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Sergeant Major is a trick-taking card game popular around the world, which is also known as a 3-5-8 or 8-5-3 card game.
Sergeant Major is a trick-taking game that is played with 3 players and a standard 52-card pack. The game is played in a clockwise direction.
The first dealer is chosen at random. The cards are shuffled and dealt, 16 to each player. The last four undealt cards are placed face down on the table which is known as a kitty. Once trump is decided, discards any four cards face down, and takes the four undealt cards from the kitty in their place.
The first trick is led by the player to the dealer's left. All players must follow suit if they are able, but if they do not hold any cards of the suit led, they may play any card. The trick is won by the highest trump it contains, or if there are no trumps in it, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads to the next.
In a game of cards, the player to the dealer's left always leads the first trick. If any player is able to follow suit, they must do so. If not, they may play any card. The winner of each trick is either determined by the highest trump in that particular trick or, if there are no trumps present, by the highest card of the suit that was led. Whichever player wins the trick then gets to lead the next one.
Each player has a target. The dealer's target is 8 tricks; the player to the dealer's left has a target of 5 tricks, and the player to the dealer's right needs 3 tricks. A player who won more tricks than the target is said to be up by the number of tricks won in excess of target. A player who failed to reach the target is down by the number of tricks short. The player(s) who are down pay one stake per trick short of target, and the player(s) who are up receive one stake per overtrick.
Sergeant Major Variations
Sergeant Major Kitty, Play that the dealer picks up the kitty and then discards it.
Sergeant Major Pro, Play the game without a kitty.
Sergeant Major VIP, Can Play and win after 10 rounds with different Variations like Classic, Kitty, and Pro.
The aim is to win as many tricks as possible.
If a player succeeds in winning 12 or more tricks in one hand, the game ends and that player wins in classic gameplay.