There are now two versions of this game, both combining the earlier Hungarian games
with elements of Royal Tarokk, I have no dates but as Royal was developed in the
mid 1980s, it cannot be more than 20 years old. Like Royal, the later version drops
the card points and includes some of the trophies – winning trophies in that game
is recognized by Royal players and is recorded accordingly. At this time, I do not
have access to the rules of the latter game, however, I have been able to gather
enough information about the earlier version to attempt a reconstruction of the rules.
There may be some small errors from lack of information but I am confident that this
is more or less a complete account. While it shares many of the same basic rules
as the preceding games, there are enough differences, albeit small, to warrant treatment
as a distinct game.
If you are looking to add something more to Paskievicks or Palatine tarokks but don’t
want to go as far as Royal, then, like Magus Tarokk, this could be your answer. In
any case, it does seem to have been more popular than Magus Tarokk.
This game is played with a reduced pack of 46 cards. All 22 trumps are used, along
with 6 cards in each of the suits:
Spades & Clubs / Swords and Batons
King, Queen, Cavalier, Valet, 10, 9
Hearts & Diamonds / Cups & Coins
King, Queen, Cavalier, Valet, 1, 2
The standard card points are used with the exception of the 9s and 2s which score
0, so the card points still total 94 and those required to win is unchanged at 48.
Honours 5 points
Kings 5 points
Queens 4 points
Cavaliers 3 points
Valets 2 points
10 & Ace 1 point
Six cards are dealt to a stock pile, each player is then dealt two batches of 5 cards.
There are only four bids available but rules for making them can be a little convoluted
should you wish to use the round to arrange a partnership. The bids are:
3 Cards for 1 game point
2 Cards for 2 game points
1 Card for 3 game points
Without for 4 game points
These refer to the number of cards from the stock that the Declarer may improve his/her
Bidding begins with Eldest and moves to the right, finishing when someone bids Without
or three players pass. Players must have at least one Honour to be allowed to bid.
If all pass, then the hand is thrown in, re-dealt and played for double game points.
Players may not bid higher than one bid above any already bid - except when inviting
a partner. So, Eldest must either pass or bid 3 Cards, if 3 Cards is bid, then the
next player may either pass or bid 2 Cards, and so forth. If a player has bid but
is then outbid by another player, he/she can claim the higher bid for him/her self
by calling ‘hold’ on their next turn.
It may be that you have a hand that is not good enough for you to want to be Declarer
yourself but good enough for you to feel confident as a Declarer’s partner. You can
indicate this by making an invitation to call you as partner by the way that you
bid. There are strict rules governing how this is done and when you can do this:
To be allowed to make an invitation bid you must hold an Honour. There are two possible
invitations you can make and you must also have the card that an invitation requires,
these invitations are also called ‘jump bids’ because they require you to bid higher
than the rules would otherwise demand.
Partner with XIX
If you hold the XIX of trumps you can invite by bidding one higher than required.
So, if ‘3 Cards’ has been bid, then you must bid ‘1 Card’ to make the invitation.
If someone out bids you or calls ‘hold’, then they accept your invitation and must
call XIX for a partner after the discard.
Partner with XVIII
If you hold the XVIII of trumps you can invite by bidding two higher than required.
Be cautious though, if ‘3 Cards’ has been bid, you must bid ‘Without’ so that the
only way your invitation can be accepted is with a call of ‘hold’.
Invitation bids are a nice addition to the game but do carry a risk. If your invitation
isn’t accepted, then you can end up having to play as Declarer after all.
If Declarer bid to take from the stock, then he/she draws the number bid from the
top of the stock pile and discards the same number from his/her hand. Honours and
Kings may never be discarded, if any trumps are to be discarded then they must be
shown to the other players. This scart counts towards Declarer’s tricks. Unless “Without”
was bid, each of the other players may draw one card from the stock and discard to
the same rule to a defender’s scart - the remaining cards from the stock also go
to this scart. If “Without” was bid, then the defenders take 2 cards each according
to the same rules.
Once the discard is complete and the hands finalized, a player may decide that their
hand is so bad that it isn’t viable to play. If the hand meets one of these conditions,
then they are allowed to annul the hand - in which case the cards are re-dealt and
points for the new deal are doubled.
1. No trumps
2. All four kings
These conditions are much stricter than the standard game.
Calling a Partner
Unless accepting an invitation, Declarer should normally call for the XX of trumps
and whoever has that card in their hand will be partner. Partner may not announce
him/her self - their identity must be revealed by their play. If the XX is in a scart
or if it is held by Declarer, then the lowest trump below XX that Declarer does not
have must be called for. If any of the other players discarded a trump, then Declarer
may call for any trump, excluding Honours.
If the called trump has been discarded, the player who discarded it must call “contra”
to the game.
If Declarer accepted an invitation in the bidding round, then the card for that bid
must be called.
Either side, as a team, can score points - or lose them - from bonuses. There six
possible bonuses and for extra points, they can all be announced before play begins.
Honours: A bonus for winning all the honour cards in your tricks. Scores 2 points
announced, 1 point unannounced.
Kings: A bonus for winning all four Kings in your tricks. Scores 2 points announced,
1 point unannounced.
High Game: A bonus for taking 71 card points or more. Payment for the hand is quadrupled
if announced and doubled if unannounced.
Slam: A bonus for winning all the tricks. Payment for the hand is multiplied by 6
if announced, and tripled if unannounced. A team that declares a Slam, cannot declare
Honours or Kings. A team that wins a Slam does not score for Honours or Kings.
Pagat Ultimo: A bonus for winning the last trick with the Pagat. Scores 10 points
if announced or 5 points if unannounced.
Mond: A bonus for capturing the opponent’s Mond. Scores 40 points announced or
20 points unannounced.
First Five: The team must take the first five tricks - the last one must be won by
the XX. Scores 10 points announced or 5 points unannounced.
First Six: The team must take the first six tricks - the last one must be won by
Scores 12 points announced or 6 points unannounced.
First Seven: The team must take the first seven tricks - the last one must be won
by the Fool. 14 points announced or 7 points unannounced.
First Eight: The team must take the first eight tricks - the last one must be won
by the Pagat. Scores 20 points announced or 10 points un-announced.
King Ultimo “suit”: The last trick must be taken by the King of the declared suit.
This bonus must be announced to score. Scores 15 points.
King Penultimo “suit”: The penultimate (9th) trick must be won by the King of the
declared suit. This bonus must be announced to score. Scores 20 points.
Owl Ultimo: A bonus for winning the last trick with the II of trumps. Must be announced.
Scores 25 points
Owl Penultimo: A bonus for winning the next to last trick with the II of trumps.
Must be announced. Scores 30 points
Manille: One unspecified trick must be won by an undeclared black Queen or a black
Cavalier. Must be announced. Scores 20 points
Spadille: One unspecified trick must be won by an undeclared red Queen or a red Cavalier.
Must be announced. Scores 20 points
Dschinn: One uspecified trick must be won by a pip card of a declared suit. Must
be announced. Scores 30 points
Marriage: The last two tricks must be won with by the King and the Queen of the declared
suit. Must be announced. Scores 50 points
Bethlehem: The last three tricks must be won by undeclared Kings. Must be announced.
Scores 60 points
Famille: The last three tricks must each be won by three cards of the declared suit.
Must be announced. Scores 60 points
Trojka: The last three tricks must each be won by an undeclared Bird (ie I-IV of
trumps). Must be announced. Scores 60 points
Mond Capture: The opponent’s Mond is captured by the Fool. Scores 42 points announced
or 21 if unannounced.
After any announcements have been made, any of the defenders may call “contra” to
either the game or to one of the announcements, doubling its score. Any player may
then call “re-contra” to double it a second time, “re-contra” can be called three
times, then “sub-contra” may be called to end the doubling at x32! Contras can raise
the score significantly - if you are playing for money, think before you allow them
in play. You may wish to limit the contras to just one or two. At least one should
be allowed as they impart information - only a defender may make the first contra,
not Declarer’s partner.
Declarer leads to the first trick. Play moves to the right and players in turn must
play a card of the led suit. If they cannot follow suit, then they must play a trump.
If they cannot play a trump, then they may play any card - though it cannot win.
If a player has announced for a Pagat Ultimo, they may not play the Pagat to any
trick before the last one unless the rules force it. The highest card of the led
suit wins the trick unless a trump has been played, then the highest trump wins.
To win the hand, a team must take at least 48 card points. Players may not score
more than 60 game points, nor may they score below zero.