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How to play and score popular card game pinochle?

Use a 48-card deck: two each of the 9 through ace in the four suits. Points are scored by cards taken in tricks and by melds, or card combinations.

There are three classes of melds: sequences – ace through 10 of trumps (150 points], king and queen of trumps (40), king and queen of all other suits (20}; groups of different suits – four aces (100), four kings (80), four queens (60), and four jacks (40); special – queen of spades and jack of diamonds, Pinochle {40); 9 of trumps (10), king and queen of each suit (240). A card used in one kind of meld may be used in others of different classes.

Each card taken in a trick is worth points: ace. 11; 10. 10; king, 4; queen, 3; jack, 2. The last trick won is 10.

Give the other two players, the kitty, and yourself the same number of chips. Deal {clockwise] the other players and yourself 15 cards each. Each player bids what he believes he can score, or passes. The minimum bid is 300 points; bid in multiples of 10.

The highest bidder wins the bid and make melds. Suppose that’s you. Show your melds. If they equal or surpass your bid, score your bid; no play is necessary. If not, reinsert them in your hand. Turn over the widow (the three cards left from the dual), then add them to your hand. Choose three cards from your hand to bury (lay face down) for the rest of the round. If your opponents concede that you will win your bid, score it; there is no play. If, after reassessing your hand, you concede that you’ll fail, there’s no play; it’s single bete. Pay each opponent and the kitty the value of your bid in chips. For a bid of 300 to 340, the value is 1; 350 to 390, 2: 400 to 440, 4; 450 to 490, 6; 500 to 540, 8; 550 to 590, 10.

If none of these shortcuts is possible, announce a trump suit (your strongest) and begin the play by laying down a card. The others must play a card of that suit if possible; the highest card wins the trick. Opponents’ tricks are placed in one pile. If you don’t have the suit led, play a trump, which beats any suit. If you have no trumps, play another suit; it would have no winning value. If you lead with a trump, the others must play a higher trump if possible. The winner of each trick leads in the next trick. Play goes on until all 15 tricks have been won.

If your total score (melds, tricks, and widow) meets or exceeds your bid, you’ve made contract, and the score is yours. If you fail, it’s double bets, and you must pay your opponents and the kitty twice the value of your bid. Your opponents get your bid score, which is then subtracted from your total.