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Bezique is thought to have originated in Sweden and was played in 19th century gaming establishments of Paris. Bezique first made itself known in Britain around the 1860s, but never really gained in popularity. However, it found much enthusiasm in the United States, and developed into a more popular variation, Pinochle.

Bezique is a very good card game for two players. It is a fast engaging game that involves a combination of meld-making and trick taking.

The Cards

Take two packs of cards and strip them of all 6s and down. That leaves a deck of 64 cards.

Cards Rank: A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7


To score points by melding certain combinations. To win tricks with valuable cards in them. The first to accumulate 1000 points over several hands wins the game.

The Deal

Players cut to deal, and each player receives 8 cards, dealt in batches of 2 or 3, with the remainder of the deck left as stack. Turn the top card face up to establish trumps, and leave half protruding from beneath the stack.

The Play

The play is in two parts, the Preliminary and the Play-off. In the preliminary, the objective is to score points by declaring certain combinations. In the play off the objective is to win tricks with valuable cards in them.

The Preliminary

The non-dealer leads first, and thereafter, the winner of the trick leads to the next. At the conclusion of each trick, each player draws a card from the stack. Winner draws first.

You can lead any card, and there is no obligation to follow suit. The trick is won by the highest trump played to it, or by the highest card of the suit led. If the cards are equal, the trick goes to the leader.

Upon winning a trick, but before drawing from the stack, a player may meld any one of the following combinations and score for it immediately, by laying the cards down, face up on the table in front of them and announcing its point value, such as "Four Kings for 80". Only one combination may be melded in a turn.

Scoring Combinations in Bezique

Queen of Spades and Jack of Diamands
Double Bezique

40 pts


Royal Marriage
King and Queen of Trumps

40 pts

Common Marriage
King and Queen of any other suit

20 pts

Four Aces

100 pts

Four Kings

80 pts

Four Queens

60 pts

Four Jacks

40 pts

A, 10, K, Q, J in Trumps only

250 pts

Apart from Declarations, you may also score 10 points for:

  • Playing the lowest Trump (the Seven)
  • Showing the lowest Trump
  • Exchanging the lowest Trumps for the Trump Card. Upon winning a trick, a player may show the "Deece", and exchange it for the upturned trump card.

In this stage of the game, there is little incentive to winning tricks, except if you wish to make a declaration, or if there's an Ace or a Ten for the taking.

Eventually, the stack of cards will exhaust until you are left with the last two cards. The winner of this trick draws the last face down card, and shows it to his/her opponent, and leads to the next, and the other player draws the face up card.

The Play Off

Now the stack is exhausted, the time for meld making is over, and trick taking has come. Now we play the last 8 tricks in the following manner. The objective is to win tricks with valuable cards in them, and to win the last trick.

The following rules apply:

  • You must follow suit to the card led, if possible.
  • You must try to win the trick, by playing a higher card
  • If you can't follow suit, you must play a trump. If a trump is led, you must overtrump, if possible.
  • The winner of the last trick scores 10 points for it.
  • 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 the cards are equal, as they often can be, the trick goes to the leader.


At the end of play, each player takes all the cards he/she won in tricks and awards themselves 10 points for each Ace and each Ten they have. Because there are 8 Aces and 8 Tens, there are 160 points on offer.

Thus points are awarded for melds made in the preliminary, and from all the Aces and 10s contained in the tricks the player has won.


Bezique is played over several hands to a grand total of 1000 points. THe winner is the first player to reach 1000 points, but if he/she does so before the opponent reaches 500 points, then the winner scores double for that.


Rules for Bezique - Card Games Website
How to play Bezique - In-depth Guide - Card Games Heaven
How to play Bezique - Cats at Cards

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