A quick stroll in the streets of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh will make you come across groups of people on the street playing a card game called Call Break.
It is a popular variation of the Spades game and typically played among 4 players. It is a long-run game that is played with a 52 cards deck between four players, and each player gets 13 cards.
The game includes 5 rounds, and in one round, there are 13 tricks. For each deal, players must play the card in the same suit.
In Call Break, the default trump card is Spades. After the 5th and final round, whichever player has the highest deals is the winner. A lot of people also refer to this game as Call Bridge.
The setup of the game is pretty simple, and the rules can be learned easily. So, continue reading to know how you can ace this card game and show off your skills.
How is Call Break played traditionally?
Before discussing how the card game is played online, it is essential to know how the game is played traditionally in the streets.
It is a trick-taking card game, and each player’s objective is to secure as many tricks as possible or achieve the number of tricks that they bid before the game commences.
The standard 52 cards deck is used to play the game, and Spades are the trumps. The other suits don’t have any value except when they’re trumped by a Spade. In each suite, the cards are ranked from the highest to the lowest – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and so on.
To begin the game, each player is dealt 13 cards. According to the cards they’ve got, they have to make a call on how many hands they can secure. In order to be triumphant, players need to achieve the number of hands they’ve called or more.
Playing Call Break online – the rules
Thanks to Call Break online, you don’t have to wait for your friends or family to show up. You can download now and play the game with other online players. However, whether you play it offline or online, know that the card game rules remain the same.
Before the 1st round begins, the dealer is chosen at random. In every round, the dealer changes. The game is played in an anti-clockwise direction, and therefore, whoever is next to the dealer makes the 1st call.
When calls are being made, players have to note the following, and if this happens, cards have to be dealt again –
- A single player has all the four Aces
- Anyone or two players hasn’t received any Spades
- They have not received any Queen, King, or Ace
When the game starts, players must play the card as per the suit that is being played during the current round. If you don’t have a card that belongs to the suit, you can play a trump card. But that doesn’t guarantee you a win. You need to ensure that other players don’t overtrump you when you are playing a trump card.
For instance, if the player next to the dealer starts by playing an Ace of Hearts, every player must play a card from the same suit. Trump cards can be chosen if they don’t have any card of the same suit. Ace is the highest value card, and therefore, whichever player plays it will win the hand if nobody uses a trump card.
To win a hand, players must play a higher value card than what has already been played. Unless a trump card is played, the player with the top value card wins the hand.
How are the scores calculated?
In Call Break, the scoring system is based on points. If you win more hands, your score will be higher. But, your score also depends on the big that you had placed at the beginning.
If you fail to secure the number of hands you had bid for, you will lose points equivalent to that amount. On the other hand, you will gain the same points if you’ve achieved the exact number of tricks that you had bid.
For instance, if the player has bid 4 tricks at the beginning of the game and has obtained 4 bids, the player will get 4 points. In case the player wins 5 tricks, the player will be 4.1 points.
This is because, for each extra trick, the points will increase by 0.1. So, if the player bid 4 and won 6, the player will get 4.2 points and so on.
If a player makes 8 calls or more in a round, the player will win 13 points if he/she obtains 8 tricks or more. However, if the player fails to achieve 8 tricks or more, the player is going to lose 8 points.
When each player’s hands are exhausted, the round ends. The score is calculated at the end of every round based on the tricks that they have won. Whichever player has the highest points at the end of the 5th round is declared the winner.
Call Break winning tips
- When it comes to bidding, study your hand properly and take calculated risks. There is no point in bidding higher than what you can achieve, as that will make you lose points.
- Do not base your calls solely on Jacks and Queens. They might be higher value cards, but bids made on Kings and Aces are safer.
- Your trump cards should be treated as lifelines, and you must use them wisely.
Now that you know everything you need to know about Call Break, it is time to break a leg and start playing this card game with your friends and other online players. The more you play, the more you will sharpen your skills.