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Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle

The spelling of “aeroplane” looks a little old fashioned in this day of airplanes, or planes; but this is what they call it.  Incidentally, in some sections of the country, this game is called race horse Pinochle.
            Rules, as set forth, govern this game with the following additional rules:

  1. Each player is allowed to make only two bids.
  2. The minimum permissible bid is 250 points.
  3. The highest bidder names the trump suit.
  4. After naming the trump suit, the bidder may pass any four cards from his hand face down to his partner.
  5. In return, this partner must pass to the bidder four cards in exchange, from his own hands.  He must select these four cards before looking at the cards passed to him by the bidder.
Check Pinochle

This is a partnership auction Pinochle game in which there are special bonuses, paid in checks (chips), for unusual melds and for making or defeating the bid.  While this variety has been ballyhooed lately as a new game, I remember having seen it played twenty-five years ago in a half-dozen Mid-western states.  Games do not move as rapidly across a country or a culture as some ex post facto historians would like to believe.  Requirements are the same as in other partnership Pinochle games.


  1. Four players; two against two in partnership.
  2. The standard Pinochle deck.  (For description of the deck, rank of cards and suits, value melded cards, rules for melding, and value of cards won in tricks, see General Rules for Pinochle).

Object of the Game.  For a partnership, on the completion of a 1,000-point game, to have scored more checks than the opposing partnership.  A check award is a unit of value given for a specified meld, for fulfilling a bid, for winning the game, etc.
            The Stakes and the Scorekeeper.  The scorekeeper shall be selected by mutual consent.  The Score is kept with paper and pencil, and the scorekeeper must in a separate column record the check awards won by each partnership.  The game may be played for any stakes, but 5 cents per check is a reasonable sum.
            Rules Prevailing Before the Actual Deal.  Under rules are described selection of partners and dealer, establishment of seating positions, changing seats and partners, the shuffle, and the cut.
            The Deal.  Each player, including the dealer, is dealt 12 cards.  The cards are dealt three at a time, starting with the leader and going clockwise, until the entire pack has been exhausted.  On the completion of each hand, the deal rotates to the player at the previous dealer’s left.
            The Bidding.  The leader, who has the first opportunity to compete in the auction, may either bid or pass.  The turn to bid rotation from player to player, clockwise, to the left.

  1. To qualify as a bidder, the player must have in his hand a marriage (king and queen in the same suit); regardless of the strength of his hand in melds, he cannot bid unless he holds a marriage.  But see rule No.4
  2. The minimum bid, no matter what the position of the player, is 200 points.  Each succeeding bid must be at least 10 points   higher than the current bid, the bids being raised in multiples of 10.
  3. A player, having once passed, cannot bid again.
  4. If the first three players pass, the dealer must bid whether he holds a marriage or not.  If he holds no marriage he can bid only the minimum 200 points.  If he holds a marriage he can put in whatever bid he likes.
  5. The player bidding the highest amount becomes the bidder.  (The highest bidder is the only bidder remaining in competition, the other players having passed.) Winning the bid, the bidder commits himself and his partner to win the hand by scoring the number of points stated in the bid.

Naming Trump.  The player who won the bid names the suit which is trump for the hand.  The bidder must choose the trump himself he cannot consult his partner.

Informatory Bidding.  In this game, informatory bidding is permitted.  In contrast to the rigid conventions of Bridge and even of some Pinochle games, the bidding may be whatever the players agree to make it.  But it must be in multiples of 10, and the information must be conveyed by the amount of the bid and in no other manner.  A player cannot tell his partner the strength of any special suit he holds.  Because his bid is put in first, before the auction has reached forbidding levels, the leader can best make an informatory bid.
Sample bid:    The leader says 220.  He means to tell his partner that he holds 80 meld.  Their convention gives each 10 points   bid above the minimum of 200 a meld value of 40.  A bid of 210 (10 points above the minimum) would mean he has 40 meld.  A bid of 230 (30 above the minimum) would mean 120 meld.
            Melding.  After the bidder has named  trump,  all the players put their melds face up on the table to be recorded by the by the scorekeeper.  No melds maybe put down by any player before the trump is named.  Melds are entered on the score sheet under the partnership to which they belong.  A partnership’s total melds are added together as a single score for that team.  Although melds are laid down by individual players for the common benefit of the partnership, no player may use his partner’s cards to help form a meld of his own.
            The Play.  After the melds are recorded, the cards are taken back into the players ’ hands, and the play begins.

  1. The bidder leads the first card.  He may lead any card he likes.
  2. After the first card has been led, each player in his turn must obey the following rules, the turn of play rotating around the table clockwise to the left:
  1. Each player must play a card of the suit led, if he has one.
  2. If he does not have a card of the suit led, he must play a trump card.
  3. If he lacks a card of the suit led and a trump card, he may play any other card in his hand.
  4. If a trump is led, each player must play to the trick a higher trump  if he has one.  If he hasn’t a higher trump, he must still play a trump card if there’s one in his hand.  only if he has no trump at all may he play a card of another suit.
  5. Once a card is led it cannot be taken back into the hand.
  6. If a nontrump card is led, the next player trumps it, and one or both of the following players are compelled to trump because they do not have a card of the suit led, it is not compulsory that they play a trump card higher than that they player who  trumped.
  1. The trick is won by highest ranking card played.  When two cards of equal value tie for the trick, first card played wins.
  2. The winner of the trick leads off to the next trick, and play rotates to the left under the rules just described.
  3. The poker winner of the last trick scores an additional 10 points.

This pattern of play is followed until all the cards in all hands have been played.  Then the score for melds and points in tricks is totaled,  after this a new deal starts, and play continues until one of the partnerships totals   1,000 points or more.  (But note well the following passage.)
            check Scoring.  Check Pinochle differs from other games in the family because of its distribution of check awards.  There is some disagreement, generally based on a faulty conception of the mathematics, among modern writers on the scoring of checks.  I’ve decided to make official the following system, which is both sound and is popular among experienced players throughout the midwestern states.  Players may, of course, increase the value of check awards as they see fit, but the increase should be in ratio to the scale here set forth.
            checks to which a partnership is entitled are entered on the score sheet under the check column.  At the completion of the game, the partnership with the highest total in checks wins the game, and is paid off for the difference between its check total and the losing partnership’s total.  It is not uncommon for one partnership to score 1,000 or more points and still lose after the computation of checks, which determines the final result.



Checks awarded

Flush (ace, ten, king, queen, jack of trump)


100 aces (four aces, one in each suit)


80 kings (four kings, one in each suit)


60 queens   (four queens, one in each suit )


40 jacks (four jacks, one in each suit)


Double Pinochle (two jacks of diamonds, two queens of spades)


Roundhouse (four kings and four queens in different suits)



Number of points Bid

For partnership making its Bid, checks

For defeating the Opponent’s Bid, checks

200 to 240



250 to 290



300 to 340



350 to 390



400 to 440



450 to 490



500 to 540



550 to 590



            For each series of 50 points above 590 the bidding partnership is credited with three additional checks; the partnership defeating such a bid gets six additional checks.
            Additional Check Awards

  1. For winning the game in play scoring 1,000 or more points before the opponents do- the partnership gets seven checks.
  2. For winning all 12 tricks in a hand, the partnership gets five checks.
  3. For holding all the valuable cards in one hand (scoring a count of 250 points in one hand, not necessary all the tricks), a partnership gets four checks.

Failure to Make the Bid.  If the bidding partnership fails to make its bid, it loses both its meld points and points won in valuable cards taken in tricks on that hand, and goes in hole for the number of points bid.  This deficit is subtracted from the partnership’s total score; if the score is not sufficient to cover the deficiency, a minus sign is entered to indicate the amount for which the partnership is in the hole.
            The bidding partnership can score nothing on a holed hand.  Melds and checks already entered on the score sheet for that hand are cancelled, and the opposing partnership scores its melds and cards won in tricks.  In addition, the bidders ’ opponents score their own checks plus double the value in checks of the defeated bid.

            Winning the Game

  1. If a partnership scores 1,000 or more points, it is declared the winner of the game.
  2. If both partnership score 1,000 or more points, the winner is the partnership which won the bid on the hand, even if the other partnership’s score is actually higher.

Contract Pinochle

This diverting variation uses several bids and rules adapted from Pinochle’s cousin, bridge.

  1. Four players; two against two in partnership.
  2. The standard Pinochle deck.  (For description of the deck rank of cards and suits, see General Rules for Pinochle.)

Object of the game.  For a partnership to win by scoring 3,000 or more points before the other partnership does.
            Rules Prevailing Before the Actual Deal.  Beginning rules are described for selecting partners, establishing seat positions, choosing the dealer, changing seats and partnerships, and the shuffle and the cut.
            The Deal.  Twelve cards, three at a time, are dealt to each player, including the dealer starting with the one at the dealer’s immediate left and going clockwise.  Four rounds of dealing exhaust the pack.
            The Bidding.  The first turn to bid is the dealer’s.  He may either pass or bid at least 100.  The turn to bid rotates clockwise around the table.  Once a player has bid, the next is, bids must be raised in multiples of 10.  If all players pass, there is a new deal and the player to the dealer’s left becomes the next bidder.  In the bidding, the trump suit must be declared along with the point total.  That I, the bidder says “200 spades ” or “200 clubs.” 
            The suits are equal in rank.  A player may bid a suit previously bid by another player, or he may bid any other suit.  A player may reenter the bidding after having passed.  The bidding continues until three successive passes have occurred.   A player may reenter the bidding after having passed.  The bidding continues until three successive passes have occurred.  A player may double an opponent’s bid, or he may redouble an opponent’s double, with the following results:

  1. Doubling multiplies by two the value of all points scored.
  2. Redoubling, which doubles the doubled values, results in multiplying by four the value of all points scored.

The double and redouble may be used only against opponents bids.  Players cannot double and redouble their own partnership’s bids.

            Melding.  After three players in succession have passed, the partnership that won the auction and took the bid lays down its melds.  The opposing partnership is not permitted to lay down melds.  (For value of melded cards and the rules for melding rules).  The following are exceptions to the general rules:
            combination Melds.  By adding a card or cards to his partner’s melds, a player may make combination melds.  If, for example, his partner has melded the king and queen of spades, then the player may lay down a jack of diamonds which, in conjunction with partner’s spade queen, makes a combination meld  of Pinochle; or he may lay down three queens of suits other than his partner’s spade queen to make a combination meld of 60 queens; likewise, he may lay down kings or queens to combine for a roundhouse.
             Calling for Melds.  After these melds have been laid down, the bidder may call on his partner to produce a card to enable him to form another meld.  Example:   The bidder holds the ace, ten, king, and jack, of trump.  He may now call on his partner for the queen of trump to form a flush.
            If the partner can produce the demanded card, the bidder lays down the new meld; thereupon, he is entitled to ask for still another card to help form another meld.  Only one card may be called for at one time.  If the bidder calls for a card and the partner cannot produce it, the turn to call for a card passes to the partner.  When the partner calls on the bidder for a card and the bidder fails to produce it, this phase of the game ends; neither of the partners may call for any more cards.
            combination melds may be laid down on melds developed in calling for cards, and this play does not affect the player’s right to call for cards.  if the partnership that won the bid melds points enough to equal or exceed the amount of its bid, it is not required that it play out the hand.  in Contract Pinochle it is not necessary to win a trick to make the melds good.
            The scorekeeper notes the bidding partnership’s melds, but he does not enter them on the score sheet.  If the bidding partnership fails to make its bid, then its melds are not entered on the score sheet.
            conceding the Hand.  Either the bidding partnership or the opposing partnership may concede the hand before the start of play or at any time during play.

  1. If the bidding partnership concedes before a card is led in play, the opponents score one-half the value of the bid but they score the full value if the bid was doubled and twice the bid’s value if it was redoubled.
  2. If the bidding partnership concedes after a card has been played, the opponents score the full value of the bid but they score double the value of the bid if it was doubled and four times its value if  it was redoubled.
  3. If the opponents concede the hand at any time before or during the play, the bidding partnership scores the full value of its bid with the relevant gains if it was doubled or redoubled.

In order for a concession to be legal and binding, both players sofa partnership must agree to concede. If only one is willing to concede, the hand must be played out.
The Play. The bidding partners pick up their melds, and each player restores his own melded cards to his playing hand.

  1. The bidder leads any card he chooses, playing it face up on the table to start the trick. After a card has been led, no changes in melds may be made.
  2. Succeeding players must follow the suit of the card led if they have a card of that suit.
  3. If a player does not have a card of the suit led, he must trump.
  4. If he does not have a card of the suit led or a trump, he may play any card.
  5. Only when a trump is led must a player having a higher-ranking trump card play that card.
  6. If a non trump card is led, the second player trumps it, and the third player is forced to trump because he does not have a card of the suit led, then the third player doesn’t have to playa trump card of higher rank than the previous player’s.
  7. The winner of the trick leads off to the next trick. To win a trick a player must (a) playa higher-ranking card games than his opponent’s in the suit led, be it a trump or a non trump suit, or (b)when trumping, playa higher-ranking trump card than his opponents.

When two cards of the same value are played and are tied to win the trick, the first played to the trick wins it. This pattern of play is followed until all the cards in the player’s hands are exhausted.
Scoring the Hand. If the bidding partnership’s total score in melds and valuable cards won in tricks totals an amount equal to or higher than its bid, then the value of the bid is entered to that partnership’s credit on the score sheet. If the bid was doubled, the score-keeper doubles the value of the bid scored; if it was redoubled, the score entered is the bid multiplied by four. If the bidding partnership fails to make its bid, the opposing partnership is credited in the scoring with the full amount of the bid, double its value if doubled, four times its value if redoubled.
Winning the Game. The partnership first scoring 3,000 points wins the poker game



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
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
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

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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