Spoil-Five may be played by any number of persons not exceeding ten; the
best game, however, is when four or live take part, as then about half the
cards are in play. In this game the cards run in different order to the
ordinary course, vary in the two colours, and further, change in the trump
suit, as follows:
1. In Hearts and Diamonds, when not trumps.--King, queen, knave, 10, 9,
down to ace (the ace of hearts is always a trump card, and never counts
as a heart).
2. In Clubs and Spades, when not trumps.--King, queen, knave, ace, 2,
down to 10.
3. In Hearts and Diamonds, when trumps.--5, knave, ace of hearts, ace
of trumps, king, queen, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2. (If hearts are trumps,
there is only one ace.)
4. In Clubs and Spades, when trumps.--5, knave, ace of hearts, ace of
trumps, king, queen, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
A simple method of remembering the order of the cards is to notice that the
highest of the minor ones are the best in the red suits, and the lowest in
the black ones.
A pool is made up by each player contributing two or three coins
or counters for the purpose, the dealer paying an additional stake.
The pool thus formed goes to the player who succeeds in winning three
tricks in one hand; but if neither player succeeds in doing so, the game
is said to be "spoilt," and the amount remains in the pool, the players
contributing for the next round only one coin or counter, and paying
that number into the pool each deal until one of the party succeeds in
winning three tricks, when he takes the total amount in the pool, and
a new one is started by each player contributing the full stake as at
the commencement. The dealer pays the sum agreed for the deal each time,
no matter whether the pool was won, or the game spoilt, the previous round.
If there are only two players engaged, or with four, if it is agreed that
two of the players combine against the other two, there can be no spoils,
as one must win three of the tricks, and thus secure the pool, each round.
To determine the first dealer, the cards are dealt round as in "Nap"
(see p. 9), when the player to whom the first knave falls becomes dealer.
He shuffles the pack, has it cut by the player on his right-hand side,
and proceeds to distribute five cards to each player, dealing them in
regular order from left to right, and either first two and then three to
each player, or first three and then two. The top card of the undealt
portion of the pack is turned up for trump, and if it proves to be the ace,
the dealer has the option of "robbing," as explained hereafter; and if it
is not the ace, any one holding that card must rob before he plays, before
his turn comes round.
If the dealer makes a misdeal, or deals out of order, or exposes a card,
he loses his turn of dealing, and the next player in order takes his place;
or it may be agreed that in case of a misdeal the dealer shall have the
option of dealing again after paying a second stake for dealing into the
pool. The deal is an advantage, and in case of a slip in the distribution
of the cards, it will generally be found best to pay the penalty and deal
The game is opened by the player on the left-hand side of the dealer
leading whichever of his cards he chooses. If the card led be a
trump, then all the players must follow suit if they are able to do so,
subject to certain exceptions explained below under the heading of
If the ace of hearts is led, and another suit is trumps, it does not
necessitate all the players following suit, even though the ace of hearts
is always reckoned as a trump. The lead in this case is considered as made
from a plain suit, and the rules governing them are enforced.
If the card is not a trump, then the other players may trump the card,
or follow suit, as they please, but each must do the one or the other
if he holds a card of the suit led if he does not hold one of the suit,
then he may discard either of the others, or play a trump, as he prefers.
The player of the highest card of the suit led, or of the highest trump,
if trumps have been played, wins the trick, and he plays first to the next.
In deciding the winner the cards are reckoned in the special order given
The game is continued until one player wins three tricks, when he takes
the pool; or, failing that, till all of the cards are played, when the game
is spoilt, and each contributes to the pool the reduced stake agreed upon.