Tachtigen

HISTORY:

Tachtigen is a game that has been derived from the better known game Pandoeren. The version that is described here represents the way the game has been played for many years at the VanderWaals-Zeeman Institute of the University of Amsterdam. I is known that the game is also played in Groningen but it is unknown to me if they use any other rules there. The game has been brought to the VanderWaals-Zeeman institute originally by a group of physicists that case from Groningen in the sixties. In the beginning the game was played very seriously an dany violation of the rules was punished severely. But over the years the game changed due to the influence of different personalities of the players into a game that offers great amusement for both players and spectators. Fines (usually 100 points) have been abolished long ago.

THE PREPARATION:

Tachtigen is played using a pack of 33 cards (7 t/m ace plus the 6 of harts). The cards are distributed one by one among the four players. One card (not the last one) is put in the middle of the table.

THE BIDDING:

The one who dares saying something first does the first bid. Then all players have the opportunity to make higher bids or pass clockwise. A player that passes can not make anymore bids for that bidding. The bidding goes on until everyone has passed and one played has made the final, highest bid. The lowest possible bid is 80 (that's why the game is called tachtigen=eighty). All other bids are higher points in steps of ten points or special bids. The order of the bids is as follows:

8090100110120130140150
misere
160170180190
zwabber
200210
ouverte
220 .. etc. until infinity
praatje
prive
praatje uit de hand
prive uit de hand

MEANINGS OF SPECIAL BIDS:

Misere Get no tricks.
ZwabberGet at least the 5 first tricks in a row. The rest of the tricks has to be made by the player who gets the first trick after the bidder. This player shares in the score (regardless whether it is positive or negative!)
OuverteGet no tricks, but after the fifth card (the first of the second trick) the player has to put all his cards on the table.
PraatjeGet no tricks, but after the first card all players put their cards on the table.
PriveGet all tricks.
For biddings "uit de hand" (from the hand) the following applies: the 33e card stays untouched and unseen on the table.

ORDER AND VALUES OF THE CARDS:

TrumpNo trump
CardValueCardValue
Jack 20Ace 11
9 (nel)14King 3
Ace 11Queen 2
King 3Jack 1
Queen 2Ten 10
Ten 10Rest 0
rest 0
Total in the game: 141 points (but all is rounded to multiples of ten always).

THE SCORING:

Bidscore
on points the difference of the amount bid is added (or subtracted)
misere 50 (or -50)
zwabber 60 (or -60)
ouverte 80 (or -80)
praatje 100 (or -100)
prive 120 (or -120)
praatje u/d hand150 (or -150)
prive u/d hand 180 (or -180)
Bonus for getting all tricks: 50 points
solo game: double points (first round to multiples of ten, then double!)

ROEM (=MELD?):

patternroem
3 in a row20
4 in a row50
5 in a row100
6 in a row120
7 in a row140
8 in a row160
4 jacks 200
3 jacks 100
4 like honour cards100
3 like honour cards50
Trump queen & king (stuk)20
Roem only counts in the hand. Partner announces his roem when he is officially identified.

THE GAME

The highest bidder gets the card that was put in the middle (unless the bid was "uit de hand") and can exchange it if he wants with one of the cards in his hands. He must show what the 33rd card was but does not have to show which card he puts back on the table.
This highest bidder then announces what colour will be trump (with zwabber and prive he can also play without trump), and he announces how much roem he has got. Then he announces who will be his partner by asking for a certain card. (He doesn't need to ask for a partner, he can also play a solo game). Asking for a partner is done by asking for the highest askable card of one of the colours in his hand. Usually this is an ace, but if he has the ace in all the colours in his hand he can also ask for a king or even a queen! If he has al highest cards he can still ask for a partner by asking a lower card but then he can not let his partner make a trick with it, because he has only higher cards. The partner then has to put the asked card with one of the tricks of that colour. It is not allowed to ask a card of trump for a partner. It is allowed to call for the partners card and ask him to come back with trump in the first trick. If the partner has any trump card he is then obliged to play that.

The bidder tries (with his partner) to fulfil what he promised in the bid. All players have to follow played colours or trump (over). It is not allowed to trump when the asked card is called. The owner of that card does not have to wait until it is called for though. He can play it when he thinks it is useful without breaking the rules.
A player that at some point holds the trump jack and no other trump is allowed two times to not play that card in a trick where trump is asked. If trump is asked a third time he must play the jack.

Just too bad: Roem that is not reported before the next player has played a card does not count. If a player reports too much roem it is allowed as long as the others don't notice it at some point during or just after the game. It is considered bad conduct however! If the player who had the highest bid "forgot" to put aside a card in exchange for the card in the middle that game is cancelled. If a player plays a card that is not allowed the situation is corrected as good as possible or a referee (usually the majority of the other players) decides. If a choice has been made about which card to ask for a partner it can not be changed unless it is not allowed to ask that card for a partner because the player has the card himself or because he doesn't have that colour at all.

UNOFFICIAL RULES, CONVENTIONS, TIPS AND TERMINOLOGY

The preparing misere: It is often said that "Misere is always possible". Therefore a misere bid does not necessarily mean that the bidder likes to play that. He can do it even with very high cards in his hand just to test the others. But he should be prepared for the fact that it is possible that the others pass! Een openingsbod van

The inviting zwabber: With a lot of high cards in hand but not necessarily five solid winners, it is still possible to bid zwabber as an invitation. Someone with a lot of roem but without many high cards can then try to bid 200 and hope to choose the correct card to get you as a partner.

The no-options-ouverte: If a player has no jacks or aces but also not very good cards for a real ouverte he can still bid ouverte as a bluf bid. He then hopes that the penalty for not winning the ouverte is less than what others would have played.

The angry-prive: With very good cards and possibly a lot of roem it is very frustrating when someone else bids praatje. To punish such a person it is sometimes done to bid prive even when knowing this can not be won. One can gamble that the card in the middle is a very good one or that the others will play bad.

Asking-convention: If the card that determines the partner is called for out loud you want the partner to play a different colour in the next trick. If instead the colour of partners card is just played without saying anything the partner doesn't have to play it but it can be very obvious to do so. It is then desired that the partner plays that colour again in the next trick.

Jack-nel technique: The player with the highest bid starts by playing the nel (trump nine). The next trick he calls for the partners card. In this way he makes it clear that he had only jack-nel of trump. He wants his partner to play one round of trump hoping to keep the jack for an other more useful occasion.

The nel-sacrifice: If the player with the highest bid does not have trump jack he can play the nine, hoping his partner has the jack. If no one takes the trick with the jack the gamble has probably succeeded.

The tolerated zwabber: If one has only four solid winners and one very high card (almost winner) it is still possible to play zwabber. Just play (preferably in the first trick) the doubtful card. The player with a higher card can then choose to not take the trick but hope to get to be the partner and win or give a negative score to TWO players by destroying things in a later trick. When the doubtful card is not tolerated it is said to be "bammed". Tip for not getting lynched: If a card is tolerated the player should play that colour again after he has collected the rest of his solid tricks. This to reward the tolerating player for his kindness by letting him be the partner and share the score. ATTENTION: if the tolerated colour was trump it is the other way round. With trumps in his hand the tolerating player can choose for himself when to step in and take the rest of the tricks.

Signaling with zwabber: Discarding a high card means having control over the next tricks when that colour is played again. (False signals are allowed though!)

The second trick in ouverte: The player who has to play the fifth card should do that preferably with a colour of which he has only one card. Also the players try to avoid that that one who playes the ouverte is the last to play a card in a trick.

THE AUDIENCE:

Players of tachtigen play either for themselves or for the entertainment of the spectators (preferably both of course). The spactators should provide a nice atmosphere and an environment for spectacular play by the players. Spectators who are not satisfied by the play shown or people who just like to interfere are allowed to influence the game. This influence should however be limited to psychological measures. It is not allowed that a spectator in what ever way gives information about the cards held by any of the players. It is also not allowed that an experienced or clever spectator shows how a certain game can be won or lost while the players don't yet see that. What is allowed is the following:

When a player leaves for a while, a spectator can temporarily fill his place or at least sort the cards given to the player for the next game.
Encourage players to make (irresponsible) high bids
Look at the card in the middle of the table (or not) and say it is a good one usually with the words "it is the right one!" regardless what the card actually was!
During play help a player with useful suggestions as long as the spectator has not seen the cards of other players.
Confuse the players by shouting things like "is that high enough?", "does that trick contain enough points?" or "now what was the trump colour again?".
Encourage players opposing a zwabber to "bam" it
Cheer when a player does something right or wrong spectacularly
After a game showing that the audience always knows how it should have been done.

OTHER REMARKS:

This document with the rules of "Tachtigen" has been written originally in May 1994 by yours truly. Its present form is the result of a revision that hopefully reflects the authors increased knowledge of the game since the last version. In some instances (the history part and some of the conventions) use has been made of a document about the rules written in April 1996 by Jan Hoogland(?). Unfortunately no-one ever heard about his project ever since. Experienced people who think they can still discover some errors in this document or who have some useful additions are always welcome. This English translation has been written in December 1997.

By: Mark de Langen