Sergeant Major is a fun, social card game that can be enjoyed by 3 players.  Try to win more tricks than the goal amount to gain an advantage and win the game!  The video tutorial and explanation are below.

Sergeant Major Tutorial:


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Needed: 3 players; A standard 52 card deck

Deal: Each player is dealt 16 cards, 4 card at a time.  The remaining 4 cards are placed in the middle. 

Objective:  The objective of each round is to win a certain amount of tricks.  The dealer has a goal to win 8 tricks, the player left of the dealer to win 5 tricks, and the player right of the dealer to win 3 tricks.  If a player is able to win 12 tricks in a round, he/she wins the game!

Card Rank: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.  Trump suited cards will outrank all other suited cards.

Determining Trump:  The dealer chooses a trump suit.  After the trump suit is announced, the dealer gets to discard 4 of his/her cards and replaces them with the 4 cards remaining from the deal.

Game Play: The game begins with the player left of the dealer leading the first trick.  Each player is required to follow the lead suit whenever possible.  The winner of the trick is the player with the highest ranking trump suited card.  If no trump was played, the player with the highest ranking card in the lead suit wins the trick.  The player that wins the trick leads the next trick.

Scoring:  Players compare the amount of tricks won in the round to their trick goal amount.  Players that exceed their goal are up the amount of tricks won over their goal.  Players that do not reach their goal amount are down the amount of tricks they were short of their goal.  

Card Exchange:  Players up from the previous round will exchange a certain number of cards with the players down from the previous round.  The number of cards exchanged is equal to the number up or down a player is from the previous round.  The player that is up will choose any card to give to a player that is down.  The player that is down has to return his/her highest ranking card in the same suit as the card received. 

If a player that is down gets passed a card in a suit he/she does not have, or does not have a higher ranking card in that suit, the card received is passed back.

When a dealer that is down exchanges a card with a player that is up, it is possible the dealer will pick up a higher ranking card in the middle card exchange.  In this case, the dealer will show the higher ranking card to the player that was involved in the pass.

In an example where player 1 is up 1, player 2 is up 1, and player 3 is down 2 from the previous round.  The player that is required to get more tricks in the upcoming round gets to trade a card first.  If player 1 is the dealer, he/she would need more tricks than player 2.  Player 1 would exchange a card with player 3 first.