OBJECTIVE OF HOKM: The first team to earn 7 points wins
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF HOKM
Hokm is an Iranian trick taking game played with four players in partnerships. In this game, one player will be designated as the Hakem, meaning governor of the round. The Hakem is able to determine the trump suit and lead the first trick. That player remains the Hakem until their team loses a round.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Hokem uses a 52 card deck and is played in partnerships of two. Shuffle the deck and deal one card at a time face up to each player. The first player to get an Ace is the Hakem for the round. The Hakem will be dealt to first, choose the trump suit, and lead the first trick.
Cards continue to be dealt to the other three players until another Ace is revealed. The player that receives the second Ace is the Hakem’s partner. The other two players are on a team with each other. Partners should sit across from each other.
The player seated to the right of the Hakem deals 13 cards to each player. The cards are dealt in packets of 5, 4, and 4. The Hakem determines the trump suit for the round immediately after receiving the first 5 cards. The deal is paused until the Hakem determines trump.
THE FIRST TRICK
The Hakem leads the first trick with any card they want. All players are required to follow suit if they are able or else play a card of their choice from their hand. The trick is captured by the card highest in the suit that was led or the trump suited card of the highest rank.
Spades have been determined as the trump suit. The Hakem leads the trick with an Ace of Hearts. The next player has a 3 of Hearts and plays it. The Hakem’s partner has a 2 of Hearts and plays it. The final player does not have any hearts in their hand, so they play the 4 of Spades. Although the Hakem’s Heart is the highest card in the lead suit, the 4 of Spades trumps it. Player 4 takes the trick with the 4 of Spades. They lead the next trick with a 3 of Diamonds.
Play continues until one team captures seven tricks. At this point, it’s time to tally up the score.
If the team with the Hakem wins the round, nothing changes. The same dealer deals, and the same player remains as the Hakem.
If the other team wins the round, the roles of Hakem and dealer pass left.
The team that captures seven tricks first earns 1 point
If the Hakem’s team captures the first seven tricks, and their opponents capture none, they earn 2 points rather than.
If the team without the Hakem captures the first seven tricks, and the Hakem’s team captures none, they earn 3 points rather than 1.
The first team to earn 7 points wins the game.