Rules for 6-pack Bezique

(AKA Chinese Bezique) As interpretted by Chris and Jennifer Herring, Madison WI, November 2000

No it’s not a drinking game, but it was the favorite game of Sir Winston Churchill. Popular in the gambling halls of 19th century Europe, six-pack bezique is more complicated, intense and high scoring than either its parent Bezique or it’s brother Pinocle. The name bezique is French.

Number of Players: 2

The deck: Six packs of cards. Remove the jokers and 2 thru 6 from each pack. The back designs can be different for ease of separation later, but advanced players will want identical packs.

Rank of cards: Ace, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7 (note that 10 ranks above King!)

The Deal: Dealer shuffles as gracefully as possible then stacks all cards. Dealer tries to remove 24 cards from the top without counting. Before dealing them out, the opponent may feel the thickness of the small stack and guess how many are there. The dealer then deals 12 to each player from the small stack, taking additional cards from the main stack if neccesary or returning any unused cards. If the dealer pulled off 24 exactly, he/she gets 250 points. If the opponent’s guess was correct, he/she gets 150. Players may look at their cards.

Object of game: To score the most points by making declarations (called melds in pinocle) and / or winning the last trick.

Scores for declarations:

Class 1

Points

Sequence (A, K, Q, J, 10) in trumps

250

in any other one suit

150

Marriage (K, Q) in trumps

40

in any other one suit

20

 

Class 2

Bezique (Q of trumps, J of opposite suit – § and © are opposites, ª and ¨ are opposites)

Single bezique

40

Double bezique

500

Triple bezique

1500

Quadruple bezique

4500

 

Class 3

Any four Aces

100

Any four Kings

80

Any four Queens

60

Any four Jacks

40

Four aces of trumps

1000

Four tens of trumps (NOTE 10’s here but not above!)

900

Four kings of trumps

800

Four queens of trumps

600

Four jacks of trumps

400

Winning the last trick

250

Carte Blanche (having no face cards in all 12 cards dealt)

250

(The entire hand of the player claiming carte blanche must be shown. On each subsequent draw of the cards, if the player does not draw a face card, he/she scores another 250 points but must show the card to their opponent. Carte blanch ends as soon as the player draws a face card)

Play then begins with a Trick: The non-dealer leads any card and the dealer must then follow with any card. In all subsequent tricks the winner of the previous trick leads. The card that was led wins the trick unless the opponent plays a higher card of the same suit or a trump card. When trumps are led, only a higher trump wins. Tricks are left in piles off to the side. Either player may review the cards played in previous tricks at any time.

After winning a trick, a player may lay down cards to form a declaration. The two players then draw one card each from the top of the remaining undealt cards which are typically spread neatly in a single row. The winner of the trick then leads the next.

Endgame: No more declarations may be made once the last two undealt cards have been picked up. Players pick up the cards of any declarations on the table in front of them and the winner of the previous trick leads. The winner of the final trick gets 250 points. Points pending from combinations (see combinations below) may not be collected during endgame tricks. For the final 12 cards, the opponent must (in order of priority) win the trick if able and follow suit to the card led if able. If unable to do one or the other, any card may be used.

For example, suppose that © is trumps, and you have in your hand:

¨ 9, ¨ K, © Q, © K.

If ¨ J is led, you MUST play your ¨ K.

If ¨ A had been led, you MUST play either the © K or © Q.

If © Q had been led, you MUST play your © K.

If © A had been led, you MUST play either your © K or © Q.

If § J had been led, you could play any card.

Trumps: The suit of the first declared marriage or sequence becomes the trump suit, meaning that for the duration of this deal, that suit ranks higher than the others for the purposes of tricks, gives higher scores in declarations and determines which queen is used for a bezique.

Declarations: A declaration may be made only after winning a trick. To make a declaration, the player lays the cards face up on the table in front of him/her. The points for the declaration are then tallied on a piece of paper or with chips. The cards from the declaration are then left on the table except that they may be used in tricks just as if they had been in the player’s hand, or else may be used for new declarations.

Only one declaration may be made after each trick, except for combinations (see below). A declaration or combination using cards already on the table must use ALL of the cards on the table in front of the player. In other words, when a declaration is made, no cards may be on the table that are not part of a declaration or combination. Cards on the table may not be picked up after being used in a declaration, except to play them in tricks.

These rules allow players to make replacements. That is, to make a declaration, then use one of the cards in a trick, then replace the played card from another one in the players hand to score for the same declaration a second time.

If a marriage is declared, the ace, jack, 10 may be added for a sequence, but once a sequence is played, the marriage cannot be scored.

Once a bezique is declared, additional beziques may be added for the points of all beziques together. In other words, one bezique may be added to one previously declared for 500 points. Then another bezique could be added scoring an additional 1500 points and so on.

Example: The player declares 4 jacks for 40 points:

¨ J, ¨ J, © J, § J

He/she then plays the © J in a trick and then makes a new declaratrion replacing it with another jack and scoring 40 points again.

Example: The player declares a marriage

§ K, § Q

and later picks up 3 more queens. He/she then plays the king in a trick and makes a new declaration adding the 3 queens in his/her hand to the one already on the table. Note that it was neccesary to play the king before adding the queens so that all cards on the table would be accounted for in one declaration.

Combinations: More than one declaration may be laid down at a time if the multiple declarations overlap by at least one card (at least one is held in common by both declarations), but only one declaration may be scored in one trick. Any other declarations not scored in that trick are said to be pending, and the player may choose to receive those points after winning a later trick, but still only for one declaration each trick. Three way combinations are also possible, in which case the overlapping cards do NOT need to be shared by all three declarations.

The members (individual declarations) of a combination must be of at least two different classes of declarations. (i.e. 5 aces cannot be counted as two sets of 4 aces, and sequences cannot be considered both a marriage and a sequence, and Q-J-Q is not a double bezique).

When replacing to a combination, either the overlapping card must be replaced or at least one card to each member of the combination. In other words, a combination using cards already on the table must add at least one card to each declaration in the combination or else add the card that is in both declarations.

Example: Player makes a combination with

¨ Q, § Q, ª Q, + © Q, © K

For the four queens he/she scores 60 points and has 20 points pending for a marriage. After winning the next trick, the player collects the points for the marriage. He/ she then plays the © Q in a trick, and after winning adds another © Q that he/she has in his/her hand for another 60 points with 20 pending. The player then plays the ¨ Q and the © K in later tricks. He/she makes yet another combination by adding a § Q and a © K for another 60 with 20 pending.

The player could then play the ¨ Q and © K in tricks and add a single Q for just 60 points. Note that the player could NOT do this until the © K was played.

 

Send me email at cdherring@students.wisc.edu