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Other Members of the Bezique Family

Bezique is the forerunner of Pinochle and has been eclipsed by the popularity of the latter game and some of its more modern variations.  That is, some forms of bezique (Rubicon, Chinese, or Sixty-six) are still popular, but the original game invented, as most experts agree, by the Swedish schoolmaster, Gustav Flaker, is played little today.


              The card game that was most popular in Europe in the 1850’s and came to the United States in the early 1860’s was Two-handed Bezique.  While it isn’t played very  much in America today, it’s still fairly popular in certain sections of Europe.

  1. Two players.
  1. A 64 card deck made of two standard 52card decks with the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes stripped out.
  2. Rank of cards is as follows: ace (high), ten, king, queen, jack, nine, eight, seven (low).

Object of the Game. For a player to score a number of points mutually agreed upon before the start of the game, such as 1,000, 1,500 or 2,000.  The total point score is arrived at by adding points scored in melds and tricks won by each player.
            Each ace or ten (called a brisque) taken in a trick counts 10  points.  Dealer receives 10 points if he turns a seven as a trump card, and thereafter either player, upon winning a trick, may exchange a seven of trumps for the trump card that is face up on the table, or he merely shows a seven of trumps and scores 10 points for it.  Winning the last trick counts 10 points.
            The Deal.  Players cut for the deal and the high card deals.  Each player is dealt eight cards: first three at a time, then two at a time, and finally three.  The next card (seventeenth ) is turned face up on the table and its suit determines the trump for that hand.  After this, the deal alternates from player to player.




Trump marriage (king and queen of trump)


Nontrump marriage: (king and queen of any suit not trump)


A sequence comprised of ace-ten-king-queen-jack of trump


Queen of spades and jack of diamonds (called bezique)


Two queens of spades and two jacks of diamond made  as a single meld (called double bezique)



            Any tour aces                           100
            Any tour kings                          80
            Any tour queens                       60
            Any tour Jacks                          40      

The Play of the Hand. The nondealer plays first. He may lead off by taking any card he elects from his hand and playing it face up on the table. The dealer plays next. He may play poker any card he elects on his opponent’s face-up leadoff card. This constitutes a trick and is taken by the higher card of the suit led, or by a higher trump. When identical cards are played to the same trick, the card led first wins the trick. The winner of a trick leads to the next after melding and drawing one card from the stock, the winner of the trick drawing first and his opponent next. This procedure of play is continued until the stock is exhausted.
A meld is made after winning a trick and before drawing a card from the stock, by placing the melds on the table. Once melded, the card games remain there until the stock is exhausted, unless the holder wishes to lead or play them, which he may do as though they were in his hand. Only one meld may be scored in each turn. A card may be used in different melds, but not twice in the same meld.
Example: Queen of spades may be used in a marriage, sequence, bezique, and four queens; but if four queens have been melded and one of the queens has been played, an-other queen may not be added for an additional 60-point meld. Four different queens would be required to score an additional 60- point meld. A king or queen of trumps which has been melded in a sequence may not be later melded in a royal marriage.
Bezique may be melded as 40 points, and a second bezique added for 500 points for a total of 540 points, but if double bezique is melded at the same time, it counts only 500 points.
End of Hand. When only one face-down card and the trump card remain in the stock, there may be no more melding. The winner of the next trick takes the face-down card, and his opponent the trump card; each picks up all melded cards he has on the table, and the last eight tricks are played. In this final stage of play, a player is required to follow suit to the card led, and to win the trick, if he is able to do so.
End of Game. As a player wins a brisque he scores for it at once instead of waiting until the end of the hand to score for it. As soon as a player reaches 1,000 or more points (or 1,500 or 2,000 as agreed), the game ends and he is declared the winner.
Additional Rules. Irregularities are handled as in Two-Handed Pinochle; see Renege and Additional Rules.

First Melded Marriage Determines Trump

This variation is played exactly the same as the regular Two-Handed Bezique, except that no trump card is turned face up. Instead, the first marriage melded and scored by any player decides the trump suit for the hand. There is no score for the seven of trump.

Five Hundred Bezique

This variation of Two-Handed Bezique (also called One-Deck Bezique and French Pinochle) comes closer to regular Two-Handed Bezique as played today than any other form of Bezique. The rules for Two-Handed Bezique apply with the following exceptions:

  1. A 32-card deck is used, with all the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes stripped out.
  2. In addition to the melds of Two-Handed Bezique, there is this special: ace-king- queen-jack-ten of any no-trump suit. Value: 120 points.
  3. The queen of spades and jack of diamonds are called binage. There is no double binage, of course.
  4. A card used in one meld may not be used to help form any other meld.
  5. The values of cards taken in tricks are:

Aces                11 points
Tens                10 points
Kings               4 points
Queens           3 points
Jacks               2 points

Points are counted when play is over. Each player scores cards taken in tricks. Game is 500 points. As in Two-Handed Pinochle, players keep a running record of their melds. 
When a player believes he has scored 500 (or more) points he announces it. If the count verifies his claim he is the winner even if the other player has more points. If the count is less than 500, the opponent wins even though he has the lesser score. If neither player calls out and if both players are found to have scores of 500 or more after a hand has been completed, the solitaire poker games is continued and 900 points is game. If only one player at the end of a hand is found to have scored 500 or more points, he is the winner.

Polish Bezique

This game is played exactly the same as Two- Handed Bezique except that the winner of a trick takes any picture cards it contains and any ten of trumps and places these cards face up but apart from any of his melds. He may employ these cards to form separate melds, combining with them any cards in his hand or won in tricks thereafter. But they may not be played to tricks again and may not be picked up for play after the stock is exhausted.

Three-Handed Bezique

A three-handed game using a 96-card deck, made from three standard 52-card decks from which the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes have been stripped out. First deal is decided by cutting high card. The dealer, starting with the player to his left, deals each player eight cards as in the two-handed game, the twenty- fifth card is turned for trump, and the rest of the undealt cards are placed face down on the table to form the stock.
The turn to play begins with the player at the dealer’s left and goes clockwise. A trick consists of three cards, one from each player. Before the stock is exhausted, a player may or may not follow suit, as he pleases. After the stock is exhausted, a player must follow suit if he is able to and must trump if he cannot follow suit when a nontrump lead is made. Winner of a trick leads to the next. 
In addition to the melds used in the two- handed game, there is also a single meld of triple bezique which is valued at 1,500 points. Each player scores for himself. Game is either 2,000 or 2,500 points.

Four-Handed Bezique

The 128-card deck used in this four-player variation is made up of four standard 52-card decks with all the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes stripped out. The rules for Two- Handed Bezique apply with the following exceptions:

  1. Starting with the leader (player to the dealer’s left) and dealing clockwise, dealer gives each player eight cards as in the two- handed game, and the thirty-third card is turned face up on the table for trump. The turn to play begins with the leader and goes to the left. A trick consists of four played cards, one by each player, and the rules governing play are as in the three-handed game. If two play against two as partners, each team scores as a side.
  2. Only the player who wins a trick may lay down a meld, and only one meld is permitted at each turn of play. However, a player may lay down as many melds as possible although he may score for only one meld at each turn of play. A player is permitted to lay down a meld by combining one or more cards from his hand to a previous meld put down by his partner.
  3. Game is 2,000 points. A triple bezique (three queens of spades and three jacks of diamonds) counts 1,500 points. If a player melds a quadruple bezique (all four beziques - four queens of spades and four jacks of diamonds), it counts only 1,500 points, the same as a triple bezique.
  4. Irregularities are handled as in three-and four-handed Pinochle.



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
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Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

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Heart Group
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All-Fours Group
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Auction Pitch Joker

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CHEMIN DE PER must play
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Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
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Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

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Hasami Shogi
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The match Game

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