Virella with a short deck
The original form of Virella - Vira for two players - is played with a 39-card deck, which may be formed through one of two methods:
- Remove one whole suit.
- Remove all deuces, and 3-J in one suit.
13 cards are dealt to each player, leaving 13 for the talon. Bidding and play proceed as at Vira. (Presumably, in a three-suit deck with Clubs missing and Spades as the suit of preference, bids in color and bids in preference rank equally.)
Virella with a dummy
For this more modern form, a full deck is used. Three hands are dealt, one to each player and one face-down dummy. Bidding takes place as at Vira. When bidding is completed, the declarer's opponent may look at the dummy without exposing it. If declarer decides to play, the opponent may exchange cards in either hand (but not both) if the contract is not a Gask, Gök or Vira. The dummy is exposed before the first trick and handled by the opponent in the Bridge manner. (My assumption is that dealer is Middlehand and the dummy is Rearhand, but I'd have to check a better source to know for sure.)
Vira for five players
Five-player Vira tables, with two players sitting out, are not unheard of in historical sources; however, most of these sources recommend against this custom. Instead, if you have five Vira players, the best route is probably to divide them into a Vira and a Virella table.
This is a shortened form of Vira without an auction. At a table of three, 12 deals are played; at a table of four, 16 deals are played.
On each deal, the dealer (rearhand) plays one of these four bids: Vingel 8, Tringel 9, Gök, and Vira. Each bid may only be picked once. Surrendering is not allowed.
Payments are as in standard Vira, with these additions:
- Gök: Dealer pays one additional bête to the pot for each taken trick beyond 2.
- Vira: Dealer pays one additional bête to the pot for each lost trick beyond 2.
I first read about the two versions of Virella on Vira - Sveriges nationalkortspel. After Googling, I managed to find descriptions of short deck Virella and 5-player Vira in the 1846 book Konsten att spela kort-, boll-, tärnings- och brädspel, m.m.; but for dummy Virella, I could only find that short description.
Short Vira is described in the book Kortoxen. I have an edition printed 1985.
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This page was last updated 2018-06-09.