This popular German game is a good two-player game. It may be regarded as a cross between Bezique and Skat.
Shorten the pack to 9 and up, giving you a total of 24 cards. Cards rank A, 10, K, Q, J, 9 in each suit.
Players cut to deal and each player is dealt six cards each in batches of three. The thirteenth card is turned face up beside the stock. This upturned card establishes trumps.
To score 66 or more points capturing counting cards in tricks, declaring ‘marriages’ and winning the last trick.
For the purposes of counting the value of cards won in tricks, the cards have the following face value
The non-dealer leads first, and thereafter the winner of the trick leads to the next after drawing a card from the stock, winner first.
A player holding a ‘marriage’ may declare it only when it is his/her turn to lead. The player must show both cards and lead one of them to the trick.
A player holding the 9 of trumps may exchange it at any time for the upturned trump provided that he/she has won at least one trick and there is at least one face down card remaining in the stock.
Once the stock has been exhausted, the End Game begins. In the play of the last six tricks, the following rules apply
Closing the Stock
Before the stock is finished, either player may announce “Close”, and indicate this by turning down the face up trump. The player may do this before or after drawing from the stock.
Once the stock is closed, no more cards may be drawn from it, and play proceeds immediately to the End Game for the last six or five tricks. In this case, there is no bonus for winning the last trick.
If the player who closed the stock does not win the hand, they are penalized and their opponent scores two game points.
If either player announces during play that he/she has reached a score of 66 points, the game is closed and no further tricks are played. However, if the claimant is wrong, and they don’t have at least 66 points, then they are penalized with their opponent scoring two game points.
The first to reach 66 points scores 1 point for game or 2 points if their opponent has failed to make 33 points or has not won a single trick. If neither player has 66 points at the end of the hand OR both players have more than 66, then neither score for the hand but an extra game point is awarded to the winner of the next deal.
The game is played over several hands, with the winner the first to reach 7 game points.