MIGHTY: THE CARD GAME

Mighty is a game that apparently originated in Korea. A group of C.N.A., led by Dan Roth (the main compiler and keeper of the rules for htis game), employees has been playing this game since 1989. Scores have been kept since then. Over the years this "table" of players has changed and various conventions and strategies have developed.

Mighty is a bidding game most similar to games such as Rook. The object of the game is for the bidder and his partner(s) to accumulate a certain number of points as determined by his bid. Each 10 and face card is worth one point.

Players

Mighty can be played by any number of players from four to eight.

Cards

Depending upon the number of players either one or two standard 52 card decks are used. The deck(s) is(are) slightly modified as follows:

Four Players: Single deck with one Joker added. The 2's of Hearts and Clubs are removed.

Five Players: Single deck of cards with one Joker added. No cards are removed.

Six Players: Two decks of cards are used with two Jokers added. No cards are removed.

Seven Players: Two decks of cards, with two Jokers are used. All deuces of clubs and hearts are removed.

Eight Players: Two decks of cards, with two Jokers are used. All deuces of clubs and hearts and a single deuce of diamonds and spades are removed.

The cards in each suit rank from highest to lowest: A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.

Deal

The cards are shuffled by the dealer and cut by the player on his left. He then deals the appropriate number of cards to each player and the blind, based upon the number of players, starting with the player immediately to his left.

The number of cards in each hand an the blind are as follows:

Bidding

The first partner on the previous hand, or the dealer at the first hand, starts the bidding. He may bid based upon how many points he and his yet to be determined partner(s) can take with the suit being called as trump. The minimum bid is 13 in the single deck game and 25 in the double deck game. If a player does not wish to bid for any reason he may pass and can reenter the bidding later.

A player may bid at any level above the minimum in "no trump". This indicates that he feels he and his partner(s) can claim that many points, without a trump suit.

The suits are not ranked as in other games and each bid must be greater than the one preceeding it. The one exception to this is a "no trump" bid. A "no trump" bid equal in level to a preceeding bid is sufficient.

The bidding continues until all players have passed a preceeding bid. The player with the last bid is known as the declarer.

The declarer may change the trump suit after winning the bid.  He may call a different suit with an increase of two in the bid level (increase of three in the double deck game), or he may switch to "no-trump" with an increase of one in the bid level (increase of two in the double deck game).

A contract that is successful is referred to as having made. An unsuccessful contract is referred to as being set.

Special Cards

There are three special cards in Mighty: The Mighty, the Joker, the ripper.

The Mighty is the highest ranking card in the deck. Normally the Mighty is the Ace of Spades except for when spades are trump in which case the Mighty is the Ace of Diamonds. Regardless of the trump suit, the Mighty can overtake any card. It may be played at any time. However it still functions as the Ace of its suit. If the Mighty's suit is lead and the only card a player has in that suit is the Mighty, the Mighty must play.

The Joker is the second highest ranking card. Normally, only the Mighty may overtake it. It may be played at any time except at the first and last tricks. The Joker may be lead as any suit, at the discretion of the person leading it. It belongs to no suit. If another player leads the Ripper (see below) a player is compelled to play his Joker unless he has a Mighty which he may choose to play instead.

The Ripper has the sole special ability of being able to "rip" the joker(s) when lead. When this card is lead any player holding a Joker must either play a Mighty or have his Joker ripped. A ripped Joker has no worth and does not win the trick. Normally the Ripper is the 3 of Clubs, however if Clubs is the trump suit the Ripper is the 3 of Spades.

The Mighty and the Joker are together referred to as the Magic Cards because of their properties and strength.

 

Determination of Partnership

Unlike other partnership bidding games in which the partnership is determined by the seating position of the players, the partnership in Mighty is determined by the posession of certain cards. Even though bidding conventions may strongly suggest the identity of the partnership, it is not known with certainty until after play has begun.

In the single deck game the bidder calls one partner by naming a card (the partner card) he neither possesses in his had nor has buried in the blind. The player with this card becomes the partner. The partner's identity is not known until the partner either plays the called card, or wins a trick containing points at which point he may declare as partner without playing the partner card.

In the double deck game the bidder calls two partners by naming two distinct cards (the partner cards) of which he neither possesses both copies nor has buried in the blind. The first player, excluding the declarer, to play a copy of a partner card, becomes a partner. Any other player having the other copy of that partner card is a defender unless he also possesses the second partner card.

As in the single deck game either partner may declare upon winning a trick containing at least one point, without playing a partner card. However, he must declare which partner card he holds.

Ocassionally in the double deck game a single player is the first to play both partner cards, or may hold the only copy of each card not in the declarer's hand. In this case this player is the single partner.

One player can only become one of the partners on a single trick. That is, a player cannot play one partner card on a trick and, by virtue of points captured on that same or an earlier trick, declare as the holder of the other partner card. It is, of course, possible for two distinct partners to be identified on the same trick (e.g., if they each play one of the named partner cards).

Rules of Card Play

After setting the contract level and trump suit, the declarer exposes the card in the blind for all to see. He then must place all these cards in his hand. He then discards an equal number of cards face down in front of him.

The declarer leads the first trick. The other players, in clockwise order, each play one card from their hands. Cards are played according to the rules listed below. These rules are hierarchical in nature in that a given rule takes precedence over any listed below it.

  1. Bidder may place any cards down that he chooses
  2. Each player must play exactly one card on each trick
  3. The Joker may not be played on the first or last trick
  4. Trump may not be led on the first trick unless all cards in hand are trump
  5. The Mighty may be played on any trick regardless of whether the player holds any cards in the led suit
  6. A led 3-clubs compels the holder of the Joker to play it on that trick and the Joker's value is nullified. If clubs is the trump suit, then the 3-spades rips the Joker.
  7. The Joker may be played on any trick regardless of whether the player holds any cards in the led suit. If the Joker is led, the player leading names the suit which other players must play on that trick. In such a case, and unless the Might plays, the Joker will win that trick, regardless of whether the suit chosen is trump. One cannot "ruff" the Joker.
  8. Players must follow suit when possible.
  9. Trump may be played whenever a player is out of the suit lead

The highest card played in the suit lead or trump (if someone trumps the trick) wins the trick. Either a Mighty or Joker will overtake any card in the trump suit, unless the Joker was ripped. A Mighty will always win a trick.

The winner of a trick leads the next trick.

All cards won from tricks won by the partnership are placed face down in front of the declarer.

All point cards (10 and higher) won in tricks by a player not known to be in the partnership are displayed face up in front of that player. Should this player later become known as a partner, these points are placed in the delcarer's pile.

Any player may ask to review the previous trick, but only before the next trick is lead.

At bid levels greater than 16 in the single deck game and 33 in the double deck game, the declarer is able to give instructions to his partner(s). He may only say, "Partner take this trick." This instruction may be issued once in a single deck hand and twice in a double deck hand. The declarer may not specify which partner should take the trick, nor may he specify which card the partner should play. The partner is not obligated to follow the instruction. Any other instruction, or instruction at a lower bid level , causes the contract to be immediately deemed set. If the partnership is not fully known at this point, the hand is not scored.

A renege is when a player fails to follow suit when able, or play a ripped Joker, in the absence of another valid card play. If the renege is discovered on that trick, the player replaces the misplayed card with a correctly played one. The misplayed card is then exposed and remains face up on the table in front of the player. If a player later must play a card in the same suit as the exposed card, the exposed card must be played.

If a renege is not discovered until a later trick, the side of the renegging player immediately loses the hand. If this renegger is a member of the partnership, whose composition is not yet completely known, the hand immediately ends and is not scored.

If, after play starts, it is discovered the declarer buried an incorrect number of cards the hand immediately ends. If the partnership is known when this is discovered, the contract is set. If the partnership is not known, the hand is not scored.

Suggestions on bidding and standard Mighty card play may be found here.

Scoring

Mighty is a zero-sum game. For every player that gains points other players must lose an equal amount of points.

Points earned or lost by the defenders are determined by the level of the contract. In the single deck game each hand is worth a number of points equal to the bid level minus 12. In the double deck game each hand is worth a number of points equal to the bid level minus 24. If the bid is successful, each defender loses this amount of points. They gain this amount of points if the bid is unsuccessful.

The number of points earned or lost by the partnership is determined by the number of players and the level of contract according to the following tables.

Single Deck Scoring Table
Level of Contract
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
4
Players
Bidder X 3 4 5 7 8 9 11
Partner X 1 2 3 3 4 5 5
5
Players
Bidder 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Partner 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Double Deck Scoring Table (Two Partners)
Level of Contract
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
6
Players
Bidder X X 5 6 7 8 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 23 24
Partners X X 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 11 11 12
7
Players
Bidder 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
Partners 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
8
Players
Bidder 2 4 7 10 13 14 17 20 23 24 27 30 33 34 37 40
Partners 1 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 18 19 20

Double Deck Scoring Table (Single Partnership)
Level of Contract
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
6
Players
Bidder 3 5 8 11 13 16 19 21 24 27 29 32 35 37 40 43
Partner 1 3 4 5 7 8 9 11 12 13 15 16 17 19 20 21
7
Players
Bidder 3 7 10 13 17 20 23 27 30 33 37 40 43 47 50 53
Partner 2 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15 17 18 20 22 23 25 27
8
Players
Bidder 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64
Partner 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32

Three contract level / number of player combinations are not scoreable, and thus not valid bids: 13 in the four player game, and 25 and 26 in the six player game. If a bid is taken at these levels, the declarer must switch up to the lowest valid level.


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This page was created by John E. Pannell. Please send any comments or suggestions to him at pannellj@netpath.net.  Questions on the rules or play of Mighty may also be sent to Dan Roth.