This Trick-Taking Life: The Triumphs
Why are trick-taking games having such a moment? Last time in this series about my personal journey with trick-takers, I proposed an answer: because the things are so dang simple that learning the rules to one immediately opens the door to a hundred more. But that’s not all! Far from being simplistic time-wasters, there are untold depths and ranges to the system. In fact, one of the best things about cracking open a new trick-taker is that you’re almost certain to discover an approach you haven’t seen before.
Today, though, we’re tackling an aspect of trick-taking that initially put me off the genre altogether. I’m talking about the triumph, also known as the trump, also known to my friend Rob as the “super-suit.”
This Trick-Taking Life: The Suits
“I never understood the appeal of trick-taking. Isn’t it just, we all put a card down and someone gets all the cards?”
Thus spake someone on social media this past week. I’m keeping their identity anonymous. Not so much because it’s a wrong opinion. Because it’s an opinion I shared not all that long ago. Growing up in a family where playing cards were an endowment from the devil, there wasn’t much room for anything more complicated than UNO. When I married into a trick-taking family, the appeal was lost on me. The processes seemed random. Yet the same people won no matter how poor their hand. Maybe, just maybe, there was something more to these games than first met the eye.
This series is written for my past self. One layer at a time, I want to talk about what makes trick-taking special. Today, we’re starting with the barest of basics: the suits.