number of players: 2

deck: deck of 48 cards consisting of two each of all cards 9 and above sometimes called Pinochle pack. it can be obtained from two standard decks throwing all cards bellow 9 and Jokers


each player is dealt twelve cards (by three in turn or by one), the next card is turned up to determine trump for the hand and the remainder of the deck (the stock) is placed crosswise on this upturned card

deal simply alternates between players and does not depend on previous party results


there is no bidding in this game

the game is played in two phases. as long as cards remain in the stock, the game is in phase 1

phase 1

the non-dealer leads to the first trick, the dealer then plays any card from his hand to the trick (not required to follow suit or trump)

the winner of the trick takes the top card of the stock and puts it in his hand, the loser of the trick then takes the next card from the stock and places it in his hand

the winner of the trick is now allowed to meld - if s/he wishes

the winner of the trick then leads a card to the next trick (the card led can be in his hand or on the table as part of a meld)

play continues as above until their are no cards left in the stock

when the stock is down to one face down card and the remaining trump card, the winner of the trick may choose which card to take

after picking up these last two cards the winner of that trick may still meld


in Phase 1, when a player wins a trick they may place any meld they have face up in front of them and receive points for it. the various combinations that may be melded and the points they receive are listed below. when a player melds, it is written down on the scoresheet immediately

RunA 10 K Q J in trumps20 points
Royal MarriageK Q in trumps4 points
MarriageK Q in same suit2 points
Aces AroundA in each suit10 points
Kings AroundK in each suit8 points
Queens AroundQ in each suit6 points
Jacks AroundJ in each suit4 points
PinochleJ◆Q♠4 points
Double Pinochletwo pinochles30 points
Dix 9 of Trumps 1 point

note: a Double Pinochle is the only meld which gives a bonus for having more than one, all other melds simply count twice. e.g. Double Aces Around count 20 points

rule concerning Dix

the first Dix to be melded is done so by exchanging it for the face-up trump card at the bottom of the stock (even if it is the other Dix). and the card taken from the bottom may be used immediately in meld if desired

rules concerning melding

a player may use a card in more than one meld provided it is used to make a different type of meld

for example a player melds a Marriage in Spades. if both cards are still on the table on a later turn, the player may add the other 3 Kings for Kings Around, the other 3 Queens for Queens Around, or the J◆ for a Pinochle. but they may not add another single K♠ for a second Marriage

if a player has melded a Royal Marriage and they later add the A, 10, and J of trumps for a Run, they only score an additional 11 points instead of 15

if a player has melded a Pinochle and they later add another Pinocle for a Double Pinochle (while the original Pinochle is still down), they only score an additional 26 points instead of 30. if the first Pinochle had already been broken up, they would only score 4 points for the second one

phase 2

once there are no cards left in the stock, the rules change

there is no longer any melding. each player picks up any meld they have and place it in their hand

the winner of the last trick from Phase 1 leads to the first trick of pase 2. the second player must follow suit if able. if not, s/he must trump if possible. the second player must win the trick if s/he is able to

the winner of the trick leads to the next trick

play continues in this manner until all cards have been played


in addition to any meld a player scored during the hand they also receive 2 points for each Ace or Ten, 1 point for each King, Queen or Jack they captured in play in their tricks

the player who captures the last trick gets 1 point

so, total of 57 points to be taken in play as tricks prize

the first player to get a total of 120 points (or more) wins the game


game may be played to 150 or 100 points instead of 120

an optional scoring method for cards taken in play is to count each Ace and Ten 1 point, and count each King and Queen and Jack for nothing

another scoring method is to simply count each Ace, Ten, and King 1 points and all other cards for nothing

in phase 2 the second player is required to take the trick if possible only in case of trumps were led

any of the "special notes concerning melding" could be ignored, except for the rule that a player can use a card that has already been melded in additional meld

sometimes the game is played with 24 cards only and initially 6 cards are delt to each player (by two in turn). in this case the game continues untill the leader has achieved 60 points in total