This page is mainly to introduce you to navigate the game room with a summary of the Rules & Bidding Conventions.
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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.
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.
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 http://www.56international.com/56-game-rules.html 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.
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.
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.
No-trump*(NT) bid is detailed below. (The highest card in any suit always wins.)
A word about different practices in a Support bid with minimum 3 cards in the suit.
NOTE: The Kerala Tournament Bidding Convention differs in that:
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Biju George, Alumkal(H), Monippally (P.O), Kottayam(Dt), Kerala, India