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Adopted by the Somerset Club of Boston
March 1, 1888

Last update on: Dec 21, 2016

Section 2


28. Each player deals in turn; the right of dealing goes to the left.

29. The player on the dealer's right cuts the pack, and in dividing it he must not leave fewer than four cards in either packet. If in cutting or in placing one of the packets on the other, a card be exposed, or if there be any confusion of the cards, or a doubt as to the exact place where the pack was divided, there must be a fresh cut.

30. When a player has once separated a pack he cannot alter his intention; he can neither re-shuffle nor re-cut the cards.

31. When the pack is cut, should the dealer re-shuffle he loses the deal.

32. After dealing, the dealer should put the pack at his right hand.


33. There must be a new deal by the same dealer if during the deal or during the play of the hand the pack be found to be incorrect or imperfect; but all points scored on previous hands stand.

34. If any card be found faced in the pack before a lead is made, there must be a new deal.

35. If, while dealing, a card be exposed by the dealer or his partner, the adversaries can call for a new deal, provided that neither of them has touched the cards. A card exposed by either adversary gives that claim to the dealer, provided that his partner has not touched the cards. If a new deal does not take place, the exposed card cannot be called.

36. If, during the deal, a player touch any of his cards, the adversaries may do the same without losing their privilege of claiming a new deal, should chance give them such option.

37. If, in dealing, one of the last cards be exposed, and the dealer turn up the trump before there is reasonable time for his adversaries to decide as to a fresh deal, they do not thereby lose their privilege.

38. A deal made with the adversaries' cards is good, provided that the trump card has been turned. If not, a new deal may be claimed. The players thus losing their cards may reclaim them at the end of the deal.

39. Should the dealer, in turning the trump card, expose any other card of the pack, there must be a new deal.

40. A deal out of turn can be stopped, if the error be discovered before the trump card is turned; otherwise the deal stands.


41. A misdeal loses the deal.

42. It is a misdeal,—

     I. Unless five cards are dealt to each player.

     II. Unless the dealer begin by giving two cards to each player in turn in the first round of the deal, and three in the second, or vice versa.

43. A misdeal does not lose the deal if during the dealing either of the adversaries touch the cards prior to the dealer's partner having done so. Should the latter have first interfered with the cards, notwithstanding either or both of the adversaries have subsequently done the same, the deal is lost.

44. If the adversaries interrupt a dealer while dealing, either by questioning the score or asserting that it is not his deal, and fail to establish such claim, should a misdeal occur he may deal again.

45. Should a player take his partner's deal and misdeal, the latter is liable to the usual penalties, and the adversary next in rotation to the player who ought to have dealt, then deals.


46. All exposed cards are liable to be called, and must be left on the table; but a card is not an exposed card when dropped on the floor or elsewhere below the table.

The following are exposed cards:—

     I. Two or more cards played at once.

     II. Any card dropped face upwards, or in any way exposed on or above the table, even though snatched up so quickly that no one can name it.

     III. The trump card if lifted from the pack.

47. If any one play to an imperfect trick the highest card on the table, or lead one which is a winning card against his adversaries, and then lead again, or play several such winning cards one after the other, without waiting for his partner to play, the latter may be called on to win, if he can, the first or any other of those tricks, and the other cards thus improperly played are exposed cards.

48. If a player or players, under the impression that the game is lost or won, or for other reasons, throw his or their cards on the table face upwards, such cards are exposed, and can be called, each player's by the adversary; but should one player retain his hand, he cannot be forced to abandon it.

49. If all four players throw their cards on the table face upwards, the hands are abandoned, and no one can again take up his cards. Should it then be proved that the game could have been saved or won, no such claim can be entertained unless a revoke be established.

50. In a lone hand, should either adversary abandon his hand by laying it face upwards on the table, or by failing to play to every trick, the party playing alone scores five points.

51. A card detached from the rest of the hand is liable to be called if either of the adversaries can name it; but should an adversary name a wrong card, he is liable to have a suit called when he or his partner next lead.

52. If any player lead out of turn, the adversaries may either call the card erroneously led, or may call a suit from him or his partner when it is next the turn of either to lead.

53. If any player lead out of turn, and the other three have followed him, the trick is complete, and the error cannot be rectified; but if only the second, or the second and third, have played to the false lead, their cards, on discovery of the mistake, are taken back, and there is no penalty against any one except the original offender.

54. If a player who has rendered himself liable to have his highest or lowest called, fail to play as desired, or if when called on to lead one suit, lead another, having in his hand one or more cards of the suit demanded, he incurs the penalty of a revoke.

55. In no case can a player be compelled to play a card which would oblige him to revoke.

56. The call for an exposed card can be repeated until such card has been played.

57. If a player called on to lead a suit have none of it, the penalty is paid.


58. Should the third hand play before the second, the fourth may play before his partner.

59. Should the third hand not have played, and the fourth hand play before his partner, the latter may be called on to win or lose the trick.

60. Should any one have omitted playing to a former trick, and such error be not discovered till he has played to the next, the adversaries may claim a new deal. Should they decide that the deal stand good, the surplus card at the end of the hand is considered to have been played to the imperfect trick, but does not constitute a revoke therein.

61. If any one play two cards to the same trick, or mix his trump or other card with a trick to which it does not properly belong, and the mistake is not discovered till the hand is played out, he is answerable for all the consequent revokes he may have made.

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8

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