Calypso (card game)
Calypso is a card game originally devised by Mr R. W. Willis of Trinidad about 1953 and revised, with his approval, by British international bridge player Kenneth Konstam shortly after.
It is played by four players in partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other. It uses four standard 52-card packs shuffled together (preferably with identical backs).
A game consists of four deals, each player dealing in turn (clockwise). At the start, each player is assigned a different trump suit, which stays the same throughout the game.
In each deal each player is dealt 13 cards as in bridge. However, as there are four packs shuffled together, most of the cards are left over after the first deal, to be dealt out in subsequent deals, and the cards in play in a deal are almost certainly not equivalent to a standard pack, but instead include some duplicates while omitting other cards.
Play follows standard bridge-type rules to the extent that the player after dealer leads to the first trick, each player plays a card in turn (clockwise) to a trick, others must follow suit if possible, otherwise playing any card they choose, and the winner of a trick leads to the next in that deal. The rules for determining the winner of a trick are quite different, however:
- if you play a card of your own trump suit, it counts as a trump, unless you are following suit to a lead of your trump suit by someone else;
- the trick is won by the highest trump played, as just defined, or the highest card of the suit led if no such trump is played;
- if two, three or four equal winning cards, as just defined, are played to a trick, whether identical cards from different packs, or equal-ranking cards played by different players in their own trump suits, the first such card played wins.
A calypso is a set of one of each card in your own trump suit. When you win a trick, you take from it any cards that can be used for your own or your partner's calypsos. You can build only one calypso at a time, so any duplicates of cards in an incomplete calypso cannot be used. However, when you complete one calypso, you can start another with cards taken in the same trick, even if they were played first. Calypsos can also be continued from one deal to another.
Scoring is as follows:
- 500 for a first calypso;
- 750 for a second calypso in the same suit;
- 1000 for a third or fourth:
- 20 for each card in an incomplete calypso:
- 10 for each other card taken in tricks, whether from opponents' trump suits or unusable duplicates as mentioned above.