrence from the partners.Also, try to communicate to your partners the path to winning the final bid, judiciously adding to the bid count. There are times when you are competing with the opponents forthe final bid when you may have to make the terminal bid. This may also be in the form of a blocking bid to preempt the Lead team, by taking away bid space to communicate their hands better. But there is usually little need to compete with the partners in a race to the final bid.

A word about bid count efficiency: “Communicate the most with the least bid-count.”The general game objective is to bid the highest reasonable bid to maximize the score(or beat the opposing final bid). Unlike the card game Bridge with about 9 bid counts/player, there are only 29 bid counts between 28 to 56among 6 players or 5 bid counts per player. Wasted bid counts can lead to losses by even 1 point. So, care should be exercised in overbidding. An example of wasted bid count is including the length already clearly communicated through convention when showing “additional” length.

  • All bids must start with a number 28 thru 56, unless you PASS your turn. A bid is compulsory for the 3rd partner of the team leading the play for the tricks for the given game, unless there are intervening bids.
  • Typically, you open a suit if you have 4 cards in the suit with a J.For example, you bid 28|H, with JAKQ.This maynot be assumed for the compulsory bid position.
  • If your partner (1 or 2) has a J in H, he should support you first, almost irrespective of another suit he might be strong in. You bid 29|H. It is customary that you are given a chance to bid again.
  • If you have J-9 in H, you support with a bid jumping by 1 to 30|H. With J-9-9 you bid 31|H and so on. If your 3rd partner has H Ace, she may bid 32|H, as the cards in sequence before it, have been bid.Additional length beyond what is bid may not be assumed. (Subsequent bids can add to the length, particularly with a jump bid if you have 2 more, adding 2 to the bid count, or 3 more adding 3 bid counts and so on.)
  • You can bid a suit with J, without length early on in the rounds generally by skipping a round. The opening of a suit in the advanced stages only means a weak suit, with or without Jack. (Without Jack, sometimes to know if your partner is trumping it. Beware this can confuse your partners.)
  • Void Bid: If you are void in a suit bid by either your partner or opponent, you can communicate it by bidding Nos (Ns) to it. In the above opening bid of 28|H, you can bid 29|Ns if you are void in H. If the opposing player bids 29|S, you have to jump bid to 31|Ns, jumping by the number of suits bid in between.
  • Bid for the exact count: If you have bid exactly J or J-J or 9, 9-9, etc., using jump bids,you come back in the next round to bid Nos to the suit to communicate no more length in the suit.
  • Singleton: You may also support a bid in J with a singleton card by bidding Nos on it, as you can trump it in the 2nd round. This is tricky in that the partners normally would assume you are void in it. (Note: Trumping in the 2nd round may need a strong trump card, and usually more than 1 trump.)
  • Bid length without next power card in sequence: P1 bid 28|H, and P2 is strong in H but no J, P2 may bid 29|Ns and then bid H at the next opportunity.
  • If you have a hand to support the suits of both you partners’ bids, you support in the bid order*.
  • Extra length: There are times when you need to disclose the length of your suit. Then you bid that suit again jumping the bid by the number of length you have not already clearly communicated. A single extra length is not easily communicated.
  • You may double (X) a bid by the opponent if you feel good about beating that bid. In turn, the bidding team may redouble (XX) you too, tripling (?) the award. You double and triple (?) the rewards/penalty.
  • Nos (Ns) bid also communicates a no-trump bid as detailed below. (The highest card in any suit always wins.)
  • No-Trump bid: When partner 1 or 2 open 28|N, 29|N, 30|N, etc., it means the bidder has 3, 4 or 5 Jacks respectively. Partners are expected to expose their jacks by bidding ‘Nos,’ adding by the number of Jacks you have. (But you may disclose the suit if at least 4 in length,with only 1J. In this case, the 3rd partner may be careful in bidding her single J in a suit without 4 in length as a Ns bid.)
  • This applies to a singleton Jack also. Your problem with single jack is only when your partners do not have its Jack pair with them. All partners attempt to disclose the suits of jacks in the next rounds, unless it is a singleton where you do not have a chance to get the lead.
  • If it is your lead and partner 3 has bid 28|Ns,and you have a single D-J and a 4 carder S without J, your bid is advised to be 29|S. The 28|Ns here is a forced bid. If partner #3 has 3 Jacks and forced to bid, she must bid 29|N and 30|N with 3 and 4 Jacks respectively.
  • If you have a length in a support suit without J, you bid Ns to the suit at the next opportunity*. This canresult in confusion also if you do not get a practical chance to bid Nos to it.
NOTE: The International Tournament Bidding Convention differs in that:
  • Bid need not begin with 28-56, as long as it includes it. This is called a reverse bid. Ex: C|28.
  • NT, specifically to mean a no-trump bid and Ns to mean void in a suit as in Kerala.
  • Plus (+) bids. Ex: +2|Ns (=34), adds 2 to the previous bid of 32; or +2|C (=34), etc.
  • The compulsory bid is with the 1st Partner.

Note: Penalty scores awarded onDoubled or Redoubled bids are typically selected at the table as multiplier now. In some quarters, as currently with the International Tournament, extra points are added to the scores for Doubled bids.

  • Given the Plus and Reverse bids, skipping a bid carry little meaningregardingstrength and length. An opening bid in any round typically carries the same meaning.
  • Opening bid is compulsory for the 1st player next to the card dealer. (See the L mark on the 1st player who also leads the 1st trick of the game.)
  • All bids must include a number 28 thru 56(+ bidsare also treated as numbers in the parking lot, regardingNumber vs. Suit) and a Suit|Ns|No-trump* unless you pass (P, Ps) your turn. The suit can be first or the number first, carrying different meanings. (Reverse Ns/NT or +|Ns or +NT is allowed in the opening bid.)
  • Typically, you open a suit if you have 4 cards with a J. For example, 28|H, with J A K Q. (A conservative approach is to assume the minimum communicated in a bid until subsequent bids add to the strength or length. In this case a conservative assumption is, a J and 3 low cards.)
  • Your partner with a J in H should support you first, almost irrespective of another suit he might be strong in. (It is customary that you are given a chance to bid again.) However, there is an argument for opening first a new strong suit, including NT, instead of supporting immediately with the J of the prior bid/s, depending on your hand. It is safer to bid a NT in support first, even with supporting Js to the partners’ bid/s, as NT is not considered a terminal bid early in the game.
  • A plus bid indicates an exact length. +1 = single card; + = 2 (correct); +2 = 2; +3 = 3 and so on.A bid without a + means more length than what is communicated in the bid count by at least 1.
  • If a partner opened a suit with J and if you have a supporting hand H, J-Q, you bid +|H (= J and 1 H out of power sequence). With J-9-Q in H, you support with a bid jumping by1 to 30|H (given minimum 3 in the suit) as you hold the 2nd card in the sequence also. With just J-9-9-Q you bid 31|H and so on. If your 3rd partner has H A-K, she may bid +|H (given 2 in the suit), as the cards in sequence before it,have been bid.
  • If you just have the next card in sequence alone, say, H J, you bid +1|H (=29 as displayed). If you just have H J-9, you bid +2|H|30, jumping by 1 and so on.
  • You can bid a suit without a minimum length of 4 with a bid initiated by +. Ex: You have H J-9-Q, you may open a bid with +|H (=28). (It is not clear if you have 2 or 3 H).
  • You can open/support a bid without the highest un-bid card in the suit, assuming you have a lengthin the suit (typically with the next lower level of card, but may not be necessary) by using a Reverse bid. Here you list your suit first rather than the number. Say, you have H, 9-A-A-K, you can bid H-28, given 4 cards in the suit. It does not necessarily mean u have the next power card 9; but you must have a good reason to bid. (A plus bid later confirms you have a 9**).
  • If you are void in a suit bid by either your partner or opponent, you can communicate it by bidding Nos (Ns) to it. In the above opening bid of 28|H, you can bid 29|Ns if you are void in H. If the opposing player bids 29|S, you have to jump the bid to 30|Ns, jumping by the number of suits bid in between, to bid void in H.
  • You can bid void to an unbid suit using +|Ns. If there are 2 voids and both are unbid, a +|Ns
  • You may also (rarely*) support a bid in J with a singleton card by bidding Nos on it or more accurately a rev +1, as you can trump it in the 2nd round. (Note: **Trumping in the 2nd round may need a strong trump card, and usually more than 1 trump.)
  • If you have a hand to support the suits of both you partners’ bids, you support typically in the bid order. But there is an argument to bid your stronger support suit first.
  • There are times when you need to disclose the length of your suit. Then you bid that suit again jumping the bid by the number of length you have not already clearly communicated.
  • You may double (X) a bid by the opponent if you feel good about beating that bid. (ex: 40|H|X). In turn, the bidding team may redouble (XX) it too. You double or triple the rewards/penalty.

No-trump*(NT) bid is detailed below. (The highest card in any suit always wins.)

  • A 28|Ps in a compulsory opening bid by the 1st caller means she has little to open/bid.Maybe you have 2 in each suit with even 1 J.
  • A 28|Ns means you have 2 Js, with or without length with the Js.
  • A 28|NT means 3 Jacks, with or without length in any suit. 29|NT = 4 Jacks, 30|NT = 5J and so on. This is followed by supporting with the J count (Next bid number and Ns for 2 Js, or NT for 3 Js) If an intervening and has only 1 J, it may be best to skip so the 3rd partner can show the J count without it being interpreted as void. The 3rd partner should not pass when the opening bid is communicating length of Js. (Adapted from KTR).
  • Subsequent NT bids mean a desire to settle on a NT bid. Ex: 40|NT. A +|NT bid is used by some, after the bid is opened by the lead player, to mean 3 Js without meaningful length in any. Note: opening 28 with +|NT or Ns is not allowed.

A word about different practices in a Support bid with minimum 3 cards in the suit.

  • One approach has a plus bid (direct or reverse) which = 2 cards, followed by Suit|+1in another round. The approach reserves a straight support (without +) for a 4-carder support.
    The other approach uses a straightsupport(direct or reverse) with a minimum 3 cards, adding additional length in subsequent rounds. Thisis based on the fact that4 carder support hand is rarer likely to lead to honors bids. Whereas, a frequent 3-carder support handhas a higher chance to fail a higher bid and why use 2 bid counts to communicate3 cards. (Note: An opening bid in 3 a 3-cards suit requires it to be bid in 2 steps as mentioned

NOTE: The Kerala Tournament Bidding Convention differs in that:

  • Bids must start with a number from Twenty eight(28)- fifty six(56). No Reverse or + bids are allowed.
  • No separate NT bid allowed. Ns bid means many things including NT and voidin a suit.
  • The compulsory bid is with the 3rd Partner.
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Biju George, Alumkal(H), Monippally (P.O), Kottayam(Dt), Kerala, India