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Official Piquet Card Game Rules

Piquet is a two-player trick-taking card game with a rich history and a focus on point scoring through declarations, tricks won, and canny card discarding. Here's a breakdown of the essentials:

Objective

Score more points than your opponent by strategically bidding on potential scoring opportunities, winning tricks, and accumulating points through declarations based on your hand.

Setup

1. Shuffle the Deck: Mix the cards thoroughly.


2. Deal the Cards: Deal twelve cards face down to each player, three cards at a time. These are your playing hand.


3. The Talon:  The remaining eight cards are placed face down in the center of the table. This pile is called the "talon."

Gameplay

Piquet involves distinct phases that combine bidding, discarding, declarations, and trick-taking:

1. Bidding (Carte Blanche):

  • Players can bid for a bonus of 20 points if they believe their hand has no cards below a ten (Carte Blanche). Bidding starts with the elder hand (non-dealer) and moves to the younger hand (dealer).

  • If both players pass, no points are awarded for Carte Blanche.

2. Discards:

  • Each player secretly discards three cards from their hand, placing them face down in a pile. These discarded cards can be used strategically to improve your hand for declarations or trick-taking.

3. Declarations:

  • After discarding, players take turns declaring scoring combinations they hold in their remaining hand (e.g., sequences, sets, etc.). Each declaration earns a set amount of points. You can see a detailed breakdown of scoring points for declarations later in this guide.

  • Once a player passes on declarations, their opponent has a final chance to declare.

4. Trick-taking:

  • The remaining cards (after discarding) are played in tricks, with the elder hand leading the first trick. Players must follow suit if possible. The highest card of the led suit, or the highest trump card played (if no cards of the led suit were played), wins the trick.

  • The winner of each trick leads the next trick.

5. Scoring:

  • Points are accumulated throughout the game from:

    • Carte Blanche bid (if successful)

    • Points declared from your hand

    • Points earned for winning tricks (10 points for winning all 12 tricks is called Capot and earns 40 points)

6. Round End:

  • After all tricks are played, the final scores are tallied, and the player with the most points wins the round.

Scoring Declarations:

  • Sequences: Three or more consecutive cards in the same suit score points based on the length of the sequence (3 cards = 3 points, 4 cards = 4 points, up to 8 cards = 18 points).

  • Sets: Three or four cards of the same rank score points (Tricks = 3 points, Quartets = 14 points). A player with the higher set wins the points if both players declare sets of the same rank.

  • Points: Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings each hold point values (10, 2, 3, 4 points respectively). The player with the most points from these cards wins them.

Winning the Game

Piquet is typically played for a set number of rounds (often 3, 5, or 7). The player with the highest score after all rounds wins the game.

Notes/Variations

  • The Talon: After discarding, players can choose three cards from the talon to replace the cards they discarded. This adds another layer of strategy to improve your hand.

  • Rubicon Piquet: A variation where the loser must score at least 100 points to avoid a penalty.

Piquet offers a rich and strategic experience that rewards careful hand management, clever bidding, and well-timed declarations. So grab a deck of cards, a partner, and see if you can master the art of Piquet!

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