Card set. 32 cards ranking from Seven (lowest) to Ace (highest).
Number of players. This release implements a three-player version, however the game may be played by four players (dealer skips the current game) or by two players (non-contractor controls two other hands keeping the cards on the table face up).
This page considers standard (default) rules. Rule variations are discussed in Configuration section.
A game session involves several types of a game, offering either penalty points (penalty games) or bonus points (award games).
In a penalty game, a player is penalised for taking either tricks or particular penalty cards in tricks.
The following table lists penalty game types:
|1||No Tricks||4 for each taken trick|
|2||No Hearts*||5 for a heart (♥) card|
|10 for a jack|
|10 for a queen|
|5||No Last Two||20 for either of last two tricks|
|6||No King*†||40 for the King of Hearts (K♥)|
* No Hearts and No King games disallow leading a trick with a heart, unless the hand is void of other suits.
† No King game obliges to renounce King of Hearts, if unable to follow the suit. This does not apply to a trick lead with a heart.
As opposed to penalty games, an award game encourages taking tricks by awarding 12 points for a trick. Such a game may be assigned a trump suit, so that a card of this suit is treated higher than any card of another suit. In addition, an award game may be played as a misère game, in which case the lowest rank wins a trick.
At start of a game session each player gets a pool containing each one of penalty games and two award games (8 games in total). Each pool item may be contracted only once.
Each player is dealt 10 cards; the remaining two cards form a kitty. This release implements the Préférence game dealing style, when the cards are dealt in batches of two while the second batch is dealt to the kitty. After all cards are dealt, players are allowed to pick their cards.
The player to the left from the dealer becomes the contractor and announces the type of game to play. It can be any enabled type in the contractor's pool.
In case of an award game, the contractor must specify misère and/or trump suit, if necessary.
After the game is announced, the contractor adds cards from the kitty to their hand. Then two unwanted cards are discarded face down, thus removed from the play. Penalty cards may not be discarded.
The contractor leads the first trick by placing one of their cards face up. Other players must follow the suit, i.e. play with the suit of the leading card, if possible. In case a trump suit is assigned, a player who is void of the leading suit must play trump. A player who possesses neither leading nor trump suit may play any card of their hand (so called renounce).
A trick is won by the highest trump, or, if no trumps were played, by the highest card of the leading suit. In misère game the lowest-ranked card wins the trick instead.
The trick winner takes the trick and leads to the next trick.
A game involving penalty cards stops when all penalty cards are played.
Player scores are updated, discarded cards are revealed, the game type is disabled in the contractor's pool.
The contractor deals in the next game.
A session continues until each player has contracted all games from their pool, hence each session consists of 8 rounds or 24 deals, containing 18 penalty games and 6 award games.
The final result of a player can be positive (surplus), or negative (liability). The players in surplus are the winners.
It can be observed that each penalty game brings 40 points in total; therefore, total penalty in a game session is 18x40=720. On the other side, each award game scores 120 points in total, therefore total award in a session 6x120=720 matches total penalty. For that reason, the total surplus at the end of a session is always equal to the total liability.
Hypothetically, a game session may end in a draw when each player scores zero.
To see the score chart select Score Chart from the game menu. (See Control on Play page about the game menu.)
For each player the score chart consists of three areas:
Top ("the hill") contains penalties recorded cumulatively.
Middle ("the pool") lists types of games with contracted games crossed out. By tradition, the game unit score is listed instead of a type name (4 for No Tricks, 5 for No Hearts, etc).
Bottom ("the bonus") contains awards recorded cumulatively.