Tarneeb is Arabic word literally meaning ‘trump’ is a trick-taking card game played with four players & bidding. Its popular in various middle eastern countries, most notably in the countries of the Levant and also in Tanzania possibly having originated in Lebanon
There are four players in fixed partnerships, partners facing each other. A standard international 52-card pack is used, the cards in each suit ranking from high to low: A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2. The game is normally played counter-clockwise. The first dealer is chosen randomly. After each round, deal passes to the right player. Cards are dealt one at a time so that everyone has 13 cards
The bidding begins with the player to dealer’s right and continues counterclockwise. The bids are numbers, representing the number of tricks that the bidder’s team undertakes to win. The lowest bid is 7 and the highest is 13. Each bid must be higher than the last. A player who does not wish to bid at their turn can pass. Once you have passed you drop out of the bidding - you cannot bid again on a later turn. If all four players pass on their first turn to speak, the hand is thrown in and redealt by the same dealer otherwise the bidding continues around the table as many times as necessary until all players but one have passed. The final bidder (Highest Bid) then announces the trump suit (tarneeb) and leads to the first trick
The player who won the bidding leads to the first trick, and thereafter the winner of each trick leads to the subsequent trick. Players must follow suit if they can. Those unable to follow suit may play any card. Each trick is won by the highest trump in it, or by the highest card of the suit led if it contains no trumps
The bidder’s team tries to take at least as many tricks as they bid. If their bid is less than 13 and succeed, they score the number of tricks they won, and the other team scores nothing. If the bidding team takes fewer tricks than they bid, they lose the amount of their bid, and the other team scores the number of tricks they won.
Winning all 13 tricks is called kaboot. If the bid was less than 13, kaboot brings a bonus of 3 points, so 16 points in total instead of 13. If a team bids 13 tricks and wins them all, they score 26 points. If they lose any tricks, they score -16 and the other team scores double the number the tricks that they win.
Further hands are played until one team achieves a cumulative score of target points or more (Target Points: 31, 41 or 61) and wins the game.