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Briscola (Briscula) PDF Print E-mail


Rank and point value of cards
Cards, by RankPoint ValuePlay online

Ace (asso)

Three (3) (tre)

King (re)

Knight (or Horse) (cavallo)

Knave (or Queen) (donna)






Briscola Online

Briscola Online

In total, a deck has 120 points. To win a game, a player must accumulate more points than any other player. There are usually two rounds to determine the winner, and the player who first accumulates more than 120 points wins.

After the deck is shuffled, each player is dealt three cards. The next card is placed face up on the playing surface, and the remaining deck is placed face down, sometimes covering half of the up-turned card. This card is the Briscola, and represents the trump suit for the game. Before the game begins if a player has the deuce of trump he/she may retire the "briscola". This move may only be done at the beginning of the game or first hand. Before the first hand is played (in four player game), team players may show each other their cards. The deal, and game play itself, proceeds counter-clockwise.

The player to the right of the dealer leads the first hand (or trick) by playing one card face up on the playing surface. Each player subsequently plays a card in turn, until all players have played one card. The winner of that hand is determined as follows:

  • if any briscola (trump) has been played, the player who played the highest valued trump wins
  • if no briscole (trumps) have been played, the player who played the highest card of the lead suit wins

Unlike other trump card games, players are not required to follow suit, that is, to play the same suit as the lead player.

Once the winner of a trick is determined, that player collects the played cards, and places them face down in a pile. Each player maintains his/her own pile, though the four- and six-player versions may have one player collecting all tricks won by his partners. Then, each player draws a card from the remaining deck, starting with the player who won the trick, proceeding counter-clockwise. Note that the last card collected in the game should be the up-turned Briscola. The player who won the trick leads the next hand. During game play and only before the next to the last hand is played, a player who draws the card with the seven (7) of trump can take the "briscola". This may be done only if the player has won a hand. Before the last hand, people in the same team can look at each other's cards.

After all cards have been played, players calculate the total point value of cards in their own piles. For multi-player games, partners combine their points.

There also exists a variation whereby the three, is ranked as a three (i.e. a four can beat it) but maintains its status as worth 10 points. However, as mentioned, this is a variation, and not standard rules.

Declaration Briscola is the five-player version of Briscola. Every player is dealt eight cards, so that no cards remain undealt. Then, each player, starting from the dealer's right and proceeding counter-clockwise, bids in an auction to declare how many points they will score. A player may pass, and hence cannot bid again in that game. The bid represents the number of points that player believes he is capable of accumulating. Bidding continues until all but one player have passed in a round. This remaining player has then "won the bid" and therefore gets to declare the Briscola, i.e. the trump suit. The declarer also declares a specific Briscola card (example, the "Ace of Cups" if Cups was the declared Briscola) and the holder of this card is then determined to be the declarer's partner. Logically, the declarer would declare the highest Briscola card he does not already hold in the hopes of creating the strongest combined hand between him and his partner.

The remaining three players are partnered with each other, without their knowledge. Each player, other than the declarer's partner, acts independently, until it is clear which players are partners. Infrequently, the declarer may declare a Briscola card he already holds (if he feels he has a very strong hand), in which case the other four players are partenered against him.

Because of the unique method of declaration and blind partnering in this variation of the game, it is considered to be one of the most entertaining variations of the game. Game strategy is often devised to determine which player is partnered with the declarer, whereas the declarer's partner may devise ruses and decoy strategies to fool the other players, such as not taking a trick, or playing points on a trick that will be won by an opponent.

Declaration Briscola also features a unique scoring scheme. Each player collects tricks as per the regular version of the game, and counts points collected similarly. Partners, which are known by the end of the game, then combine their points. Game points are assigned as follows:

  • if the declarer and partner accumulate card points greater than or equal to the points that were declared after the bidding process
    • the declarer earns two game points
    • the partner earns one game point
    • the other players each lose one game point
  • if the declarer and partner accumulate fewer card points than declared
    • the declarer loses two game points
    • the partner loses one game point
    • the other players each earn one game point

These points are accumulated after every game. The grand winner is the player with the most points at the end of the last match. Note that if the declarer calls a Briscola he holds, then the declarer will win or lose four points, and every other player will win or lose one point.

Usually, players determine the number of game points to accumulate in order to declare the grand winner, typically ranging from 10 to 20 points.

A modified version of Declaration Briscola requires the players to bid the rank of the Briscola they wish to call. As the bidding progresses, the rank is reduced, until a two is bid or all other players pass. Then, the last bidder may declare the suit of the Briscola. In this version, the objective is for the declarer and his partner to earn at least 61 points.

This version has a secondary variation, in which bidding can continue once a two has been bid; in this case, players start bidding the point total they must earn to win the match, starting from 62 (since 61 is the minimum possible to win during normal bidding).

Source Wikipedia


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