I was talking to an old choir mate of mine on the way back today. It's been quite some time since I last saw him. He was my favourite junior in choir, and I was pretty good friends with him. Together with another senior of mine, we usually hung out playing bridge, always dragging another person along. He was telling me that maybe I should publish the game that we invented one night at Genting while we were there for a chorale competition.

Our obsession with bridge and hearts had us playing at any opportunity we got, and somehow, we ended up creating a game a combination of the two. It follows rules of hearts, but has a bit of bridge aspects to it too:

  • Deal out to four people as usual.

  • Each person passes 1 card of their choice to each person in the game.

  • Game starts with the 2 of clubs just like hearts

  • The game is like a no trump round of bridge

  • You are not allowed to break the hearts suit unless you have no cards of the suit currently played

  • Cannot break hearts on first round

  • Each set won is worth 5 points to the person winning it

  • Each set with hearts is worth negative the number of hearts cards there are in that set.

  • Queen of Spades is worth -7

  • 7 of diamonds or 7 of clubs in the set nullifies it to 0 points, but trumps the entire set. If both are placed, diamonds wins over clubs as usual.

  • Game ends when a player reaches -30, or +30, or 15 rounds has passed
  • The game was initially called Brats (pronounced Br-AHHH-ts). A fusion between bridge and hearts. But then, somehow, we changed it to STAB, cos it was mostly like hearts backstabbing everyone else to get to the top. STAB also stands for Soprano, Tenor, Alto, Bass btw, so it may have had some influence on the choice of name that we took.

    If you actually try the game, you'll realise that the strategies for it are very different from either hearts or bridge. In fact, if you use the usual hearts strategy, you'll end up nowhere...

20:25 22 Jul 2009