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Auction Pitch

Auction Pitch is a trick taking game. It is also known as "Setback" and belongs to the All Fours family.

The Cards

Standard deck of 52 cards. Cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Deal

Players cut for the deal, and each player is dealt 6 cards in batches of 3. Play and deal are clockwise, and the deal proceeds to the left.


The are four points on offer per deal. These are for High, Low, Jack and Game. The idea is to win tricks with valuable cards in them, and to capture the Jack of Trumps.


Starting left of the dealer, each player takes it in turn to bid by announcing how many points they think they can get, but do not name a suit. A player who does not wish to bid may pass, but in so doing, cannot re-enter the bidding process.


The highest bidder becomes the Pitcher, and trumps are established by his/her first lead.

The Play

The Pitcher leads first, and thereafter the winner of the trick leads to the next.


  • When a trump is led, you must follow suit.
  • If a plain suit is thrown you can either follow suit or play a trump.
  • The trick is won by the highest trump, or if no trumps are played, by the highest card of the suit led.


The Pitching team score if they make at least as many points as was bid. In such a case, they score what they make, even if it is more than the bid.

If the Pitcher fails to make their contract, they are set back the amount of their bid, and lose that many points, as they had bid.

There are four points to be had and there are awarded in this strict order. These are High, Low, Jack, Game.

  1. High: This is for being dealt the highest trump in play
  2. Low: This is for being dealt the lowest trump in play. It doesn't matter who wins the card in a trick. The point is awarded to the player or team that was dealt the lowest trump in that hand.
  3. Jack: This point goes to the player or side that wins the Jack of Trumps in a Trick.
  4. Game: This point is awarded to the player or side that has the highest tally of valuable cards.

For the purposes of awarding game point, the following cards have a tally value:

Cards: A K Q J 10
Value: 4 3 2 1 10

So, at the end of play, each player counts up how many Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and 10s they have, assigning to them their respective values, and together with their partner’s, announce their tally. The side with the highest tally is awarded Game Point.


The game is played over several hands to grand totals of 7 or 11 or as is agreed at the beginning of play.

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