I’m not really sure what this game is called or if it even has a name, but it’s a nice way to teach children about tarot card games and familiarize them with these beautiful playing cards. It is played between two players and it requires virtually no skill, since all the information is available to both of them.
When I played this game, I played it with the Austrian 54 card deck, but you can adjust it for the full 78 card deck as well. So let’s see how you play it…
- The Fool – He’s the highest trump an thus the strongest card in the deck.
- I-XXI of trumps – Strongest cards in the deck, with the strongest being the XXI and then XX and so on…
1.Spades and Clubs(strongest to weakest):
- King, Queen, Cavalier, Valet, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
2.Hearts and Diamonds(strongest to weakest)::
- King, Queen, Cavalier, Valet, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Each player is dealt 4 upside down stacks, three of them with 9 cards and one with 8. Usually the stacks are dealt one at a time for each player. Before the start of the game both players turn around the top cards of all 4 of their stacks.
This game is basically a totally open game, hence why I think it’s prefect for children. Now that the top cards are open the dealer starts by leading the first trick. He can play any of the 4 top cards of his stacks. The other player must then follow suit. That means that he has to play the same suit, if he can not, he has to play a trump, if he can not do that either, then he can play any card, but he won’t win the trick.
The winner of each trick takes the two cards into his trick pile and proceeds to lead the next trick. Every time a player plays one of his cards, he opens the next top card on that stack. The game continues like this until both players run out of cards.
When the game is finished players count the value of their tricks to determine the winner. So let us first take a look at how you count…
…counting is done in batches of 3 cards. When you have one face card(The Fool and Trump I and XXI also count as face cards) the value of that batch of cards is equal to the value of that face card, if you have 2 face cards in one batch of 3 cards you subtract 1 point, if you have 3, you subtract 2 points, if you have a batch with just trumps and non face cards, it’s worth 1 point. Clear? OK, now here are the values of face cards:
- King = 5 points
- Queen = 4 points
- Cavalier = 3 points
- Valet = 2 points
- The Fool = 5 points
- Trump XXI = 5 points
- Trump I = 5 points
Players than score either positive game points or negative game point for the difference between their score and 35.