The 52 Card Games project is my first 52 Weeks project. I love card games, and I love learning new games and playing the games I love. For this project, I’m documenting a new card game each Friday. In case you’ve missed any of the first sixteen games, check out all of the previous 52 CARD GAMES.
We played this game for the first time at our last card party, and although it seems intimidating at first (Don’t be afraid), we had a blast once we got the hang of it. Try it out! 🙂
The Cards. This game is played with only 24 cards in the 52 card deck: the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, Tens and Nines.
Card Value. The card points are as follows:
Ace= 11 points
So with these 24 cards, there are a total of 120 points to be scored. However, a player can score extra points if they have a “marriage” between the King and Queen of the same suit.
If a player has a marriage, in order to score the extra points, they have to “declare” their marriage. A player can declare a marriage when they’re leading a trick by announcing the pair. Both cards must still be in the player’s hand at this point, and the player must immediately play one of the cards in the pair.
King and Queen of Hearts 100 points
King and Queen of Diamonds 80 points
King and Queen of Clubs 60 points
King and Queen of Spades 40 points
Any player can deal first, and afterwards, the deal should rotate to the left. The dealer should deal seven cards to each player and three cards face down in the center of the table. These three cards are called the “prikup.” They should be dealt randomly while you’re dealing the other player’s cards.
Bidding happens prior to the play and after players have looked at their cards. The lowest bid is 100 and the highest bid (without a marriage) is 120. Bids have to be made in increments of 5 (100, 105, 110, 115, or 120). You are only allowed to bid more than 120 points if you have a marriage.
The bid begins to the dealer’s left. The player to the dealer’s left must bid at least 100. The bid then moves clockwise. Each subsequent player must either bid higher than the highest previous bid or pass. Once a player passes, they can’t bid again. The bidding continues until the other two players have passed.
The highest bidder becomes “The Declarer,” and their bid is the only bid that matters. They must achieve at least as many points as they bid in order to score positive points (see scoring for the details on bids/points). The Declarer flips over the 3 cards in the prikup and then takes them all into the his/her hand. He or she then gives any two unwanted cards to the other two players (face down), one to each. Each player will now have eight cards.
At this point, the dealer is allowed to increase his or her bid to any higher multiple of 5 or they can leave it.
Caveat: After the talon has been exchanged, if any player has all four nines, that player can show his or her cards and demand a re-deal.
The Declarer leads off the first trick, and the winner of each trick gets to lead the next trick. A marriage can not be declared prior to the first trick. When a player declares a marriage, that suit becomes trump until another marriage is declared (there is no trump prior to that). Remember you can’t declare a marriage unless both cards are still in your hand (if you played one at some point earlier in the trick, you can’t declare the marriage).
Players must follow suit. If you can’t follow suit, you can either play a trump or throw off (play another suit). The highest card of the lead suit wins the trick unless their are trumps played. If there are trumps played, the highest trump wins the trick. Don’t forget that tens are higher than kings.
A player scores all of the points for the cards in the tricks that they’ve won plus the value of any marriages they declared.
If the Declarer scores as many points (or more) as he or she bid, their bid is added to their score (not the amount of total points they scored-just their bid amount). If the declarer doesn’t make their bid, they must subtract the number of points they bid from their score.
Regardless of whether the Declarer makes their bid or not, the other players score the points of any tricks they win. All players should round points to the nearest 5.
Ending the Game
they’re having a blast. don’t let them fool you.
In order to win, you have to get on “the barrel.” If a player’s score is below 880 and they score enough points to make it to 880 or above, the player’s score becomes 880 and a box is drawn around it or a symbol is drawn in the player’s column on the score sheet to show that the player is on the barrel – in Russian Бочка (bochka). If a player is on the barrel, he or she has three chances to score at least 120 points on a hand to win the game.
A player can’t stay on the barrel for more than three consecutive hands. If a player fails to win by the third hand, the player falls off the barrel and loses 120 points. If you’re on the barrel, there are three potential outcomes:
- You are the Declarer, score at least 120 points on a hand, and you win the game.
- You are the Declarer and fail to make your bid, the amount of your bid is subtracted from your score as usual, and you are no longer on the barrel.
- If you are not the declarer, then any points that you make do not count for you – even if you take 120 or more you do not win. If this is your first or second hand on the barrel, then your cumulative score stays at 880 and you are still on the barrel. But if this is your third consecutive hand on the barrel, you are fined 120 points and are off the barrel – your score is therefore reduced from 880 to 760 points.
and voila! you’re an expert. 😉 I know this one’s tricky, but please let me know if any of this is confusing. I’m happy to help!
Download and print rules so you can easily play at home.
Play on, players!