East Point.
- or -
A Comprehensive Revision of Old-Time Two-Handed Pinochle.

Devised by Dave Barber

Version of January 6, 2002

Table of Contents.

To play two-handed Pinochle well, a person must be adept at both trick play and meld play. What makes the game special is that these two aspects usually interfere with each other -- the expert player learns how to engineer a compromise.

Players familiar with old-time Pinochle will find many new features in East Point, most notably:

  1. East Point is only one of many, many varieties of Pinochle. When people meet to play Pinochle, they first need to agree which species it will be. It is worth remembering that Pinochle for three or more people, as it is usually played, amounts to an altogether different game.

  2. The outstanding difference between Pinochle and Bezique is that Pinochle's melding rules are stricter. With the liberal melding in bezique, winning valuable cards in tricks declines in importance.

  3. There is a certain symmetry to the ranks:

     Rank   Face 
     Deuce  P4 -- --
     Ace  P8 ++ -+
     King  F8 ++ +-
     Queen  F8 ++ +-
     Jack  F8 ++ +-
     Ten  P8 ++ -+
     Nine  P4 -- --

  4. The total point value of all the cards in an East Point pack is 720: 4 deuces at 30, 8 aces at 25, 8 kings at 20, 8 queens at 15, 8 jacks at 10, 8 tens at 5, plus 4 nines at 0. Per battle, each player's trick points will average 360 and his melding points will usually fall between 240 and 480. With tricks and melds contributing roughly equally to the scoring, a player who fails to develop his technique in either trick-playing or melding will not often win.