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About Rook

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Rook or Missionary Poker is a card game which is differentiated by the deck of cards that it uses. This special deck was introduced so that purist Christians could play card games, as they generally associated the standard deck with gambling. Quite similar to the standard deck, the Rook deck consists of 57 cards, where the card used instead of the joker is the Blue Rook Bird card.

The first version of the game as well as the cards used in this game, were created by the Parker brother. Meant to rival Bridge, which was a very popular game at that time, Rook was similar to other games such as Pedro and some others. Having sold more than sixty-five million copies till date, Rook was the bestselling game from the Parker Brother fold, until the launch of Monopoly, which then took over the title.

The Rook deck has four suits, which are differentiated by colors, which are red, yellow, green and black. The cards apart from the Rook bird card are numbered from 1 to 14 and have been inspired by the French tarot cards. Generally played by four players, who are divided into two teams of two players each, Rook is quite popular around the world, and many countries hold competitions often.

Before you rush off to buy your own set of Rook cards, read on to find out how it's played. The main objective of the game is to attain 300 points. This is done by capturing tricks, especially those that consist of cards that have a high point value. Remember that players are not allowed to reveal their cards, even to their partners. All cards do not have point value, only cards known as counters, are of any value. They begin from the 5 card, which is equal to five points, the 10 and 14 cards, both equal 10 points and finally the Rook Bird card, which is 20 points.

The game starts with the dealer handing each player one card, and then s/he keeps placing one card in the center of the table, and repeats the procedure till there are five cards on the table. This is known as the nest, and then the remaining cards are dealt to the four players. After this point bidding begins, where the players bid in multiples of five, and the trump suit is named. After a round of bids, the higher bid adds the nest cards to his hand, replacing any five s/he holds. During this procedure, tricks are won, points are taken and mainly counters are captured. At the end of the game all the counters are added up and the team with 300 points wins.

Playing Rook is very simple, and a little bit of practice will set you up. All you need to do is gather four friends, after you have done a little research on rules, and scoring techniques, decide on a venue, and enjoy your tryst with Rook.