Ottawa Deaf Seniors

Whist Card League Rules and Regulations

Updated: September 3, 2014


Game consists of 5 rounds (4 plays per round, 13 tricks per play).

The card suit of the first play shall be hearts, the second shall be spades, then diamonds and the last suit shall be clubs.

Each player MUST follow the suit. If no suit cards, the player MAY trump. The winner of a trick shall lead.

The time allowed for a game shall be three hours or less of actual play with a break. The league chairperson shall announce the start time.

If a delay takes place with 4 plays remaining at the end of three hours, the chairperson may stop the game and award each team 26 points.

The game shall not be interrupted unless there is an emergency.


A standard 52 card decks is used. The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, etc.). The deck with soiled or bent cards shall be replaced.

For people with vision problems, a CNIB-sanctioned card deck shall be provided.

The players

The card league players must be the ODS members. They shall pay $20 per year to play (player’s fee).

Married couples and former spouses shall not be team partners. Team partners of the past may play together again.

Players sitting opposite are team partners.

Players may play as spares.

Two players shall play against each other when their partners are absent and there are no available spares.

Players shall play fair and clean. Players shall not be distracted.

In case of emergency (illness, family), a player shall notify the chairperson of his/her absence within a few hours.

In case of appointment(s), a player shall be encouraged to let the chairperson know in advance. The chairperson CANNOT accept messages from a third party.

The spares

A spare shall not be a card league player. He/she may ask the chairperson to put his/her name on the spare list.

The chairperson shall call or e-mail a spare(s) on the list beforehand when needed.

A spare shall play for an absent player. The absent player shall not make up for the game(s) that he/she misses.

The spare’s score shall be the absent player’s score.

If a spare is not available, the absent player’s partner may play alone and may exchange his/her cards with the dummy’s (absent player’s) cards. The card exchange cannot be reverted.

Two opposing spares may play on the same table.


At the start of the game, a player with the highest heart from the face-down cards on the table becomes the first dealer.

The cards are to be shuffled by the dealer and may be cut by the player to his/her right (if he/she wishes). The dealer deals out 13 cards to each player, one at a time. The turn to deal rotates clockwise.

The dealer’s partner may shuffle for him/her because of hand(s) problem (for example, arthritis). The dealer must get the cards back to deal.

The play

To begin play, the player to the dealer’s left starts the first trick. Game play must move in a clockwise direction.


The winner scores one point per trick.
The total score of the two teams is 260 points at the end of the game.

If both team partners are absent, they shall receive 120 points. Their opposite team shall be awarded 140 points only if both partners are present or show up.

If a player plays alone, he/she shall add 30 points (+30) to his/her total score. Thirty points will be deducted (-30) from the total score of the opposite team.

League Chairperson

At the annual general meeting of the ODS, the members elect a League Chairperson.

The Executive Committee shall appoint a member to replace the elected chairperson if he/she fails to fulfill his/her duty.

The Vice-President shall chair the card league when the chairperson is not available.

The chairperson shall call a meeting for team selection. He/she shall distribute a list of teams shortly after the selection.

The chairperson shall post the weekly standings.

The chairperson shall adhere to the Whist Rules and Regulations. The rules shall be adopted or amended at a meeting of the club members.


If a player discards a card of a wrong suit when he/she still has a card of the lead suit in hand, he/she shall give up one point to the opposite team.

A player or a team is NOT allowed to send a message to his/her partner (hand signal or gesture).

Complaints or mistakes shall be reported to the chairperson at the end of the game or during a break (NOT during the game). If the chairperson is not available, report to the Vice-President. A complaint about the game of the previous week shall be invalid.

The chairperson shall discuss the players’ complaints with the Executive Committee. He/ she shall make a final decision.


For a score of 13-0, a player shall receive a cash prize at the end of the season. His/her absent partner is not eligible.

At the end of the season, the prizes shall be awarded, as follows:

Highest season score

Highest card game score

Longest winning streak

Perfect score(s) of 13-0

Most wins.