St Patrick, first released as Salvage, is a simple trick-taking game that combines the fun of Hearts with the assessment of Oh Hell and the fairness of duplicate Bridge. Everyone starts at 20 points and takes damage over the course of play. The game ends when one player reaches 0, at which time the player with the most points wins.
In the original Salvage game, an oil tanker is on fire, and you are part of a rescue team sent to deal with it. You will take damage as you put out the fires, but before the operation begins you can salvage oil as an insurance against the costs you expect to suffer.
The key dynamic of the game is that before playing a hand you assess the strength of your cards and make a bid of how many points you are prepared to lose not to play the hand. That bid acts as an insurance, and you will be penalized only for points you lose above that bid. However, if everyone’s combined bids equal the total amount of damage that can be taken, then everyone loses the amount they bid, and the hands get passed around the table so that other players have a chance to do better with the same hand.
In St Patrick, you now compete to retain the most life points by using relics to avoid snake bites.