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Bezique

Game Type
Trick Taking
Age
Adults
Players
2
Deck
Standard

The original game of Bezique is the ancestor of American Pinochle, which, along with other versions - most notably, Rubicon Bezique and Six-Pack Bezique - have become more popular than the parent game. Three- and Four-Hand Bezique variations are described later.

Number of Players

Two people can play.

The Pack

Two standard 52-card packs are stripped to form two 32-card packs containing the Ace down through the seven of each suit. The 32-card packs are shuffled together to form a pack of 64 cards.

Rank of Cards

A (high), 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7.

The Shuffle and Cut.

One player shuffles. Each player lifts a portion of the pack and shows the bottom card. Low card deals first. If cards of the same rank are shown, the players cut again. Each player may then shuffle, the dealer last. The non-dealer cuts about half the pack and the dealer completes the cut.

The Deal

Eight cards are dealt in packets of three, then two, and then three, beginning with the non-dealer. The next card is turned and its suit indicates the trump suit. The undealt cards are placed face down, partly covering the trump card, and become the stock.

Object of The Game

The goal is to show and score for certain declarations, and to win tricks containing aces and tens, called "brisques."

Scoring

If the dealer turns a seven as the trump card, he scores 10. Thereafter, either player, upon winning a trick, may exchange a trump seven for the trump card, or merely declare a trump seven, and score 10.

The other declarations are:
Marriage (K, Q of the same suit) in trumps 40
Marriage (K, Q) in any other suit 20
Sequence (A, 10, K, Q, J of trumps) 250
Bezique (Q, J) 40
Double Bezique 500
Any 4 aces 100
Any 4 kings 80
Any 4 queens 60
Any 4 jacks 40

Each brisque (ace or 10) taken in counts 10. Winning the last trick counts 10.

All points except brisques are scored as soon as they are made, either on a scorepad or with chips. After the play ends, brisques and the last trick are counted and scored.

The Play

Non-dealer leads. Thereafter, the winner of each trick leads next. Any card may be played to the lead. The card led wins the trick unless a higher-ranking card of the same suit or a trump is played.

After winning a trick, a player may make any declaration by placing the cards face up on the table in front of him and leaving them there until he wants to play them, which he may do at any time.

After making the declaration, if any, the winner of the trick draws the top card of the stock, and the opponent draws the next card to restore each hand to eight cards.

A player may declare and show more than one declaration at a turn, but may score for only one at that time; he may score others (or a new declaration) the next time he wins a trick.

A card may not be used twice in the same declaration, but may be used in different declarations. Example: if spades are trump, the Q¢¼ may be used in a marriage, a sequence, a bezique and four queens; but if four queens were declared and one of them was played, another queen may not be added to the three still on the table to score an additional 60 points; four different queens would be required.

The K, Q of trumps may be declared as 40, and the A, J, 10 added at a later turn to score 250; but if the entire sequence is declared at once, the K, Q may no longer be declared as 40.

Likewise, a bezique may be declared as 40 and a second bezique added for 500, but if a double bezique is declared at once, it counts only 500.

When the stock contains only one face-down card, the winner of the previous trick takes it, but may not declare. His opponent takes the exposed trump. Each player picks up any cards still exposed on the table. The winner leads, and in the play of the last eight cards, each player must follow suit and try to win the trick if possible.

Game

The game is 1,500 points. If both players reach 1,500 on the same deal, the higher score wins. Some people play 1,000 points as the game, and in some games, each deal represents a full game.