Two Hundred (200), or Deux Cents, is a card game believed to have originated right here in Canada. It is especially popular in New Brunswick. Similar variations are played in Quebec and further east, where the game goes by numerous other names; Dix, Bidder 10, Le Rough, Le Ruff, La Bloutte or La Fouine.
200 Rules (Traditional)
By original rules, 200 is a trick-catching game for 4 players with partnerships. It is played with a deck of 36 cards. In preparation, all 2s, 3s, 4s and 6s are removed from a traditional 52-card deck. The rank of cards (per suit) is as follows:
Objective – How to Win 200
The object of Two Hundred is to catch enough points to make your team’s bid, or prevent the other team from making their bid. Points are scored by capturing tricks that contain Aces, 10s and 5s. These are the only cards that are worth points.
- Aces = 10 points
- 10s = 10 points
- 5 = 5 points
- Total = 100 points
The target goal is 200 points to win the game.
Dealing the Cards
The first dealer is randomly chosen by whatever method players agree upon. All game play (dealer position, dealing of cards, bidding, playing of tricks, etc.) rotates clockwise. After shuffling, the dealer will pass out all 36 cards cards, one card per player at a time. Everyone should have 9 cards.
Bidding for Trump
Starting with the player left of the dealer, each player will take turns bidding. Bids are placed in increments of 5, with the lowest possible bid being 50; the highest 100. The amount bid reflects the number of points the player believes their team will catch.
Players can either bid or pass. Successive bids must be higher than the previous bid. If a player passes at any time, they can no longer bid on that hand. Bidding continues around the table until three consecutive players have passed.
The highest bidder wins the auction, and will immediately declare trump suit.
Note: If all four players pass, the hand is null. All cards are returned and the next dealer in rotation will deal a new hand.
Playing the Game
The winner of the auction will lead to the first trick. If this player fails to declare a trump suit, the suit of the first card played becomes trump.
In clockwise fashion, all other players must follow suit if able. If a player does not have the led suit, they may play any other card; trump or non-trump. The highest trump played will win the trick, or if no trump is played, the highest ranking card of the suit led.
The winner of each trick will lead the next trick. Each trick captured is placed face down next to one of the team members that captured it. These cards cannot be turned up or examined by anyone before the hand is over.
The game continues in this manner until all 9 tricks are won.
Scoring the Hand
Score is earned by capturing tricks with Aces (10 points), 10s (10 points) and 5s (5 points). Tricks without any of these cards are worth nothing. When a hand is over, each team will turn its captured tricks face up and count the points. Score is kept on paper.
Bidding Team: If the team that won the bid succeeds in capturing enough points, they will score the total amount of points captured. If this team fails to capture their bid, the amount bid is scored as a negative total.
Defending Team: If the defending team’s cumulative score prior to the hand was below 100, they will score the number of points they captured. If this team’s prior score is 100+, they can only score points if at least one team member bid during the auction. If both team members passed on their first opportunity to bid, and their score is 100+, they cannot earn score for the hand.
Negative Scores: If a team’s score is negative, the number is represented by drawing a box or circle around it. This is called being “in the box” or “in the hole”.
Winning / Losing:The game can end in one of two ways; either by scoring 200 or more points, or by scoring -200 points.
The first team to reach or exceed 200 points wins the game. If both teams reach or exceed 200 points on the same hand, that team that won the bid wins the game.
If a team is in the box, or in the hole, by 200+ negative points, their opponents automatically win the game.
Variations of 200 Rules
There are many, many variations that can be applied to the rules of 200. Some of the most popular are adjustments for playing with 2, 5 or 6 players, as well as a 40-card versions with a 4-card kitty. You can learn more by reading our two-part variations guide.
Part 1: Canadian 200 Rule Variations
Part 2: Cutthroat and 2, 5, 6 Player 200
And some other materials you may be interested in:
Two Hundred History
Two Hundred Strategy
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