The Playing Card Game

Basic Rules for Playing Card Game 45s

To start, each player receives three cards starting with the first player to the left of the dealer. The cards are dealt at once, meaning the first player will receive the first three cards off of the deck, followed by the player to his or her left.

Next, the dealer will give each player another two cards dealt in the same manner.

Once the initial deal is done, the players will turn the next card face up and place it at the top of the deck. This card will become the trump suit. Should an Ace turn up, the dealer will take the Ace and discard a card from their hand. The trump suit will be whatever suit the Ace was. If the dealer refuses to discard, he revokes his ability to rob the deck (explained below). If by chance a Joker is turned face up, the dealer takes the Joker but the trump suit will be determined by the next card.

If a player receives the trump Ace during the initial deal he must claim the card that was turned face up and discard one of his own prior to playing his first card. If he fails to do this, his Ace will become the lowest “Trump” card.

Other rules

  • Players must follow suit of the player that lead before them unless they lay down trump.

  • Trump beats non trump cards except for the Ace of Hearts

  • You must follow trump suit if you have trump in your hand unless you have a five or non trump cards.

  • Holding out on playing the five of trump is called reneging.

Rules for Playing the Game

Now that the deal is out of the way, each player will take their turn in a clockwise position and lay down one card. The winner of the trick is determined in the same manner as Euchre, whereby the player with the highest card takes the trick. The winner for each trick receives five points.

Bonus points can be awarded at the end of each round whereby the player that laid the best card wins an extra 10 points.
Depending on which version of the game is being played, the object of the game is to be the first person to earn 120 points (of in the Irish version 45 points). Once a round is complete, the dealer will pass the deck of cards to the person on his left, who will deal a new round using the same format as above.

Canadian Version of 45s (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick)

45s is a popular card game in the Atlantic Provinces spreading across Cape Breton to Halifax. The 45s tournaments are played in a round robin fashion, similar to Euchre tournaments with three teams winning out of hundreds participating.

  • The Canadian version of 45s (Forty-Fives, Forty Fives) does not use Jokers.

  • The deal is usually mixed up a bit where the dealer gets to decide how many cards are dealt in consecutive order. This is sometimes called “Dealers Choice” or the “Newfoundland Deal”.

  • Before any deal begins, the player to the right of the dealer must cut the deck.

  • If no trump is played during a round, the final score will not exceed 25 points.

  • The winner is the first team (or person) to reach 45 points.

  • Scoring after the first round must not exceed 30 points (Full 30, 25-5, 2 x 15, or 20-10.

  • Scoring during the second round must be 60.

  • Nearly all games that make it to a 3rd round, finish on round 3. (A 4th round is possible although rare)

  • Similar to Euchre rules, players must throw their trump if a trump is played, including a five.

Hand Rankings in Card Game 45s (Forty Fives)

Black is played low to high, while red is played high to low. General rankings are as follows;

Hand Rankings for Red Trump

5 of suit, Jack of Suit, Ace of Hearts (regardless of what suit is), Joker, Ace of Suit (not applicable if trump is hearts), K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2

Hand Rankings for Black Trump

5 of Suit, Jack or Suit, Ace of Hearts, Joker, Ace of Suit, K, Q, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Hand Rankings of Non Trump Red Cards

K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (Ace only in Diamonds

Hand Rankings of Non Trump Black Cards

K, Q, J, A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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