What does lead mean in a card game?
The card term lead has several similar meanings:
In almost every trick-taking card game, the player to the left of the dealer leads the first trick of the game, and the winner of a each particular trick throughout the remainder of the game will be the lead player for the next.
Most times, when a player leads, they can play any card in their hand (except trump, in some cases). Then, players usually have to "follow suit" (play a card with the same suit as the lead suit) if they have a card of that suit. If they do not have a card with the same suit as the lead card, they can often trump or "sluff" (play a card that they know is not going to win). Typically, only cards that are of the lead suit (or trump, if one is played) are able to win. Cards that are not of the lead suit nor of the trump suit are played as sluff cards.
How does lead apply to the card game 4 Seasons of War?
In 4 Seasons, a randomly selected player leads the game. Thereafter, the winner of each trick leads next. It is important to note that since cards are not shuffled between hands (like most trick-taking games), the lead player of the following hand is not the player to the left of the dealer, but still the player who won the last trick of the last hand.
Another unique thing about 4 Seasons is that players do not have to follow the suit of the lead card. They may play any card that they want on their turn.
Lastly, like most trick-taking games, only cards of the lead suit (or trump, if one is played) can win a trick.