Our Rules

Strike-through indicates we do not use that rule
Underlined indicates modified or Beach House rule.

In all events, nothing in these rules withstanding, the director’s decision shall be final.


Partnership play shall follow the rules of Kentucky Discard plus the use of the Bird Picture card (Rook). Teams will play in the order dictated by the Tournament committee Director prior to the beginning of the tournament and in the format, which the committee Director selects.

Tournament winners will be determined on the basis of format selected by the Director.
committee. In round robin play, the best won-lost record in the tournament determines the winner. In case of a tie between two teams, one game of 500 points will be played to determine the winner. Should a three-way tie occur, a draw of the cards will be made and the team drawing the high card receives a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The teams drawing low cards play one game of 500 points and the winner advances to play the remaining team in one game of 500 for the championship.

The Tournament is a double elimination and the Children’s Tournament will be single elimination. The Children’s Tournament will be used as a positive learning and training experience and winning will not be emphasized.
The Director will seed each team in the Tournament. Seeding is based on experience, past Tournament history (overall & spread), and general Rook awareness.

Table assignments will be received from the director or registrar by the players in person at the time of tournament play.

Game Setting

Visitors and non-participants will remain a distance of more than five feet from tables during play.

No food or drink is allowed on tables; scorer will time a five-minute break between games.

All rounds will start at announced time and forfeiture of a round by a” absent team will be mandatory if play is not started within 15 minutes after original starting time.

No alcoholic beverage or gambling will be permitted in any Parker Brothers sanctioned Rook tournament.


Counter cards are fourteens, tens, fives and the Rook Card. Each fourteen card carries a value of ten points. Each ten card scores ten points and five cards count five points. The Rook Card is worth twenty points. Tricks captured have no separate value.

Matches Games consist of 3 games and all games consist of 300 500 points. In case both teams end up with more than 300 500 points, the team having the highest total score will be declared the winner.


One player is designated as the score keeper for each game. A third party may keep score if okay by the two teams playing.

The third party scorer will not participate in any way, verbally or physically, during play, except to arbitrate rules when requested. Obvious rules violations or alleged cheating will be referred to the Director for action and disqualification may result.

Scorer or director must initial score sheet and identify round of play before score will be accepted and posted.

At the beginning of play, scorer will ask whether or not participants fully understand the rules.At that time, the rules will be clarified and scorer will not be permitted to intervene once play begins


Ones, twos, threes and fours are discarded from the deck. The Rook is added. Altogether, 41 57 cards are used; 9 13 for each player and five for the “nest” or “widow.”

To determine dealer, the players “cut” the deck and the player who draws the highest card deals. The cards are dealt, one at a time beginning to the dealer’s left and then clockwise around the table. The fifth card is placed face down in the center of the table to be the first card of the “nest.” This order of dealing is repeated until there are five cards in the “nest;” then the remainder of the deck is dealt, one at a time to the players. If any card as high as a ten is exposed during the deal, a new deal is required. If any card, although lower than ten is exposed, it is the right of any player to demand a new deal. In either case, the dealer himself redeals. When a player does not have a card above a 9 or any game, he can call for a redeal.


After the deal, each player, beginning with the player at the dealer’s left and continuing clockwise around the table bids. Minimum opening bid is 10 5 but players may bid higher if they so desire. If a player does not wish to open bidding or raise the bid, he may ‘pass’-after passing, they cannot bid again on that hand.

The highest bidder is the “declarer of the trump color” and has sole opportunity of exchanging any five cards of his hand for any or all of the five cards in the nest. He is the only person entitled to see the nest cards until the last hand has been played. After discarding to the “nest,” he names aloud the trump color. After the first card is played, the “nest” becomes common property and must remain face down on the table until the last trick is caught. Any card may be placed in the “nest.” The player who takes the last trick in the game, captures the ‘nest’ and counters found within are credited to his score. After the discarded “nest” is placed face down on the table and the Trump Color announced, the player at the left of the dealer, who may or may not be the “declarer of the trump color” makes the initial lead and play begins.

Any color may be led and players must, if possible, follow suit (i.e. play the same color that was led). If it is impossible for a player to follow suit, he may play any card in his hand. The highest card of the color led takes the trick unless the trick is “trumped.” The person who takes a trick makes the next lead; play moves clockwise and when the tricks are taken, they are placed face down upon the table and cannot be seen until the play of the hand is completed. Counters captured by partners are added together to form the team’s score for that hand. However, if the “declarers” team does not capture enough counters to make a score equal to his bid he and his partner are penalized by subtracting the bid from their existing score, and they get no credit for the counters they captured. If, however, they capture more than their bid, full credit is given for each counter. The opposing team gets credit for the counters they capture.

The ‘Rook card is used as the highest of all cards regardless of which color is chosen trumps. It may be played at anytime the holder wishes, regardless of the color led. It is the only card that has this privilege. If led, it calls for play of trump color. Its play is demanded, however, if trump color is led and its holder has no card of trump color.

Cards, as dealt, will remain on the table, face down, until the deal is completed and “nest” placed in the center of the table. Spectators may look at the “nest” at the approval of the players. Players then may pick up their hands. Individual tricks, as captured, will be kept separate for identification in the event of an improper play or renege.

Game Procedures
At the end of each four hands of a game, one set of partners changes seats at the table while the opposing team retain their seats. (This rule is optional and is not considered part of the general Beach House game.)

At the end of each hand and round, the scorer will ask all players if there is any question about the score or play of the hands. If there is no question, dispute or protest, play and score become final and may not be contested after the score sheets have been signed, certified to the director and posted.

Four players participate, two on each team, each facing their partner at the table.


If a player drops out a substitute may be used only if the opposing team agrees to the substitution. Otherwise the opposing team may take a forfeit after a reasonable length of time has expired. Once the game starts with a substitute it is official.


Should a misdeal be discovered before tricks are taken, the cards are withdrawn and re-dealt; the deal passing to the player at the left of the “mis-dealer.” If not discovered until later in the game, the dealer’s team is penalized 40 points. The opposing team does not score and the deal is passed to the left.
Should a misdeal be discovered before tricks are taken, the cards are withdrawn and re-dealt; the deal passing to the player at the left of the “mis-dealer.” If not discovered until later in the game, the dealer’s team is penalized 40 points. The opposing team does not score and the deal is passed to the left.

Improper Discard
A penalty equal to the team’s bid will be taken from the score of a player who improperly discards (incorrect number) to the “nest.” A penalty equal to the team’s bid will be taken from the score of a player who improperly discards (incorrect number) to the “nest.”

Laying Down Of Cards
All hands must be played out. There will be no lay-down hands. A penalty equal to the bid will be taken from the score of a player along with any points scored for the player who improperly lays down before the final hand is played out.

If a player plays a card of a different color when he can “follow suit,” the error may be corrected if discovered before the following trick is taken. If the error is not discovered until later, the full amount of the bid, regardless of which team made the bid for that hand, is subtracted from the score of the team in error. In such case, opponents receive credit for all the count cards captured by them before the error was discovered.

Cards played out of turn will remain face up on the table- normal play continuing. Misplayed cards will remain face up until captured in the normal course of play. The person guilty of the misplay must play the card in question immediately when he next regains the lead. The card must be placed on its own color when that color is led, or whenever the Rook card is led. If the lead belongs to the partner of the contestant who played out of turn, the color of the exposed card may not be led unless the has only that color.

Illegal Activity
Obvious and continued movements intended to distract other players or communicate with one’s partner in any way after one warning by the scorer may mean automatic disqualification or forfeiture of that round. The tournament director makes final decision. No unnecessary talking will be permitted at tables during play or while other games are in progress.

Modified 07/2003


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