Bid Whist Definitions
- Bid After the cards are dealt, each person has one opportunity to say how many - 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 - tricks or books they think they can make. And, unless s/he is bidding a No Trump, the bidder must also say if his/her bid is Uptown or Downtown.
- Books: When a card is collected from each player, the four cards make up a book, sometimes called a trick.
- Boss cards: These are the cards that take the books. In an uptown or high bid, they are Hi Joker, Lo Joker, Ace, King, Queen, etc. In a downtown or low bid, they are Hi Joker, Lo Joker, Ace, deuce, tray, etc. All trumps should be considered potential boss cards. Jokers have no value in a No Trump bid.
- Boston: When a pair of players takes all the books and their opponents get none, it is called running a Boston. This is a rare and great accomplishment, often accompanied with much trash talking.
- Downtown: When players bid, they must say if their bid is downtown with low cards winning or uptown with high cards winning. The winning cards in a downtown bid are Hi Joker, Lo Joker, Ace, deuce, etc.
- Go under: When a pair of players fails to make their bid, they go under. For example, if you and your partner bid four and don't make it, you go under by four points. See "Set".
- Jokers: There are two Jokers, the highest is called the big Joker and the other one is the little Joker. These are the top boss cards and they are wild, meaning they become whatever suit has been declared trump. In the case of a "no trump" bid they are worthless.
- Kitty: Of the 54 cards dealt, 12 go to each of the four players and the other six are dealt into a Kitty. The highest bidder gets the Kitty and uses the cards to replace losers in his/her hand. The Kitty is the successful bidder's first trick.
- Losers: There is also a version of Bid Whist that is played without trumps, but you need to be a whiz at the game to manage that.
- No trump: This is a hand played without trumps. After a player gets the bid with a No Trump, they announce whether boss cards will be high or low. Without a trump, the Jokers have no value and are discarded in the kitty. Usually, only the most skilled players bid a No Trump.
- Renege: Each time a card is led, all other players must play a card of the same suit, unless they don't have any. If you have a card of the same suit and fail to follow suit, you are called for reneging. The penalty for reneging depends on the table rules, but usually it's the loss of books. In Bid Whist Online reneging is not permitted.
- Set: When you don't make the number of books you bid, you get set or go under.
5 books by your opponents set a bid of 3
4 books by your opponents set a bid of 4
3 books by your opponents set a bid of 5
2 books by your opponents set a bid of 6
1 book by your opponents sets a bid of 7
See also "Go under".
- Sporting the Kitty: Most often the person who gets the bid is the only person who sees what's in the Kitty. However, some tables want the Kitty to be shown to all players. This is called sporting the Kitty. The Kitty is never sported when playing a No Trump hand.
- Trash Talking: It is a long-standing tradition in Bid Whist to talk trash. Boasting about your skills and downgrading your opponents' skills is one way to rattle them and get an advantage. Trash talking is confined to the players' skill, or lack of skill, in playing the game.
- Trick: When a card is collected from each player, it makes up one of the books needed to make or set the bid. Collecting the cards is sometimes called turning a trick.
- Trump: After the bidding is completed, the person who gets the bid says which suit - Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, or Clubs - will be trumps. That suit will be the most important because trump cards can beat boss cards of other suits.
- Uptown: When players bid, they must say if their bid is uptown with high cards winning or downtown with low cards winning. In an uptown or high bid, the winning cards are Hi Joker, Lo Joker, Ace, King, Queen, etc.