Rules of Setback Card Game

Fernando Meyer


Ever sat around a table with friends, cards in hand, and thought, “Let’s try something different tonight”? Enter Setback, a card game that mixes strategy, suspense, and a sprinkle of luck. Whether you’re a fan of Euchre, Pinochle or just eager to discover a new card game obsession, our guide below will have you dealing, bidding, and scoring in no time. Ready to shuffle up some fun? Let’s dive in!

Setback Card Game Rules

Before you gather your deck and rally your friends, there’s a bit of groundwork to cover. Understanding the rules is the cornerstone of any great game night. From deck details to scoring secrets, we’ve broken down the intricate dance of Setback for you. Whether you’re a newbie or just need a quick refresher, here’s your roadmap to mastering the game.

Playing the Setback Card Game

Deck Deets

Grab a regular 52-card deck. In Setback, the ace is king—literally. The order goes Ace (the big boss), followed by King, Queen, Jack, 10…all the way down to 2.

While you can gather around with two to six buddies for a game, stretching it to eight players pushes your luck.

Starting Out

All Setback games kick off with everyone bidding for the trump suit. Once that’s decided, players dive into six rounds of tricks and then count up their points.

Setting the Stage

You can play Setback with two to six pals for a good time. But hey, seven or eight players can join the fun if you’re feeling wild. Everyone gets a six-card hand; then it’s bidding time!

Pointers on Points

Four juicy points are up for grabs in each hand:

  1. High
  2. Low
  3. Jack
  4. Game (or you might hear folks call it “Most”)

If you’ve played bridge, this might feel a bit familiar. But here’s the twist: You can play your trump card anytime in Setback. No waiting around.

How to Play the Setback Card Game

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Someone throws down a card. If you’re the high bidder, you’re starting with a trump.
  2. Everyone takes their turn, moving to the left.
  3. Your options?
    • Match the first card’s suit.
    • Whip out a trump card.
    • Or if you’re out of the lead suit, play whatever card you fancy.
  4. Whoever wins the trick grabs the cards, stashing them for later.
  5. The winner kicks off the next round.

Scoring the Game

Each round can score up to five points. Missed your bid? Oops! You lose points based on your bid. But if you make your bid or play defense, you grab the points you’ve won.

Bidding Basics

Before anyone bids, deal out those cards! Six cards go to each player. Bidding starts to the dealer’s left and goes around once. Players either:

  • Bid a number (2, 3, or 4), guessing how they’ll do if they pick the trump.
  • Or pass if they’re feeling not-so-lucky.

How to Win Setback Card Game: Tips & Tricks

  • Think twice before leading with the jack. Only go for it if you have A, K, Q, or your big cards are J, 2.
  • Always chase the low points. If you don’t have the low card and you’re bidding, keep playing your trump, hoping to snag it.
  • Playing last? That’s a sweet spot. It can help you grab the low on a non-trump round or decide who takes the trick.
  • If you’re the first to bid, be a bit bold! Leading with your favorite suit can put others in a pinch or push them to take bigger risks.

So, grab a deck, gather your friends, and give Setback a shot. It’s a mix of strategy, luck, and good old card game fun!

Fernando Meyer

Fernando Meyer

Fernando Meyer is a freelance writer and founder of F-Meyer website. His writing strengths include business, financial topics, and lifestyle. He uses his life experiences to inspire his detailed and informative style of writing.

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