Twenty Five

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner I thougt it time to feature a game from Ireland. Twenty Five is a fast trick taking  card game that  I am told is still popular In  Irish pubs.  After learning the ranking of the cards, you will find Twenty Five is a great game for when you have a large group a friends at your table. Sláinte!

Players 3-9

With an even number of players, players can be split into pairs. Each pair is a team and sits opposite of each other. With odd number of players each players plays as a individual.


Standard 52 card deck 

How to play

The photo below  shows the ranking order of cards if the truump suit was spades.

Ranking order of trump cards

5, J ,A (of hearts),A,K, Q, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (When spades or clubs are trump)

5, J, A ,K, Q,10, 9, 8, 7, 6,4, 3, 2 (when hearts are trump)

5, J, A (of hearts), A,K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ( when diamonds are trumps)

Ranking order of non-trump cards

K, Q, J, A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (spades and clubs)

 K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (hearts)

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

The dealer deals five cards to each player two at a time followed by three at a time.

The top card of the remaining stack of cards  is flipped over. The suit of this turned card is trumps for the hand. 

If a player has  the ace of trumps he or she may take the trump card turned up by the dealer. This is called robbing the trump.  Robbing the trump  must be done before he or she  plays a card to a trick. The player places a unwanted card from his or her  hand face down beside the undealt part of the deck. The trump card may then either be  taken into  his or her hand or left on the table but still used as though it were one of the cards in their hand. 

If the turned up card is the ace, the dealer may rob the trump.

The player to dealer’s left leads to the first trick. The highest card of the suit led wins unless a trump is played, in which case the highest trump wins. The winner of each trick leads to the next.

When a card of a non-trump suit is led, players who have cards of this suit must either play a card of the suit that was led or play a trump. If a player has neither a card from the suit led or trump they may play and card the chose.

When a trump is led, the other players must play trumps if possible, with the exception of the top three trumps (which are the 5, the Jack and the Ace of hearts). These three cards have the privilege of reneging A player can only be forced to play any of the three top trumps when the first  player leads a better trump than any of the top three trumps the player  holds. If a player holds no trumps or only the trumps allowed to reneg, he or she may play any card they chose. 

Each trick is worth five points to the team or player that wins it. As soon as a player reaches 25 points the game is over and that player or team is the winner. This can occur before the hand being played is complete. 

If no player has reached 25 at the end of the hand, the next dealer shuffles, the cards are cut, and a new hand is dealt and played.

When played for stakes some people play  that the winner is paid after each game. However , when the game is played between two teams it is common to play the team who won best out of five games wins the stake.

A score of 25 to zero is often considered winning two games or double the stake.


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