Bezique


number of players: 2

cards: two standard packs of cards, preferably with the same back, each reduced to 32 cards by the removal of all 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s (sometimes called short or Piquet packs)

ranking: Ace is high, 10 next, and thereafter in regular order : A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7

suits are equal

object of the game: to score points by collecting certain combinations which are then declared. there are also bonuses to be gained
the goal is
- to declare (meld) certain cards together for scoring points and
- to win tricks containing Aces and Tens, called Brisques

the first player to reach a predetermined number of points (traditionally 100) is the winner

deal

the two packs are shuffled together and are dealt successively in packets of three, two and three, each player thus receiving eight cards

the remaining cards are stacked face down to form a stockpile. the top card is then turned over beside the stock. the suit of the exposed card is the trump suit for that hand. if this is the Seven, the dealer counts 1

the first dealer is choosen randomly and the player who has taken last trick deals for the next round

play

the first stage

Elder leads and thereafter the winner of a trick leads to the next trick

there is no obligation to follow suit : the second player may put down any card

a trick is won by the player of the highest trump card or, failing a trump, the higher card of the suit led. when identical cards are played to a trick the lead player wins it

tricks are of no value, except for the Aces and Tens (Brisques) they may contain

tricks should not be looked at till the end of the deal

the winner of a trick has the right to declare any combinations held, but may only score for one combination per winning trick. just immediately after taking a trick, and then only, a player has the privilege of making a declaration - s/he must do so, and score it, before drawing another cards. the card from this trick cannot be used for such combination

the Seven of trumps may be exchanged for the trump card, and for this exchange 1 point is scored. a player can only make this exchange immediately after s/he has taken a trick, but s/he may make a declaration at the same time, the card exchanged not being used in such declaration

whenever the Seven of trumps is played, except the last eight tricks, the player scores 1 point for it, no matter whether s/he wins the trick or not
a variation from this rule allows the Seven of trumps to score only when it takes a trick, otherwise it scores 1 point to the captor

a declared combination is placed face up on the table in front of the player (and remain there till the cards are used for trick). the player scores the combination, takes the trick and picks up the top card from the stock. the loser then takes the next card from the stock (so that both players’ hands are restored to a total of eight cards), and the winner leads to the next trick

so, declared cards form part of a player’s hand and may subsequently be played to tricks at any time

certain combinations can be converted to higher combinations; others cannot

for instance, a Royal Marriage may subsequently be converted into a Sequence but a Royal Marriage may not be declared if either card has already been declared in a Sequence

Kings and Queens once married cannot be married again, but can be used while they remain on the table to make up Four Kings, Four Queens, or a Sequence

if Four Knaves have been declared, the Knave of Diamonds may be used again for a Bezique, or to complete a Sequence

if Four Aces have been declared, the Ace of trumps may be again used to perfect a Sequence

if the Queen of Spades has been married, she may be again used to form a Bezique, and vice versa, and again for Four Queens

if a declared combination is subsequently broken up by the playing of one of the cards to a trick, it cannot be reformed by latter adding a like card so each combination declared only once

for example, if a Royal Marriage is broken up, three like cards may be played from hand to form a quartet with the remaining court card

scoring combinations (declarations or melds)
┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┬─────┐
│Bezique (Q♠J♦)                                         │  4  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Double Bezique ( Q♠J♦ Q♠J♦ )                           │ 50  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Royal Marriage (KQ of trumps)                          │  4  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Common Marriage (KQ of non-trump suits)                │  2  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Four Aces (any suits)                                  │ 10  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Four Kings (any suits)                                 │  8  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Four Queens (any suits)                                │  6  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Four Jacks (any suits)                                 │  4  │
├───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┼─────┤
│Sequence (ATKQJ of trumps)                             │ 30  │
└───────────────────────────────────────────────────────┴─────┘

the winner of the 24th trick draws the last card in stock and the loser takes the turn-up card

the winner of the 24th trick can declare all his remaining combinations at once

the second stage

the last eight tricks (when there are no cards in the deck) are played with new rules:
the second player must follow the suit if able and must win the trick if able
there are no declarations in this stage

the winner of the last trick scores a bonus 1 point


scoring tricks

just after playing all tricks players then count Brisques won (each Ace or Ten won in tricks) and score them:

┌──────────────────────────────────────────┬──────────────────┐
│Dix (Seven of trumps)                     │ 1                │
├──────────────────────────────────────────┼──────────────────┤
│Brisques (each Ace or Ten won in tricks)  │ 2                │
├──────────────────────────────────────────┼──────────────────┤
│last trick                                │ 1                │
└──────────────────────────────────────────┴──────────────────┘

if, however, a close finish is pending, players may score Brisques as they acquire them. the non-dealer scores Aces and Tens first; and in case of a tie, the player scoring the highest number of points, less the Aces and Tens in the last deal, wins the game. if still a tie, the taker of the last trick wins


variations

the game is frequently played by trumps not ranking highest except in the last eight tricks

the higher card, whether of the same suit or not, takes the trick, when a trump is not played - the Ace ranking highest, the Ten next, and then the King , Queen , Knave , Nine etc. when two cards of equal value are played the first wins

Spades or Diamonds, Beziques />' may be Queen of Clubs and Knave of Hearts

the game is played using only one deck in 32 cards (without Dobule Beziques' in that case) till the 50 points in score


tips on Howto Win

winning tricks is less important than scoring combinations

don’t be in a hurry to declare combinations in the opening stages: it is often better to keep your hand concealed
for the same reason, play from the table if you have declared cards
trick-taking is not important until the second phase of the game approaches - low cards (7, 8, 9) are the best discards
try to declare first a quartet of Aces, since it may be possible to marry the Kings off later
in the end play, a void suit is an advantage
plan to trump your opponent’s Brisques (if you have long trumps draw the opponents by playing them out). note that a Brisque makes a difference of 2 points to the score, the same as a Marriage

never part with Sequence or Bezique cards, while there is a chance of your making these declarations. if the trump card is one of a Sequence, be very careful not to play away the first Seven of trumps
look out carefully for any exhibition on the part of your opponent, which will show you that you cannot make a Sequence or Bezique. avoid showing your opponent that s/he cannot make a Sequence or Bezique
if in doubt whether to save Kings or Aces , prefer the former
avoid leading a Ten
declare a Royal Marriage before a Sequence, if you can secure both
make your Tens and Aces in your tricks whenever you have an opportunity
keep one or two small trumps in hand, as they are useful to capture Aces and Tens of other suits and to secure the lead

it is of great importance to win the twenty-fourth trick, as it will prevent your opponent from making any declaration

be very careful in playing the last eight tricks. notice what cards your opponent had previously lying on the table, and make every use of that knowledge


an example of the Bezique party

deal

Elder: Ace of diamonds, 10 of diamonds, 10 of spades, King of clubs, Queen of hearts, Jack of diamonds, 8 of spades

Younger: Ace of hearts, Ace of hearts, Ace of spades, 10 of hearts, 10 of clubs, 9 of clubs, 9 of spades, 7 of hearts

-Turn-up: Jack of clubs

play

Elder leads 8 of spades. Younger captures with 9 of clubs and takes the top card off the stock, Elder taking the next card. Younger now leads

at the end of the 24th trick Elder has scored 8 for a quartet of Kings, 6 for a quartet of Queens, 4 for a Royal Marriage (total 18), and captured four Brisques in tricks

Younger drew both 7 of clubs (2 points) and replaced the Jack of clubs (the face-up card) with the first one. Younger also had a quartet of Aces (10) and a Bezique (4) for a total of 16 and five Brisques

the hands at this stage were as follows:

Elder exposed: King of clubs, King of clubs, Queen of clubs, Queen of spades

Elder concealed: A of clubs, 10 of diamonds, 8 of clubs, 7 of clubs

Younger exposed: A of hearts, A of spades

Younger concealed: A of clubs, A of diamonds, 10 of clubs, King of hearts, Queen of clubs, King of clubs

Younger won the last trick and leads A of clubs hoping to catch one of the elder’s kings. Elder follows suit with 7 of clubs

Younger now leads 10 of clubs, with the same hope, but Elder discards 8 of clubs

Younger now leads A of hearts to draw a trump. Elder obliges and follows with the A and K of trumps in succession, taking Younger’s Q and J

Elder now leads Q of spades, hoping to take the last trick with the K of trumps; a forlorn hope since Younger knows Elder is void in hearts and therefore leads the K of hearts to draw Elder’s K of clubs. Younger wins the last trick (1 point)

in the play-off Elder captured two Brisques and Younger five

the final tally is, therefore, Elder 24 : Younger 27