Smear (cards)

Smear (cards)

Infobox CardGame
title =Smear
subtitle =
image_link =
image_caption =
alt_names = Schmeir
type = trick-taking
players = 2-4
play =
card_rank = A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
ages =
num_cards= 52-card
deck = Anglo-American
origin = North America
related = Hearts, Pitch (Cards), All-Fours
playing_time =
random_chance =
skills =
footnotes =

Smear is game of the All Fours group, similar to Pitch or Setback. Several slightly different versions are played in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is also known as Schmier. It is highly likely that the name is related to the German word "schmieren", which is used in point-trick games such as Skat for the technique of discarding a high-value card on a trick which your partner is winning. The name might perhaps also be connected to "smudge," which is the highest bid in some forms of Pitch.

Rules of Smear

Smear is a four player game with fixed teams; your partner is the person sitting diagonally across from you.

Card Ranking

A standard 52 card deck is used with the cards in each suit ranking as usual A(automatic point and highest card in game) K Q J J(jick) HJ(high joker) LJ(low joker) 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2(automatic point for your team)


Deal 9 cards to each player, 3 at a time; at some point during that dealing you must leave 4 cards in the middle as a “kitty.”

Bidding and Re-deal

The person on the left of the dealer starts off bidding, with the minimum bid being 4. The highest bidder gets the “kitty” and chooses what trump is. The dealer deals the cards to everyone, making sure that everyone has 6 cards; the dealer then gets to pick from ALL the cards on the bottom of the deck after he/she has dealt to the other players, but they also must have 6 cards in their hand at the beginning of play. If you have more than six cards of trump then you have to bury card(s) until you are to the correct number. If you bid and your team does not make the bid, you must subtract that many points from your score (if you bid 5 and don’t get it, you subtract 5 points from your score.) The goal is to reach 21 points before the other team does. If there is a tie at 21, the last bidder wins the game.


*Ace - Highest card in the game, automatic point
*Jack - 2nd highest point; 4th highest in power after the King & Queen.
*Jick - Opposite jack of the same color (ex. If clubs is trump, the jick is the jack of spades etc.)
*High Joker - Next highest point and card after the Jick
*Low Joker - Next highest point and card after the High Joker
*2 (Deuce) - Automatic point no matter what you play it on; put it in your pile as soon as you play it.
*"Game" - Count up a point value using A=4, K=3, Q=2, J=1, 10=10; whoever has the higher value wins--if both teams are tied in game points then the team that bid gets this point.

Shooting the Moon

In order to “shoot the moon,” you must first say that you are going to “shoot the moon” when you bid. To get that bid, you must get every single point listed above—but if you DO manage to shoot it, you win automatically…if you fail, you lose. NOTE: if you are in the negatives, you can shoot it to get to zero (0)—so it’s not normally worth it. You CAN shoot it from zero or above to win.


*Non-trump MAY be led on the first trick
*If non-trump is lead on any trick, players must play that same suit (if possible) OR trump…..If you do not have the suit that is lead, you may play anything in your hand.
*Tricks that have already been played must stay face-down for the remainder of the round.
*A misdeal occurs when you have only threes through nines in you hand; if this occurs, there will be a re-deal by the same person who just dealt.

Three-handed Smear

Three-handed Smear is about the same as four-handed smear but with one less person (hence "three-handed"). Almost all of the same rules apply to this version of Smear; the only major differences is that your minimum bid is "three", not four; also, there are no teams--it is individually played and you yourself must reach 21.

External links

* [ Rules of Card Games: Schmier]

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