Skip to main content

How To Play Bid Whist

Bidding and predicting wins are what make playing Bid Whist fun and exciting, whether you win or lose.


  • Step 1: Draw cards to determine dealer Draw cards to determine the dealer. Whoever draws the first diamond deals first. Each player gets 12 cards and six cards are placed face down in the center of the table to form a kitty.
  • TIP: The kitty can be made at any time during the deal, but the first or last four cards cannot be put in the kitty.
  • Step 2: Bid from three to seven Bid from three to seven to indicate the "books" above six that your team proposes to win. A bid of five, for example, is a promise to win 11 books. Seven is the highest bid.
  • TIP: "Uptown" means that high cards will win. "Downtown" means that low cards will win. "No trump" means that if you win the bid, you determine whether high or low cards have preference.
  • Step 3: Pass or name a bid Pass or name a bid higher than the previous bid.
  • Step 4: Lead with any card Lead with any card. Subsequent cards follow suit. Players not leading may play a trump or different suit, and a trump beats non-trump cards played.
  • TIP: The highest trump or card wins the book. The winner leads the next round.
  • Step 5: A renege is failure to follow suit Fail to follow a suit and the player reneges. Books won by the reneging team must be given to the non-reneging team.
  • Step 6: End game Earn a score of plus or minus seven or score minus seven or more to end the game.
  • FACT: Though Bid Whist dates back to the 1930s, professional Bid Whist didn’t begin until the late 1990s, with tournaments and cash rewards.

You Will Need

  • Two teams of two players
  • A deck of cards
  • A pencil and paper

Popular Categories