The rules I play with are slightly different than in the Wiki article. I have to admit that when trying to lay out the rules, it's pretty damn complex until you get used to it. It's not quite as bad as Bridge, but it can still be intimidating. Please give it a try, though, if you like. Here goes:
We'll need four players in addition to the mod.
The mod distributes the cards. There are four players grouped into two teams. All 2s and 3s are removed from the deck, but the joker is included, leaving 45 cards. After randomization, the dealer gives each player 10 cards via PM.
The goal is to take as many tricks per hand as a player bids.
A predetermined player is the "dealer" and bidding starts on the dealer's left. So the dealer is always the last bidder. Players are bidding that their team can take a certain amount of tricks in the given hand. With each new hand, the "dealer" is moved to the next player.
Obviously, there are ten tricks to each hand, since every player plays one of his/her cards each hand.
If a team gets to 500 points, they win the game.
How many points does a team get for a hand? Well, there's a chart for that. The version I've always played is different than what is on Wikipedia. We can decide which is best.
7 Clubs: 140
8 Clubs: 240
9 Clubs: 340
10 Clubs: 440
6 Spades: 60
7 Spades: 160
8 Spades: 260
9 Spades: 360
10 Spades: 460
6 Diamonds: 80
7 Diamonds: 180
8 Diamonds: 280
9 Diamonds: 380
10 Diamonds: 480
6 Hearts: 100
7 Hearts: 200
8 Hearts: 300
9 Hearts: 400
10 Hearts: 500
6 No Trump: 120
7 No Trump: 220
8 No Trump: 320
9 No Trump: 420
10 No Trump: 520
Each player bids. Or any player can pass. The highest bid wins. Which bid is highest is based on the points for that bid. So a 7 Clubs bid beats a 6 Hearts bid and a 7 No Trump bid beats a 7 Diamonds bid, etc.
-> The winning bidder gets the widow (AKA the kitty), which is the five remaining cards. The winner can trade any of his/her cards with cards from the widow, but must discard five cards and keep ten.
The high bidder starts the hand by playing a card. Certain cards beat others, as you might expect:
The suit of the winning bid is called trump.
JOKER is highest and always takes the trick (Joker is considered trump in any given hand)
JACK of trump is next (this is called the right bower)
JACK of the same color as trump is next (this is called the left bower)
Then any trump take the trick, in order of their precedence (king beats queen, five beats four, etc.)
If no trumps are played, then the highest card of any non-trump suit takes the trick.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE IS THAT EVERYONE MUST FOLLOW SUIT. For example, if a diamond is played, you MUST play a diamond, if you have one. You can ONLY not follow suit if you have none of the suit (you are void in that suit).
After each player plays a card, the highest card takes the trick. After all ten cards are played, it's determined if the bidding player reached his/her bid. If so, that player and his partner get the points for the bid. If they take all ten tricks, they get 250 points or the value of their bid, whichever is higher.
There are some other things involved, including what happens if no one bids and bidding that you'll lose every hand.
And then there's the discussion of strategy, which can be very fun.
Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone is interested. I may have missed some important details, but this is just a throw-out-there-to-see-who-nibbles.
If anyone is interested, please discuss.