In Britain, the name Nomination Whist or Nominations is used for several different games, as listed on the Nomination Whist page. In this one, also known as Clag, the first few deals and the last few deals are played exactly like Oh Hell!, but in between these there is a series of additional deals with special rules. According to Taylor Foss, Clag originated in the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War, and the name is an acronym for Clouds Low Aircraft Grounded, reflecting the fact that air crews played this game while waiting for suitable weather for flying. The game is sometimes known as "Clagg" or "Cleg".
This game is suitable for 4 to 7 players. A standard 52-card pack is used with the cards in each suit normally ranking from high to low: A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2.
Deal and play are clockwise.
A game consists of 22 deals, the turn to deal passing to the left. The dealer shuffles, the player to dealer's right cuts, and the cards are dealt one at a time, face down, clockwise.
The number of cards dealt changes from deal to deal. In the first deal each player is dealt just one card; in the second deal players receive two cards each, in the third deal three cards each, and so on up to seven card each in the seventh deal. The next eight deals (8 to 15) have special rules, which will be described below. In each of these deals the players receive seven cards each. The last seven deals (16 to 22) are again normal with the hand size reducing by one each time: seven cards each in deal 16, six each in deal 17, five in deal 18 and so on down to one card each in the final deal 22.
The normal deals (1 to 7 and 16 to 22) and played in the same way as Oh Hell! After the deal, the next card in the pack is turned face up to indicate the trump suit and the remaining cards are stacked face down and not used.
Beginning with the player to dealer's left and going around clockwise, each player in turn must nominate how many tricks he or she will win. The dealer speaks last, and must commit to a number that does not give a total equal to the number of cards dealt. This ensures that at least one player will fail to win the number of tricks nominated.
The player to dealer's left leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if possible, playing the same suit as the card that was led: those unable to follow suit may play any card. If any trumps are played the trick is won by the highest trump in it. If it contains no trumps it is won by the highest card of the suit that was led. The winner of the trick gathers the cards, stacks them face down and leads any card to the next trick.
Players will score a point for each trick they win, plus a 10 point bonus if they win exactly as many as they nominated, neither more nor fewer.
The rules for the special deals are as follows. They are all played with seven card hands. Except where speified the nomination and play follows the same procedure as in the normal deals.
A cumulative score is kept for each player, all starting at zero.
The winner is the player who has the highest score at the end of the 22 deals.
If playing for money, each of the other players pays the winner according to the differences in their scores at the end of the game. The stake should be agreed in advance, for example 5p per point. There can also be an extra payment per failed contract, based on the difference between the number of times the winner's nomination was wrong and the number of times the other player was wrong - for example 10p per contract. So with these stakes, if the winner scored 184 and failed 4 times, and you scored 142 and failed 8 times, you would pay the winner £2.10 + 40p, that is £2.50.
It is possible that the winner will not be the player who has fewest failed contracts. In this case the amount paid to the winner by the players who failed less often will be 5p per point difference less the difference in the number of failed contracts. In this case it is even possible that the winner might have to pay one of the other players if their point difference is very small.
I am not sure what happens if there is a tie for most points at the end. I suggest that in this case the winner is the player among those with most points who has fewest failed contracts. If there is a tie for failed contracts as well, then the joint winners should share the payments of the other players equally between them.
Some score two points rather than one for each trick in a successful bid, so that for example a successful bid of 2 would score 14 points rather than 12.
Some play that no points are made for an unsuccessful bid, however many tricks are won.
According to the Clag Wikipedia page, in the 1990's a version of Clag was developed in which instead of playing the deals in a sepcific order, the dealer may choose the number of cards to deal to each player (minimum three, maximum seven) and then having looked at his or her cards may nominate it as a normal deal or as any type of special deal. The winner of each deal (the player who scores points and the first of these in clockwise order from the previous dealer in case of a tie) becomes the next dealer (known as the "caller").
The special deals available and the order in which they are played, if a fixed order is used, varies greatly. Some further options for special deals may be as follows.
When playing the version in which the dealer calls the game, special games can be combined - for example "Nuloss Precedence with Ascending Madness". A possible problem with this is that if the choice of special hands is too wide, a dealer who consistently calls the most favourable special hand for the cards he or she is dealt may be too difficult to dislodge.
Clagg Tournament page by Taylor Foss.
Wikipedia page for Clag.