Auction Pitch is a trick taking game of the All Fours Family. Whereas the original game of All Fours is traditionally played by four people in two fixed-partnerships, Auction Pitch, also known as "Set Back", works equally well with three or five players. What distinguishes this variation from other in the same family is that it includes a round of bidding as explained below.
Standard deck of 52 cards. Cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
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 Pitcher leads first, and thereafter the winner of the trick leads to the next.
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.
For the purposes of awarding game point, the following cards have a tally value:
Cards: A K Q J 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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