Mendikot (also commonly spelled Mendicot) is a fun trick taking card game hailing from India, where it is quite popular.
Mendikot is designed for four players playing in two partnerships. The game uses a standard 52 card deck. The ranking of the cards in this deck are as follows (from high to low); Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Determination of partnerships, seating positions and first dealer can be done in a variety of ways. The most common method is with the drawing of cards, in which the two players drawing the two highest ranked cards play as partners against the players drawing the two lowest. The partners should be seated directly across from each other at the table. The player who draws the highest card of all would be designated the first dealer.
After determination of the partnerships and first dealer, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals the hand. He deals out 13 card hands in a counter-clockwise rotation around the table. Custom is to deal out these cards in a batch of five and then a batch of four, and then a final batch of four. After each player has their hand, they may pick up their hand to examine the cards.
It should be noted that at the start of the hand no trump suit has as yet been designated. The trump suit for the hand will be determined later during play of the hand.
The player to the dealer's immediate right then plays the first card to the first trick. He may play any card of his choosing from his hand to begin the trick. Each other player than, in a counter-clockwise rotation plays one card to the trick. A player must play a card of the suit originally led to that trick if they have one. If they do not have a card of the suit led, they may then play any card from their hand.
The very first time a player is unable to follow suit, the card he plays then sets the trump suit (called hukum) for this trick and the remainder of the tricks during this hand. Thus, once a trump suit is designated for the hand, the highest card of the trump suit played to the trick wins the trick. If no trump card has been played to the trick, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The winner of each trick leads the first card to the next trick. Each captured trick should be kept in a face down pile of cards, gathered by the winner of the trick.
After all 13 tricks have been played the captured cards are then examined to determine the winner of the hand. The conditions for winning the hand are as follows:
- If one partnership manages to capture three or four of the Tens, they win the hand. If the partnership manages to take all 4 Tens, this is called Mendikot. Winning every trick in the hand is called Fifty-Two card Mendikot.
- If both partnerships capture exactly two Tens, the partnership to have won the majority of tricks wins the hand.
The winner of each hand scores one game point. The first team to score 5 game points is the overall game winner.
If the dealer is a member of the team that wins the hand, the deal passes to the next player in rotation to that dealer's right.
However, if the dealer's team loses, he deals the next hand unless the opponents win the hand by way of a Fifty-Two card Mendikot, in which the deal also rotates to the next player to the current dealer's right.
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