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Game Overview

Pinochle is a 4 player card game that is played with partners. Work with the player sitting across from you to score the most points by taking tricks containing 10's, Kings and Aces. The game is devised of three parts - Bidding, Melding and Trick Taking. Pinochle uses an 80 card deck - 2 decks of cards with all of the 2's-9's removed.

Each player is dealt 20 cards and are sorted by value - Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack. Note that the 10 is the 2nd highest value card. Bidding begins with the player left of the dealer, and rotates around the table. Bid if you think you and your partner can score enough points to pass the bid between melding and tricks. The winner of the bid chooses trump. Trump can only be chosen for a suit containing both a King and Queen (known as marriage).

Meld points change based on which suit is declared trump. Earn points for Runs, Marriages, Pinochles and All Arounds. Cards can only be used for one meld - for example an Q and K can be used for a marriage and a run. If you win the bid, you and partner must be able to make at least 20 points through melds, or you will be forced to surrender the hand.

Once trump is declared and meld points are figured out, the hand begins. Take tricks containing A, 10, or K to score counter points. The person who takes the last trick leads the next turn. Each player must follow suit, unless they are out of the suit, then they must play the trump suit. The last trick of the hand earns 2 extra counter points.

After the hand, the meld and counter points are added together to the team totals. If the team that won the bid doesn't score enough points to cover their bid, they lose the amount of points they bid. The defending team scores all their points regardless. The first team to score 500 points wins the game.


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