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Schafkopf (also called Schafkopf or Sheeps-head ) is at least 200 years old, being one of the precursors of Skat.

  1. Three, four, or five players, but only three play poker at a time.
  2. A 32-card deck.
  3. Rank of cards: All queens, jacks, and diamonds are trumps ranking in order club queen (high), spade queen, heart queen, diamond queen, club jack, spade jack, heart jack, diamond jack, diamond ace, diamond ten, diamond king, diamond nine, diamond  eight, diamond seven.  In each of the three other side suits the cards rank: ace (high), ten, king, nine, eights, seven.

Beginning of the Game.  The selection of the dealer, seating positions, changing seats, shuffle, and cut are as provided under the General Rules for Card Games, chapter 1.

            The Deal.  Dealer gives three cards at a time, finally a round of three at a time.  Each player thus receives 10 cards.
            Determine the Player.  The player on the left of the dealer has first right to pick up the blind.  If he refuses, the privilege passes to the two others in turn.  Whoever picks up the blind assumes a contract to win a majority of the points for cards, and plays alone against the other two.  The player after picking up the blind must discard two cards face down to restore his hand to ten cards.  if all three pass, the hand must be played at "least," as described below.
            card Point Values.  For purposes of determining game, the cards have point values as follows (whether trump or plain):

                        Each ace                                  11
                        Each ten                                  10
                        Each king                                 4
                        Each queen                              3
                        Each jack                                  2
                        (No count for lower cards)

The total points in the pack are 120, and the player wins game if he takes 61 or more in tricks won in play.  if he gathers 91 points or more, he wins Schneider, and if he takes all the tricks he wins Schwarz.
            If all three players pass, the hand is played poker for "least." Each plays for himself, the object being to take as few of the points for cards as possible.  The blind is left untouched until play is completed, when it is added to the last trick and goes to the winner thereof.
            The Play of the Hand.   The hand at dealer's left invariably makes the opening lead.  The winner of each trick leads for the next.  Other hands must follow suit to the lead if able.  If unable to follow suit, a hand may trump or discard at will.  There is no compulsion to win any trick if able.  The highest trump played, or the highest card of the suit led if no trump is played, wins the trick.  It is important to remember that all queens, jacks, and diamonds are of the same "suit."
            Scoring.  Individual accounts are kept, a running total of the items won or lost by each participant.  If the blind is picked up, the scoring value are:
                        Game                           2
                        Schneider                    4
                        Schwarz                       6

If the player catches 61 points or more, he is credited with the appropriate figures.  If the fails to make 61, he is debited the appropriate figure.  (Four if he fails to catch 31 points or 6 if he loses all the tricks.)

            At the game least, the player who gathers the fewest points scores plus 2, or plus 4 if he wins no tricks at all.  If one player takes all the tricks, he is debited 4.  If two players tie for low, the poker winner is he who did not take the last trick as between these two, and he gets 2 points.  If each player gets 40 points in cards (triple tie ), the winner is the hand that passed third, and he scores 2.
            Additional Rules
            Misdeal.  If a card is dealt face up there must be a new deal.  If the wrong player deals, and the error is not discovered before the deal is complete, the hand is played; the deal then  reverts to the player whose rights full turn it was, and continues in rotation, except that the player who dealt out of turn is skipped  at his next turn in rotation. If any hand is dealt the wrong number of cards, there must be a new deal if the error is discovered  later, play ends and the player wins if his hand was correct, or loses if it was incorrect.
            Wrong Discard.  If after the opening lead the player is found to have discarded more or less than two cads, he loses.
            Looking at the Blind.  No participant (including dealer) may look at the cards in the blind, except the player.  Penalty, 4 points.

            Misplay.  If either opponent leads or plays out of turn, fails to follow suit when able, exposes a card except in his rightful turn to play, indicates his holding of any card by word or act, or examines any quitted trick but the last, the player wins and the opponent error is charged with the full loss.  If the player leads or plays out of turn, fails to follow suit when able, or examines any quitted trick but the last, he loses,
            Claims and Concessions.  If either side claims to have won game, all remaining unplayed cards belong to the other side.  An opponent who makes an erroneous claim is charged with the entire loss.  If the player concedes loss of game, the concession must stand.

Auction Schafskopf

This variant is played the same as regular Schafskopf except for the following:

  1. Four players, two against two as partners.
  2. The cards are dealt out four at a time, each hand receiving eights cards.  The player at other hand in turn is allowed one bid.  Bidding is by the number of points over 60 that the bidder (with help of his partner) guarantees to win in play.
  3. The only permanent trumps are club jack (high), spade jack, heart jack, diamond jack.  The winning poker bidder names the trump and player at the dealer's left makes the first lead.


Many local variants of Skat are played, under such names as Solo, Slough, Stuff, Salt Lake Solo, and Six-Bid Slough.  All have in common that the point value of the cards and the object of play are the same as in Skat.  They differed mainly in the number and topes of "games" or declarations that may be bid.  One of the most popular variants is Six-Bid Solo.  (The name Solo has also been given to certain variants of Whist, Bridge, and to the modern version of Ombre, as described.


  1. Three or four players, but only three play at a time.
  2. A 36-card  deck.  The cards in each suit rank: ace (high), ten, king, queen, jack, nine, eight, seven, and six.

Point Value of Cards.  The point value of the high cards is as in Skat:

                        Each ace counts                        11
                        Each ten counts                        10
                        Each king counts                       4
                        Each queen counts                    3
                        Each jack counts                        2

            Beginning of the Game.  The selection of the dealer, seating positions, changing seats, shuffle, and cut are as provided under the General Rules for Card Games, chapter 1.
            The Deal.  If four play, the dealer does not give cards to himself.  The rule of the deal is "four-three-widow-four."  That is, dealer first deals a round of four at a time, beginning with the player at his left; then a round of three at a time,  then three cards face down for a widow or blind; finally a round of four at a time.  Each hand thus receives 11 cards.

            Bidding.  The hand to the left of the dealer makes the first bid or pass.  Each bid consists in naming one of the six games.  If he bids and the next hand bids more (names a higher-ranking game), these two first settle who can make the higher bid.  Once a player passes, he is out of the bidding.  third player settles with survivor of first two as to which can make the higher bid.  Player who wins the bidding is called the bidder.  If all pass, there is a new deal by the next dealer in turn.
            The Games (Bids).  There are six possible bids, ranking as follows:
Call solo (high, Spread misere, Guarantee solo, Misere, Heart Solo, Solo
            Call Solo.  The bidder undertakes to win all 120 points.  The widow is not used in play but is added to the bidder's tricks at the end.  Before the opening lead, the bidder calls for any card not in his hand, and the holder of this card must give it to him in exchange for any ant the bidder chooses to give in return.  If the called card is in the widow, there is no exchange of cards.
            Spread Misere.  Same as misere with two additions: the bidder exposes his whole hand face up after the opening lead, and opening lead is made by the player at the left of bidder. 

            Guarantee Solo.  The bidder guarantees to win a certain minimum of the counting cards: 74 points if he names hearts as trumps, or 80 if he names another suit.  The widow is not used during  play but is added to the bidder's cards afterward.
            Misere.  There are no trumps, and the bidder undertakes to avoid taking any counting cards.  The widow is set aside and is not used during play or counted afterward.
            Heart Solo.  Same as simple solo in all respects, but hearts are trumps.
            Solo.  At simple solo, the bidder names any suit other than hearts as trumps.  The widow is set aside  untouched, but is added to bidder's cards at the end of play.  The bidder does not name his trump unless and until his bid proves to be the high one.
The Play of the Hand.  except in spread misere, the opening lead is invariably made by the player at left of dealer.  Each hand must follow suit to the lead, if able, and if unable to follow suit must trump, if able.  But there is no compulsion to trump high or low.  The object in play (if there is a trump) is to win counting cards.  The object in both misere games is to avoid taking any cards that count.  The two other players combine against  the bidder.

Scoring.  It is most convenient to use counters or chips and settle after every deal.  The bidder, if he makes the required number of points in play, collects the value of his game from each of the other online poker players if he fails, he pays a like amount to each other player.  If there are four players, all share in the gains or losses, except that if the bidder makes simple solo or heart solo he collects only from the two other active players.


Bidder Must take

Value in Chips

Call Solo

120 points


     Hearts trumps



     Another trump



Spread misere

No points


Guarantee solo



      Hearts trumps

74 points


      Another trump

80 points



No points


Heart solo

60 points

3 for each point over or under 60

Simple solo

60 points

2 for each point over or under 60

In simple solo and heart solo, if each side wins 60 points there is no score for the deal. 

            Additional rules.  The rules of Skat should be used to govern irregularities in play.


This variant, very popular in Mexico, where it is called Rana, and the South Western portion of the United Stats, where's it's called Sixty Solo or heart Solo, makes an excellent introduction to Six-Bid Solo and Skat.  It is played the same as Six-Bid Solo, except that there are only three possible bids:
            Frog lowest.   Hearts are trumps.  The bidder picks up the widow and then discards any three cards face down.  He collects or pays for every point he takes in play over or under 60.
            Chico has the same meaning as simple solo in Six-Bid Solo.

Coeur D'Alene Solo

This variation is played the same as Six-Bid Solo except for the following:

  1. Each hand constitutes a complete poker game, 61 points being needed to win excess points are not considered. If a bidder makes 60 points, it is rated a tie, and the deal passes to the left.
  2. The settlements for wins and losses are computed as follows: 1 chip for a frog 2 chips for a simple solo 3 chips for a heart solo.

Progressive Solo

Also called Denver Solo, this game is played like Six-Bid Solo except for the following:

  • There are five standard  bids, which rank upward: frog, spade solo, club solo, diamond solo, heart solo.  The bidding continues around and around, until all players but one have passed.  Once a player passes, he may not reenter the bidding.
  • Only a frog bidder may take the widow and discard in its place, the discards counting for him in play. Other bidders do not use the widow, but the cards in its count for them.
  • In addition to passing or making some higher bid, any player in his turn may double a bid.  If the doubled bid is passed and not made, the bidder loses twice the usual amount to the other players; if he makes his bid, doubling player pays the bidder twice the usual amount, while the others pay the usual amount.  A doubled player may redouble, and the payoffs are then figured at four times the usual amount, according to the plan described immediately above.  A double or redouble does not end the bidding.  the doubled or redoubled bid may be overcalled by anyone making a higher bid in turn.
  • For every point under or over 60, the scoring is: frog 1; chip; spade solo, 2 chips; club solo, 3 chips ; diamond solo, 4 chips; heart solo, 5 chips.  If both sides make 60, it is rated a tie.
  • In addition, each player contributes equally to a frog pot and a solo pot.  If a bidder succeeds, he takes the appropriate pot if he fails, he doubles the value of the pot.  This is in addition to the usual payments for points



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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