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Players and cards

  • Italian deck with 40 cards is used, with cards grouped in 4 suits (swords, clubs, cups, coins).
  • Each suit in the Italian deck contains the following cards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Fante, Cavallo, Re
  • Each card has a capture value, which is used while playing the cards. The cards with a number have the same value, Jack is 8, Knight is 9, and King is 10.
  • Each card has also Prime (Primiera) value, which is used at the end of a hand.
Card 7 6 1 5 4 3 2 King Knight jack
Prime value 21 18 16 15 14 13 12 10 10 10

Dealing

  • The dealer gives 3 cards initially to all players; also, the dealer places 4 cards face-up on the table.
  • When playing with 4 players, the cards are dealt and played in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • After dealing each player can only see the cards in his hand, and also the cards face-up on the table.

Playing cards

Players play in turn (in a counter-clockwise direction), each one placing 1 card on the table trying to capture some of the cards on the table and make a trick.

Taking new cards

After playing the 3 cards they have, the players obtain 3 more cards from the deck of cards that are not used yet. This process is repeated until all cards are played.

Capturing conditions

Trick-taking (capturing) is based on the card value; the suit is not relevant for capturing. The player either captures 1 card with the same value, or few cards with total value equal to the played card.

For example, a player can capture 5 of coins card laying on the table by playing 5 of cups card from his hand. Also, a player can capture both 5 of coins and 2 of swords cards laying on the table by playing 7 of cups card from his hand.

Dealing of the cards

  • The first dealer is selected randomly.
  • The dealer for the next games is the next one in a counter-clockwise direction (the former forehand).
  • Dealing is in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • Each player receives 7 cards.
  • After the cards dealt, the remaining ones form the Stock.
  • The top card from the Stock is placed separately face-up, forming the beginning of the discard pile.

Playing without capturing

Playing a card that captures is not mandatory; if the player plays a card that cannot capture, this card remains on the table. Thus, the number of face-up cards on the table increases.

Scopa

It could happen that a player plays a card that captures all cards on the table. This is called Scopa. The next player should place a card on the table, since there would be no cards for capturing.

Last cards on the table

After the final card is played one of the following happens:

  • If the last card captures all available cards they go to the last player (it is called Scopa).
  • If 1 or more cards remain on the table, they are automatically taken by the player who most recently captured cards.

Scoring

At the end of a hand the teams review the captured cards. For each of the conditions listed below, a team that meets it scores 1 point: