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Double Pedro

Double Pedro is a card game of the All Fours family. It arose in the United States as a variation of Pitch around the beginning of the 20th century.

Double Pedro, also known as "Cinch" or "High Five", is a trick taking game for four players in two fixed partnerships. The name derives from the special role attributed to the 5’s in the game, the right and left Pedro which, though taking-on no special rank, are valuable cards to be caught in tricks.

The Cards

Standard deck of 52 cards. Cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10… 2.
In the Trump suit the cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 ,6, 5, 5*, 4, 3, 2, where “5*” is the ‘Left Pedro’ – the other five the same colour as the trump suit. So, if Hearts were trumps, the Right Pedro would be the 5 of Hearts and the Left Pedro would be the 5 of Diamonds.

Double Pedro Five of Spades

The Left and Right Pedros have no special value in rank, but they are the prized cards to be captured in tricks offering 5 points each.

The Deal

Play and deal are clockwise, and the deal proceeds to the left at the end of each hand. Players cut to deal and are dealt 9 cards each in batches of three.

Bidding

Starting left of the dealer, each player takes it in turn to bid by announcing how many points they think they can win. There are a maximum of 14 points to be won. Each bid must be higher than the previous. A player who does not wish to bid may pass, but in so doing cannot re-enter the bidding process again.

The highest bidder now becomes the “Maker” and calls trumps by announcing a suit. At this point, all players except the Dealer discard all non-trumps from their hands. Then, beginning with the player to the dealer’s left, each player receives as many as cards as are required to replenish his/her hand to 6 cards.

The Dealer then “robs the deck”, which means he/she first discards all non-trumps from his hand, announces how many he/she needs to restore their hand to six, and then fans through the deck, selecting whatever trumps he/she may choose. If there are not enough trumps, the Dealer may choose at his/her discretion whichever cards to restore their hand to six cards.

The Play

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

Rules

Double Pedro is a member of the All Fours family. Therefore it is always legal to play a trump.
The Rules go like this

  • If a Trump is led you must follow suit, if possible.
  • If a plain suit is led, you may either follow suit or play a trump.
  • If you can't follow suit, you can play any card.
  • The trick is won by the highest trump played to it. If no trumps are played, by the highest card of the suit led.

The rules mean this. Basically, it is always legal to play a trump. So, where normally you would follow suit to the card led, in Double Pedro you can instead choose to play a trump. However, if you’re not going to play a trump, then you are obligated to follow suit if you can. Where you can’t follow suit, you may play any card. That means that you don’t have to “trump in” if you don’t want to – you can play any card.

Objective

To win tricks with valuable cards. For the purposes of taking tricks, these cards have the following values

  • High Trump = 1
  • Low Trump = 1
  • Jack of Trumps = 1
  • Ten of Trumps (Game Trump) = 1
  • Right Pedro = 5
  • Left Pedro = 5

In all, there are a total of 14 points to win

Scoring

If the “Making Team” fulfills their contract, that is, they score as many points or more than was declared in their bid, then the team which took the highest number of points scores the difference between the two totals, and takes this as their points. Read carefully: that means that the Making Team can fulfill its contract, and yet still lose.

If the Making Team does not fulfill their contract, the opposition score 14 points, plus the number of points the Making Team fell short.

Double Pedro is played over several hands to a grand total of 51 points.


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