Queen of Spades
Queen of Spades is a trick-taking card game that is related to Hearts.
The game is played in Austria and Bavaria and is known as "Grünober Suchen", "Grün-Bauern Jagen", or "Grasobern".
The goal is to avoid winning the trick that contains the queen of spades, and to avoid winning the last trick.
As an added twist, the game can also be won by winning all tricks.
It is required to follow suit, if possible, but it is not required to play a higher card.
The intention to win all tricks does not need to be announced.
The game is for 4 players and is played with a set of 32 cards.
There are four suits: Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs.
Each suit has the following ranks in descending order: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, and 7.
You can play the game with the familiar French cards, but in the settings you can also switch to the traditional German cards.
Below is a short introduction of the German cards.
Get the game for Android on Google Play
Each player receives 8 cards.
The first player leads the trick by placing a card face up on the table.
The other players each follow with a single card, in clockwise direction.
They must follow the suit of the first card, if possible.
Otherwise they can play any card.
The trick is won by the player who played the highest card of the suit of the first card.
The winner takes the cards, places them face down on a pile, and leads to the next trick.
Points are distributed in a way that the sum of all points is zero:
- A player who wins all tricks gets +3 points, all others get -1 point.
- A player who wins the trick with the queen of spades and wins the last trick
(but not all tricks) gets -3 points, all others get +1 point.
- Otherwise, the player who wins the trick with the queen of spades gets -1 point,
the player who wins the last trick gets -1 point,
and the other two players each get +1 point.
- If you need more time to look at the cards on the table, just put your finger on them.
As soon as you let go, the game continues.
- The AI opponents are playing fair and cannot use any information
that a human player in their position wouldn't have.
- The AI opponents are based on a neural network that was trained by having it
play a few million times against itself.
- In the difficulty levels "Good" and "Very good" the AI opponents are counting cards (partially or fully).
That's why you will see them succeed in winning all tricks more frequently.
- After each game, information about the run of play is uploaded anonymously.
The data is meant to be used for statistics and to further train the AI opponents.
- Try to get rid of high-value cards.
- Try to reduce the number of suits in your hand.
You can discard an arbitrary card when an opponent leads a trick with a suit you don't have any more.
- The more cards you have of a single suit or the more cards of a suit have been played,
the more dangerous it is to lead a trick with that suit.
Then the chance is higher that an opponent can't follow suit and may discard the Queen of Spades.
- Go and look for the Queen of Spades by leading a trick with a lower card of that suit.
An opponent might be forced to play the Queen of Spades.
- When you notice that an opponent is trying to win all tricks you can hang on to one high-value card.
You risk winning the last trick but you could keep your opponent from scoring three points.
If you want to play with the traditional German (Doppeldeutsche) cards, here is a quick introduction:
All other ranks are identified by Roman numerals.
||Suit: Acorn (Eichel), equivalent to Clubs
Rank: Ace (Sau); Each Ace shows one of the four seasons.
||Suit: Bells (Schelle), equivalent to Diamonds
Rank: King (König); On a horse and with crown.
||Suit: Green/Leaves (Grün/Blatt), equivalent to Spades
Rank: Upper (Ober), equivalent to Queen; The symbol is on top.
By the way, this is the card you don't want to get...
||Suit: Hearts (Rot/Herz)
Rank: Under (Unter), equivalent to Jack; The symbol is on the bottom.
You can order the physical cards here (not affiliated).