Bezique

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A card game that's six card version was said to be the Winston Churchill's favourite card game. Originally from France, this trick-taking game gained rapid popularity in the 19th century seeping into English society. There are several variations to the game but the one I shall discuss is meant for two players.

Cards

The deck for this game consists of 64 cards, achieved by merging two separate decks of cards and taking out cards, two through to six of every suit. The ranking for these cards, from highest to lowest scoring are, A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7.

Game play

  1. Cards are first shuffled and the deck cut to determine the first dealer. Each player lifts a part of the deck, revealing a card; the player with the lowest card is assigned as dealer. The cards are again shuffled and cut ready to begin play.

  2. The dealer now deals the card, in a pattern of three-two-three making each players hand a total of eight cards. The following card dealt reveals the trump suit for the round, if this card is a seven then the dealer acquires ten points. The remaining cards left are placed face down in the centre, and these cards create the stock or Talon.

  3. Beginning with the non-dealer, players play one card, unlike other trick-taking games the players don’t have to follow suit, the winner of the suit is the player with the highest trump or leading suit. The winner of the preceding trick begins the next trick.

  4. If a player wins the trick, they may make a meld or declaration, scoring those points (see notes for specific melds and there resulting scores) only one meld may be made per trick won. After the player has made there meld, both players pick up card from the stock pile, the winner of the trick picking up first, restoring there hand to the before eight. Scores should be kept tracked of via paper or chips.

  5. Game play continues until, the stock is extinguished, and all of the player’s cards have been played.

  6. After this, the brisques stage of the game begins. Each player looks through all the cards they won via tricks, and makes note of all the tens and aces that they have. Each is worth ten points. The first player to reach the score of 1000, acquired through several rounds, wins the game as a totality.

Scores

Name What cards are involved scores
Marriage King and queen of trump 40
Marriage King and queen of any other suit 20
Sequence A, 10, K, Q, J Of trump 120
Bezique Q of spades, K of hearts 40
Double Bezique Q of spades, K of hearts X 2 500

Any four aces 100

Any four kings 80

Any four queens 60

Any four jacks 40
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