Skat Card Game

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Skat is Germany’s No.1 card game. It was invented around 1820 in Altenburg (Thuringia). The game is not easy to learn and requires a lot of patience. It can train your brain to think strategically.

Skat is played with 32 cards – from ace to seven. This is a 3-player card game where everyone gets 10 cards at the beginning. The main objective is to get as many points as possible. The gameplay consists of two phases: the Auction and the actual game.

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Skat is considered one of the best three-player card games in the world. One of the most fascinating aspects of Skat is that the players have more options than just calling a trump suit. This gives Skat its depth and variety. The main goal is to get as many points as possible.

Ranking and Skat Cards

Skat is a game for three people. The card game is played with a French (or German) suits of 32 cards and everyone receives 10 cards. Like the well-known French deck, the German deck also consists of four suits. However, the four suits in a French/German deck are as follows:

French Skat suits:

  • ♣ Clubs (Kreuz)
  • ♠ Spades (Pik)
  • ♥ Hearts (Herz)
  • ♦ Diamonds (Karo)

German Skat suits:

  • ♣ Acorns (Kreuz)
  • ♠ Leaves (Pik)
  • ♥ Hearts (Rot)
  • ♦ Bells (Schellen)

The Skat cards rankings are as follows: J ♣, J ♠, J ♥, J ♦, (in the Trump suit) A, 10, K, Q, 9, 8, 7.

The Auction

The dealer deals 3 cards to each player, 2 cards in the middle (this is the Skat) and then 4 cards to each player. The player to the left of the dealer is the Forehand (F), the player to the left of the forehand is the Middle hand (M) and the player to the left is the Rear hand (H). The Bidding (point auction) begins with F and M. The Bidding determines which player plays as the Declarer against the other two.

The bidding must start after the cards have been dealt. During the auction, players place bids to determine who will be the Declarer for the current hand. A bid is a possible value of points that are available in the game. The lowest bid is 18 points. The possible double-digit values: 18 – 20 – 22 – 23 – 24 – 27 – 30 – 33 – 35 – 36 – 40 – 44 – 45 – 46 – 48 – 50 – 54 – 55 – 59 – 60 – 63 – 66 – 70 – 72 …

The basic rules of a Skat Auction are as follows:

Yes – offers the same number as the other player and remains in the auction.

Pass – no longer offer.

Higher bid – offers a higher number than the other player.

The player who won the bid (placed the highest bid) becomes the Declarer for the current hand.

Game Possible Contracts

After the Declarer has won the bid, he may pick up the two skat cards and discard two cards again. Then he can choose between the following game variants:

Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Clubs: A color is declared a trump card, the declarer tries to reach 61 points.

Grand: Only Jacks are trumps, the declarer tries to earn 61 points.

Null: No trump cards, the declarer tries to lose every trick.

Value of the Game

Null games have the following stimulus values:

  • Null (Zero): 23 (Skat can be picked up)
  • Null Hand: 35 (kat will not be accepted)
  • Null Ouvert: 46 (Skat is picked up and the player places his card face up on the table)
  • Null Ouvert Hand: 59 (Skat is not accepted and the player places his card face up on the table)

Core values:

  • ♣ Clubs 12
  • ♠ Spades 11
  • ♥ Hearts 10
  • ♦ Diamonds 9

Extras – each + 1:

  • Hand: Skat is not accepted
  • Schneider: 30 or fewer points
  • Schwarz: Opponent does not get a trick
  • Ouvert: The declarer will take all the tricks

Card points

The cards have the following counts, also called eyes:

  • Ace = 11 eyes
  • Ten = 10 eyes
  • King = 4 eyes
  • Lady = 3 eyes
  • Jack = 2 eyes
  • Nine = 0 eyes
  • Eight = 0 eyes
  • Seven = 0 eyes
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