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Polignac

Polignac is a game of French origin alternatively known as "Quatre Valets", or in plain English, "Four Jacks".

Four Jacks is a simple trick taking game where you play to avoid capturing any Jack, but especially the Jack of Spades, known as the "Polignac".

The Cards

You need a 32 card deck which is achieved by shortening to 7s and Up. Cards rank A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, and 7.

The Deal

Players cut to deal, and are dealt 8 cards each, one at a time.

The Play

Left of the dealer leads first, and thereafter whoever wins the trick leads to the next.

The Rules

There is no trump. You must follow suit to the card led. If you can’t follow suit, then you can play any card. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.

Objective

To avoid winning tricks with any of the Jacks in them. Each Jack won in a trick accrues 1 point to your total. The Jack of Spades gives you two points. Points are also accrued for winning the 1st trick, 1 pt, and the last trick,1 pt. So there are 6 points to accrue as a penalties. The first side to accumulate 10 points loses.

Variations

Being a French game, the traditional ranking of cards went K, Q, J, A, 10. Seeing as the game was designed around this, the strategy is altered, and some would say the game diminished by this discrepancy. For the sake of authenticity, you can simply play the game "Four Queens" instead of "Four Jacks".


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