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.

2 thoughts on “Playing Rook 3-Handed

  1. janice ewton

    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.

  2. Andrew Smith

    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.


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