A] Starting from a standard deck you will need to create a 24, 32, 40, or 48 card deck and then add a Joker to them.
. . 1] For 3 players you need a 25 card deck with 9 and above (9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace), for 4 players you use a 33 card deck with 7 and above, for 5 players you use a 41 card deck with 5 and above, and for 6 or 7 players you use a 49 card deck with 3 and above, just the deuces (2s) removed. They all include the Joker. Or for 7 players you can add 1 more deuce for each suit (if you have matching deuces) creating a 57 card deck, and then have 8 tricks in each hand.
. . 2] When you deal the cards there will be one leftover. Because someone may have seen it and have an advantage the dealer turns it face up in the center of the table. The winner of the bid can choose to replace one card in his hand with that face up card, discarding (unseen) one card. You can also make bidding more risky and leave it face down until someone wins the bid. New players should start with it face up.
. . 3] When there are 7 players there will be no extra card leftover (unless you create a 57 card deck). So, the bid winner doesn't get that benefit. Each player gets 7 cards. Seven is a lot of players and I incl. it for that rare situation.
B] Like Hearts, Bridge, Pinochle, and Euchre this is a trick based game.
. . 1] The dealer rotates clockwise and deals the cards clockwise. There is one extra card and it is placed in the center, face up.
. . 2] Next you bid to see who gets to declare the trump suit, gets to use the extra card, and makes the 1st lead. The dealer bids last. Players can bid from 1 to 8 tricks. They can pass. They must bid higher than the last player did or pass.
. . 3] The highers bidder wins the bidding and declares the trump suit, gets to use the extra card, and makes the 1st lead. He or she can also declare “No Trump”. In this case the Joker is a 5th suit and the only trump card.
. . 4] The highest card of the suit led or the highest trump card (if any are played) wins the trick.
. . . . a] If there is a trump suit the values of the cards are changed a little.
. . . . b] In the trump suit the order from top down is --- Joker, Right Bower (the Jack of that suit), Left Bower (the other Jack of the same color), Ace, King, Queen, 10, and on down in order of its number. The trump suit has 2 more cards in it than normal.
. . . . c] The other suit of that color now is --- Ace, King, Queen, 10, and on down in order of its number. This suit has 1 less cards in it than normal.
. . . . d] The suits of the other color are --- Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and on down in order of its number. These suits have the normal number of cards in them.
. . 5] After the 1st trick the winner of the last trick gets to make the next lead. Players must follow suit, if they can. If they can't they can play any card in their hand.
C] After the last trick is played and won, the players all count the number of tricks they have taken.
. . 1] In general each player gets one point for each trick she takes.
. . 2] There are penalties for taking no tricks & not making your bid, and a bonus for making your bid. These depend on the number of players in the game.
. . . . a] The penalty for taking no tricks is -2 or 6 minus the number of players. This number can be varied because when there are 3 players on average each takes 2.67 tricks, but when there are 6 players each takes just 1.33 tricks. So, it is then much more likely that some will take no tricks.
. . . . b] The penalty for not making your bid is that you don't get any points for what you did take and -2 or -(8 minus the number of players). The players agree at the start which one they will use.
. . . . c]The bonus for making you bid is +2.
. . . . d] The correct number is entered for each player in a column, and a running total kept by each player while the cards are shuffled and dealt for the next hand.
. . 3] The game ends when a player gets a certain total of points. This number depends on the number of players in the game. It is 120 divided by the number of players. So, with 3=40, 4=30, 5=24, 6=20, & 7=17. If 2 players go over this number at the same time the one with more points wins, if the same there is a tie. This number drops because with more players the number you will win for each hand is reduced because the 8 tricks are divided among more players.