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Rubicon Bézique
card game rules

Rubicon Bézique is an extended version of Bézique for two players which uses 128 cards compiled from four short decks.

The Cards

To play Rubicon Bézique you'll need a deck of 128 cards. To achieve this, take four decks of standard playing cards and strip out all the 6’s and down. That will give you four decks of 32 cards. Combined and shuffled together will provide you with a deck of 128 cards with four each of A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7 in each suit.

Cards Rank

Traditional ranking of cards in Bézique is A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7

The Deal

Each player is dealt nine cards in batches of three. The rest of the deck is left face down in the middle of the table to form the stock. No trump is turned. Players take up their hands and if either has been dealt a hand with no court cards, he/she announces this as Carte Blanche and demonstrates it by playing each of his/her cards face up on the table in rapid succession. The player scores 50 for it immediately. If, subsequently, the player draws a card which is not a court card, the player may show it to his/her opponent and score another 50 for Carte Blanche. This privilege ends as soon as the player draws a court card.

Trumps

The game begins without a trump. As soon as one player declares a marriage, or a sequence as outlined below, the suit of that marriage becomes the trump suit and the player declaring it scores 40 for it.

The Play

The Non-Dealer leads to the first trick, and thereafter the winner of the trick leads to the next. The player following to the lead need not follow suit, but may trump or play any card as he/she so chooses. The trick is thereby won by the highest trump played to it. If no trumps are played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. If two cards of identical suit and rank are played to the one trick, then the card led wins the trick, the onus being on the follower to beat the lead, not just equal it.

For the purposes of trick taking, cards rank A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7.

A player’s turn consists of playing a card to a trick. The winner of the trick then draws the top card of the stock unseen, and the loser of the trick draws the next one. Upon winning a trick, and before drawing from the stock, a player may declare any one of the following combinations by placing them face down on the table in front of him/her, and scoring the respective points for it immediately. A player at his/her turn may make just one declaration.

Combinations for Melding

Combination

Cards

Points

Sequences

Trump Sequence

A, 10, K, Q, J in Trumps

250

Plain Suit Sequence

A, 10, K, Q, J in plain suit

150

Royal Marriage

K, Q in Trumps

40

Common Marriage

K, Q in plain suit

20

Quartets

Hundred Aces

Any Four Aces

100

Eighty Kings

Any Four Kings

80

Sixty Queens

Any Four Queens

60

Forty Jacks

Any Four Jacks

40

Bézique

Bézique

Q♠, J♦

40

Double Bézique

Q♠, J♦, Q♠, J♦

500

Rules for Melding

The combinations are divided into three classes; Sequences, Quartets and Beziques. A card used and scored for in a combination cannot be used again in a lower combination of the same class, but may be used in another combination of a lower or higher class. Thus, for example, a Queen used in Sequence may subsequently be used in a Quartet, and subsequently in a Bezique. However, a Queen used in a marriage, may not be used in Sequence, but can be used in a Quartet or Bezique.

In Quartets, note that the four cards may be any combination, not necessarily one of each suit.

A card may be declared twice in the same combination, so long as at least one card of that combination is played to a trick. Thus, for example, if Sixty Queens is laid out and declared, and one of them is played out to a trick, another Queen can be added to the remaining three to score Sixty Queens again. Similarly, if the player has declared a number of Marriages all in the same suit, and plays one of the cards to a trick, he/she may then take a partner from an existing Marriage, place it along side the remaining sole Monarch, and score for the Marriage again, without having to take a card from hand to make up a new Marriage. This is in contrast to rules for Bezique and Pinochle. This is the same for Béziques and Double Béziques.

The End Game

So long as there are cards in the stock, a player does not have to follow suit to the card led. He/she may discard or trump at will. However, once the stock is exhausted, the time for meld-making is over. Players take up all their cards in hand, and the last 9 tricks are played out according to these strict rules:

  • A player must follow suit to the card led, and must try to win the trick by playing a higher card, if they can
  • If the player cannot follow suit, then he/she must trump in
  • If the player cannot follow suit, and cannot trump in, only then may he/she play any card
  • The Trick is won by the highest trump played to it. If no trumps are played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.
  • If two identical cards are played to the same trick, the trick is won by the card led

It is in this manner that the last nine tricks are played. The winner of the last trick scores 50 for it.

Brisques and Aces

Brisques and Aces DO NOT count except to break a tie. Each player reduces his score to the nearest hundred below, and the winner scores the difference plus 500 for the game. If the loser has less than 1000 he has failed to cross the Rubicon, and the winner scores an additional 500, even if he himself failed to score 1000 points.

If the rounding down results in a tie, then brisques and Aces are counted at 10 each and the new totals rounded down. If this still produces a tie, then the player with the higher actual score rounds up, instead of down to produce a difference of 100.


L I N K S



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