We commonly get asked how to host a tournament and proper format and rules.

Here it is, once again this is just a sample format.

SHEEPSHEAD TOURNAMENT RULES

1) These Rules are written with the assumption that each participant is a Sheepshead player with some experience. They govern those points which may need to be established for tournament play and do no reflect the “only“ way to play. Disputes at a table may be settled by a scorekeeper from another table, or, by a tournament official. These decisions shall prevail and be final.

2) Tables will be assigned by tournament officials (5-6 players per table). In the event of unfilled tables the officials reserve the right to move people as necessary. Not sitting at the table assigned to you may result in disqualification. No one may sit in the unused chair during play at 5 handed tables.

3) Play consists of three full rounds around the table (15 hands for a 5 handed table, 18 hands for a table of 6). If 6 at a table the player sitting out may not look at the blind (one warning, after that, a 4 point penalty, normal play of the hand still stands), or comment on play. Do not show your hand to the person sitting out.

4) Dealer will shuffle the deck a minimum of three times and call for a mandatory cut from the player to their right. Deal clockwise, three around the table, two in the blinds, then another three around the table.

5) Picker may not look back at his bury after the 1st card has been played. You may not look back at the last trick, once the 1st card of the next trick has hit the table.
(1 warning, further infractions a 4 point penalty, hand is still played out and scored as normal.)

6) MISDEALS – If dealer turns over a card, it is an automatic misdeal. If player touches a card and it turns over, it is not a misdeal. If cards are not dealt in the proper order, 3 around, 2 in blind, 3 around, it is a misdeal. There is no penalty for a misdeal, just deal until you get it right. No Ace, No Face, No Trump, No Smear is not considered a misdeal, like life play the hand your dealt.

7) DEALING OUT OF TURN – If it is discovered that someone has dealt out of turn and play has not begun, you must redeal with the proper dealer. If play has already begun the hand stands, and resume dealing in order when possible. It is the scorekeepers responsibility to keep track of who deals.

8) LEADING OUT OF TURN – If a player accidentally leads out of turn and it is caught before the next card is played, they must pull it back, and the correct person lead, it will not be considered a misplay the first time, subsequent infractions will be imposed a 4 point penalty. If it is caught after the next card has been played it will be considered a misplay (see scoring misplays). If it is not discovered until after the hand has been complete, the hand stands as played.

9) BOARD IS BOARD – Once a card has been placed on the table in play, the card may not be removed from the table unless the player needs to play another card to prevent an illegal play.

10) SCORING MISPLAYS – If a misplay can be corrected to an obvious completion of the trick/hand, the hand will be scored as normal, with a 4 point penalty imposed on the player responsible. If it can not be determined how the trick/hand would have played out an 8 point penalty will be imposed, and the hand terminated.

11) DOUBLE ON THE BUMP – Picker and partner pay double for failing to make game, or schneider. If the picking side does not take a trick in Called Ace, the partner does not help pay; in Jack of Diamonds the partner must help pay.

12) LEASTERS – (Doublers will not be played.) You must take a trick to qualify, with the last trick receiving the blind. In case of a tie the player receiving the low count first will be awarded the points.

13) CALLING AN ACE – Picker chooses a partner by calling an Ace of a fail suit he keeps held in his hand. That card must be held for the first lead of that suit. If picker desires to play alone, he must declare it, before the first lead. If all three Aces are held by the picker, a ten may be called. The Ace of the suit chosen must be held and played on the first lead of that suit, if it is not trumped, the ten takes the trick, and would lead back to the picker. If you have the Ace of all fail suits held in your hand, you may call an unknown. (Call an ace of a suit not held, place any card from hand face down on the table, this is held for the lead of the suit called. The under card is turned over on completion of the trick for all to see.)

14) JD SPECIFIC RULES – You may not call up, or call off the Jack of Diamonds, if you get the JD in the blind, your going alone. No forced pick on the end. Always double on the bump (punish).

15) TABLE TALK – Do not make comments which might influence play or describe yours or another persons hand. 1st offense a warning, subsequent infractions a 4 point penalty. The hand is still scored as normal and played out. No kibitzing allowed.

16) CLAIMING/THROWING IN – If there is one card out that will take any of the cards the picker has thrown in, he looses 8 points, 2 to each player. Do not throw in, even if you have all no pointers of fail left, play the hand out.

WINNER OF EACH TABLE MUST BRING THE SCORE SHEET UP TO THE CONTROL TABLE, AND WILL RECEIVE CASH FOR BEING THE TABLE WINNER…..AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WILL BE PAID FOR HIGH SCORE FOR EACH ROUND AT END OF TOURNAMENT. THE REMAINING FUNDS WILL BE PAID OUT FOR CUMULATIVE SCORES AT END OF TOURNAMENT.

GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, AND EXERCISE GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP!

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The Sheepshead Association
Brian Weis founded The Sheepshead Association in 2002 with one main mission - to positively promote the game that trumps all others.
The Sheepshead Association

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