Rams (card game)


Rams, is a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 trick-taking card game
Card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

 related to Nap
Napoleon (card game)
Napoleon or Nap is a straightforward trick taking game in which players receive five cards each; whoever bids the highest number of tricks chooses trumps and tries to win at least that many. It is a simplified relative of Euchre, and with many variations throughout Northern Europe...

 and Loo, and may be played by any number of persons not exceeding nine, although five or seven make a good game. In Alsatia
Alsatia in London, was the name given to an area lying north of the River Thames covered by the Whitefriars monastery, to the south of the west end of Fleet Street and adjacent to the Temple...

 and Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 the game of Rams is also spelt Rammes or Rems. The basic idea is fairly constant, but scoring system vary. Despite being a widespread Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an gambling drinking game, it is also called Rounce in America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

and played with a 52 card deck without any difference between simples and doubles and with no General Rounce announcement. In the German variety of the game called Bierspiel, the 7 is the second best trump ranking next below the ace.


Each player starts with five, seven or ten counters, and the general principle is to lose counters by winning tricks. Each player drops out as he plays his last counter, and the last left in is the overall loser. Alternatively, the first to run out of counters is the overall winner. By another method, the dealer puts five counters in the pool and each player takes a counter for each trick won, or adds five for taking none.

The 32 cards rank A K Q J 10 9 8 7 in each suit. A first dealer is selected at random and the turn to deal and play passes to the left. Each player is dealt 5 cards each, in batches of 3 and 2, including an extra hand or "widow" face down. The next card is turned up for trumps. Anyone who thinks he can win all five tricks immediately announces "General Rams" and no one may then drop out. Otherwise, each player in turn from dealer's left announces whether he will pass, throwing the hand without penalty, or play, thereby undertaking to win at least one trick. Another option is to throw the hand in and take the widow in its place. Only the first player to bid may do so.

There must be at least two active players. If all pass up to the player at dealer's right, both he and the player must play. So, the dealer may not pass if only one previous player has undertaken to play the game.


Before play, dealer may take the trump turn-up and throw out any unwanted card face down. The opening lead is made by the player at dealer's left, unless anyone declared a General Rams, in which case the declarer leads. Subsequent players must follow suit and head the trick if possible and if unable to do so, they must play a trump and beat any trump already played so far. The trick is taken by the highest card of the suit led or by the highest trump if any are played. The winner of each trick then leads to the next.

Each player removes a counter for each trick taken. Anyone who played but failed to win a trick is saddled with five more. The declarer of a General Rams loses five counters if successful, and everyone takes five more. If unsuccessful, the declarer takes five more, the others drop one counter for each trick they had won, and a player who took none is exempt from penalty.
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