Combo Whist


English (version 1.5.1-en)

Rules (A4 paper)
Rules (A4 booklet)
Helper cards (not required)

Swedish (version 1.5.1-sv)

Rules (A4 paper)
Rules (A4 booklet)
Helper cards (not required)


GitHub link
Change log
git clone (copy link address)




Combo Whist is a trick-taking card game with a sophisticated bidding system that I originally invented sometime around 2007. At the time, a couple of friends and I were playing a lot of Whist during the breaks in senior high school. Being by far the greatest Whist player in our group1, I was getting annoyed by the high amount chance in the games which we were currently playing. This led me to create Combo Whist, which was designed to be more oriented around skill compared to other Whist games, while keeping the Whist-spirit intact, and without making the rules overly complicated2. A lot of my inspiration came from a game called l'Hombre3, which a couple of other friends and I played a lot at the time.

Anyway, when I just had written down the ruleset for Combo Whist I brought it to school and initially pretended that I had found it on the Internet (to keep my friends' opinions unbiased). Somewhat surprisingly, the game was a complete success, and all of us who played it found it much more entertaining than the ordinary Whist variant that we were playing because it was less monotone, but also because skill was much more useful in this game while luck was a smaller factor. Another major entertainment factor was the wording of many concepts in the game, which was very well suited to our kind of humor. Of course, after a couple of weeks when my friends' opinions were heard, I revealed that I was the actual author of the game, which at least one of my friends already sneakily suspected by then and also had jokingly accused me of earlier.


The game has since become much more balanced (although, it started out much more balanced than I would have guessed), and some rules have been added to it while some of the original rules have been modified. This has been an ongoing process from around the time of Combo Whist's creation in 2007, to this day in February, 2014, when I publish version 1.0 of it, although there have been breaks on the order of years in this development process. The game is still in development, though, and probably needs more polish when strategies which my friends and I haven't realized exist are revealed and turn out to be imbalanced. So if you play this game and have opinions about it, I would appreciate some feedback. The rules document are published under GNU General Public License (version 3 or later), and its LaTeX source is available for anyone to modify on GitHub.

Helper cards

As of version 1.5.0, I added a set of helper cards that can be printed, cut, possibly laminated with plastic and used with the game. However, they are optional because they do not actually have any real effect on the game, but their purpose is merely to help organize the players' thoughts during bidding. Before the helper cards were introduced, the bidding took a disproportionate amount of time, but with the helper cards, it can be carried out much faster and with fewer feelings of confusion than before. The helper cards can be seen as a partial copy of the rules, but presented in format different from the rules document.

1This is not universally agreed upon.

2I think some would argue that the rules of Combo Whist are overly complicated. I argue that they are extensive, but not very complicated. It is not necessary to know everything by heart in order to play it.

3The rules that we used deviate a bit from the ones given in the link. For the exact rules we used see “Kortspel & patienser” by Ulf Shenkmanis, ISBN: 9153411781 (in Swedish).