How to Play the Card Game Irish Don

    • 1). Decide teams by having partners sit on opposite sides of the table from one another.

    • 2). Shuffle the cards and cut back. That is, have the player to the dealer’s right cut the cards.

    • 3). Deal out the deck until all players have a total of 9 cards in hand. The remaining cards will be set aside for the rest of the round. The player to the dealer’s right must leave his cards face down. All other players may pick up their hands.

    • 4). Lead a card, starting with the player to the dealer’s left. The suit of the card led will act as trump for the rest of the hand. After the first card is led, the player’s partner may now pick up his hand. All players must follow suit when possible. Highest card takes the trick. If you’re unable to follow suit, you may either throw off or play trump. Highest trump card takes the trick. In both cases, the winner of that trick will lead the next card.

    • 5). Earn points as you take tricks based on the cards in that trick. As you and your partner win tricks, you’ll peg points on a cribbage board. You'll get 10 points for the 5 of trump, 9 points for the 9 of trump, 4 points for the ace of trump, 3 points for the king of trump, 2 points for the queen of trump, 1 point for the jack of trump, and 5 points for all other 5’s (non-trump).

    • 6). Continue to play, pegging points as you take tricks. Do this until all cards have been played.

    • 7). Earn an additional 8 points if you and your partner’s cumulative point cards are greater than that of the opposing team. Add up the points (you and your partner’s). The team with the highest point total wins the 8 points.

    • 8). Win the game of Irish Don by being the first team to peg out on the cribbage board.

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