Tens card game rules

Catch the Ten

Catch the Ten
Players 2-8
Cards 36
Deck Anglo-American
Play Clockwise
Card rank (highest to lowest) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6
Playing time 15 min
Related games

Catch the Ten is a point trick-tacking card game which first appeared in The American Hoyle of 1868 and is alternatively called "Scotch Whist", although evidence shows that it is in fact of German origin. Unlike standard whist, it is played with a deck of only 36 cards, with Six (low) up to the Ace (high) of each suit. The order of trumps has the Jack high.

Any number from two to eight people may play. If an even number, partners are cut for; if odd, each plays for himself. An odd number of players sit as they like; four players sit as at whist; six playing in two sides sit so that no two partners shall be next each other; six playing three sides sit so that two opponents shall divide each pair; eight are arranged in alternate pairs. When five or seven play, the six of spades is usually omitted; when eight play, the four sixes are thrown out.


The aim of the game is to win tricks, specially those containing any of the top five trumps. The rank of the cards and point value goes as follows:

Trump J = 11 Ace = 4 King = 3 Queen = 2 Ten = 10


The tricks are not kept separate but gathered in by one player for his side. At the end Of the deal there are six hands of six cards on the table. The players first play out the first two hands, next the second two and finally the last two, the trump card remaining on the table until the first four hands are played out.

The game is 41 points, the object of play being to win the cards which have a special value. These are, with their values: knave of trumps I I, ace of trumps 4, king of trumps 3, queen of trumps 2, ten of trumps 10. All other cards have no counting value. As the ten can be taken by any other honor the object is to catch the ten.

French Whist[edit]

Similar to Catch the Ten, but played with 52 cards instead. 10 extra points are scored for capturing the 10 ♦, nothing for non-counting cards. The game is played up to 40 points, the maximum available.


  1. Oxford Dictionary opf Card Games, David Parlett pg. 63 Oxford University Press (1996)
  2. The modern pocket Hoyle: containing all the games of skill and chance, William Brisbane Dick pg. 195-196 - Dick & Fitzgerald, New York 1868

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Catch the Ten". (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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