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As we stated in Chapter 9, a few card historians claim that the Bezique family beginnings can be traced to piquet.  This card game was introduced in France in the middle of the fifteenth century.  Its French pronunciation is pee-kay, but English speaking card players usually refer to it as picket.


  1. Two players.
  2. A piquet or 32-card deck; two packs are usually used alternately.
  3. Rank of cards :   ace (high), king, queen, jack, ten, nine, eight, seven.

The Deal.  Each player receives 12 cards, dealt two at a time.  The remaining eight cards are spread face down on the table, forming the stock.  (In former times, the first five cards of the stock were distinctly separated from the last three, but now that formality is usually omitted.)
Discarding.  After picking up his hand, nondealer must discard at least one card, and may discard up to five, then take  an equal number of cards from the top of the stock.  If he leaves any of the first five, he may look at them without showing them to dealer.
Dealer is entitled to take all of the stock left by nondealer, after first discarding an equal number of cards.  dealer is not obliged to take any cards from the stock.  If he chooses to leave any or all, he may decide whether they shall be turned up to view of both players or set aside unseen.
The object in discarding is to form certain scoring combinations as follows:
Carte Blanche:   A hand with no king, queen, or jack is carte blanche.  If dealt such a hand, nondealer may expose it before his discard and score 10 points.  If dealer picks up carte blanche, he may wait until nondealer has discarded, then show it and score 10.  (English rules require either player holding carte blanche to announce it before nondealer discards.)
Point:   The greatest number of cards in any suit scores sheet for point as many cards as are held.  As between two holdings of the same length, the one with the greater pip or index total scores, counting ace 11, king, queen, jack and ten at 10 each; lower cards at pip value.  If the players tie in point, neither scores.
Sequence:    A sequence of three cards in the same suit (tierce) counts 3; a sequence of four (quart) counts 4; a sequence of five or more counts 10 plus the number of cards.  Only the player holding the highest sequence can score in this class; having established that he has the best sequence, he may score for all additional sequences he holds.  Any sequence is higher  than one of lesser length; as between sequences of equal  length, as between sequences of equal length, the one headed by the higher card scores.  If the players tie for best sequence, neither scores in this class.
Sets:   A set comprises three or four cards of the same rank, higher than nine.  The player holding the highest set scores it and any additional sets he may hold.  Four of a kind, counting 14, are higher than three of a kind, counting 3.  As between sets of an equal number of cards, the set higher in rank of cards scores.

Declaring.  The discarding completed, the players declare their holdings to determine the scores for point, sequence, and sets, in that order.  But the player who does not score in a class need give no more information than is necessary to establish the other’s superiority.  The declaration therefore proceeds as in the following example (nondealer being obliged to make the first declaration for each class):
Nondealer.  Four.  (Naming length of suit for point.)
Dealer.  How much.  (With five or more cards of a suit, dealer would state “Five,” etc.  With no suit as long as four, dealer would say “Good.”)
Nondealer.  Thirty–seven.
            Dealer.  Not good.  Thirty-nine.  (Dealer scores 4 for point.)
            Nondealer.  Sequence of three.  (Or tierce.)
            Dealer.  How high?  (He also holds a tierce.)
            Nondealer.  Ace.
            Dealer.  Good.
            Nondealer.  And another tierce.  I score 6.   I have three kings.
            Dealer.  Not good.  14 tens.  I start with 18. 
            Nondealer.  I start with 6.

            On demand a player must show any combinations of seven cards knock for which he has scored.  Providing of scores is usually unnecessary, the player being able to infer the suit of his opponent’s point, etc.
            A player is not obliged to declare any combination.  Example:   Nondealer may say believing that dealer holds three kings.  But if a player thus sinks a combinations, he may not later declare it when he finds that it would have been high.
            The Play of the Hand.  The declaring completed, nondealer leads to the first trick.  The other must follow suit to a lead when able.  A trick is won by the higher card of the suit led.  The winner of a trick leads to the next. 
            The player scores 1 point for each card he leads higher than a nine, and 1 point each time he wins his opponent’s lead with a card higher than a nine.  The winner of the last trick gets one extra point for it.  (In America it is usual to count one for each lead and one for each trick taken, regardless of the rank of cards.)  Each, as he plays his card, announces his cumulative score up to that juncture, including the initial count for combinations.  To continue the preceding example: Nondealer scored 6 for two sequences.  On his first lead (an ace) he announces “Seven.”  Dealer scored 18 for combinations; on winning his first trick (with a king) he says “Nineteen.”
            Tricks.  The winner of seven or more of the twelve tricks scores 10.  If the tricks are split six to six, neither scores.  If one player wins   all twelve tricks, he scores 40 for capot (nothing extra for majority or for the last trick).
            A player who reaches a score of 30 or more in declarations, before his opponent scores anything and before a card is led, adds 60 for repique.  A player who reaches 30 or more in declaration and play, before his opponent scores anything, adds 30 for pique.  Once the play poker is completed, the total points won by each  player during the hand are recorded on paper.
            The Game.  There are three variants as to how the winner of the game is decided, as follows:

  1. Piquet au Cent.  The player who first obtains a total score of 100 or more is declared the winner.  Settlement is made on the difference of the final scores.  (Double the amount is usually given if the loser fails to reach 50 points.)  The last deal of a game is played out; there is no “counting out” during the play.
  2. Rubicon Piquet.  A game comprises six deals.  The player with the higher cumulative score at the end of the game, provided that the loser reached at least 100.  If the loser failed to reach 100, he is said to be rubiconed, and the winner scores the sum of the totals plus 100 for game.  (The loser is rubiconed even if the winner, also, failed to reach 100.)
  3. Club Piquet.  The game is four deals, the scores of the first and last being doubled.

Additional Rules

            New Deal (by the same dealer).  A compulsory new deal is required if a card is exposed in dealings, or if either player receives the wrong number of cards.
            Erroneous Discard.  If a player discards more or fewer cards than he intended, he may not change his discard after touching the stock.  If there are not enough cards available to him in the stock to replace all his discards, he must play with a short hand.
            Erroneous Draw from Stock.  If a player draws too many cards from the stock, he may replace the excess if he has not looked at them and if the correct order of the cards is determinable; otherwise the following scarney rule poker apply.  If nondealer draws more than five cards from the stock he loses the game.  If he draws fewer than five he should so announce; if he fails to do so, the dealer is entitled to draw all that are left, even should dealer discard three and then touch the stock.  If dealer draws any card from the stock before non-dealer has made his draw, dealer  loses the game,
            Concession.  Once a player concedes an adverse combination to be good, he may not claim a superior combination.
            False Declaration.   If a player claims and scores   for a combination that he does not hold, he may announce his errors before playing a card, and the scoring in that class   is corrected.  Should a player play a card before announcing his error, he may not score at all in that deal.

Piquet Normand (Three –Handed Pique)

This game is played in the same manner as Two-Handed Piquet, except for the following:

  1. Each player receives    ten cards in the deal.  The remaining two are placed face down on the table as a widow.  Dealer may exchange two of his cards for the widow, but no other player may do so.
  2. Player at dealer’s left makes the first announcement, and each player in turn also announces.  He may also score a bonus of 90 for repique if he reaches 20 in announcements before the others have made anything.  He gets 60 for pique if reaching 20 before both opponents have any score.  Majority of tricks scores 10 points; but if all tie, each gets 5 points.
  3. If one player scores capot, he gets 40 points.  If two players take all the tricks together, each scores 20 points.  A pot (pool) formed by equal antes for each hand is won by the player just to reach a total 100 points.  Or the players settle up by each lower score paying to the poker winner of 100 points the difference of their scores.

Piquet Voleur (Four-Handed Piquet)

This variant is for four players, two playing as partners against the other two.   It is played the same way as Two-Handed Piquet, except for the following:

  1. The whole pack is dealt out, each player receiving eight cards.
  2. The player to the left of the dealer declares whatever he holds in combinations.  Then he leads a card to the first trick.  If the player at his left has no better combinations, he plays to the trick and says nothing.  If he has any better combination he plays to the trick and says nothing.  If he has any better combinations, he announces them.  Play proceeds in this manner around the table to the left.  If a player’s partner has announced a combination that is good, the player may also score for any combination he holds of the same kind.
  1. The side which scores 20 tricks are played while opponents have nothing scores a 90-point bonus for repique.  If a side scores 20 in announcements and play before the other side has scored a point, it gets a bonus of 60 points for pique.  In this game, carte blanche between partners would be a certain repique.  Only one partner of a side may score for point made in leading to a trick.
  2. A game may be scored by any of the three methods used in Two-Handed Piquet.

Piquet à Ecrire

Any number from three to seven may play this game, which is also known as Round Table Piquet.  The game is played like Two-Handed Piquet, except for the following:

  1. Each player plays a hand first with the player at his right and then with the player at his left.
  2. The deal passes to the left, and after each player has played as described above, the players settle up.  Each lower score pays to the holder of the higher score the difference of their scores.

Strategy of Piquet

The basic strategy of Piquet, as in most family card games where all or most of cards are in play, is:

  1. Establish a long, strong suit by driving out your opponent’s stoppers.
  2. If a long suit can’t be established, lose the lead only after making your opponent  play his top cards, rather than low stoppers.
  3. Watch the fall of the cards.

In Piquet, a great deal of information about the play of the hand can be learned in the declaring portions of the 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

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CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
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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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