Pinochle is a trick taking card game. Simillar to hearts, one person leads out a card and everyone else plays a card on top of the original. Depending on the cards played, one person takes the "trick" and earns points based on the cards pulled.
A standard deck of pinochle contains 2 of every card from 9-Aces. However, double deck combines two pinochle decks and removes the 9's.
notepad to keep score
writing implement to keep track of score
two decks of pinochle cards
Step 1: Dealing
Double deck pinochle is played with 4 people, forming 2 teams of 2. Teams are seated opposite of one another. One player is selected as the dealer. He or she shuffles the deck and asks the person to their right to cut the deck.
Because of the large quantity of cards to be dealt, typically a dealer deals two or four cards to a person instead of just one. The dealer goes around in a circle giving each player 2 or four cards until the deck runs out. Every player should have twenty cards.
Step 2: Meld
In pinochle, the cards in your hand are worth a certain amount of points, also known as Meld. Meld will become important, because the more meld you have, the higher you can safely bid. A table below shows the different combination of cards that give points.
1 Set 2 Sets 3 Sets 4 Sets Note
A-A-A-A 10 100 200 400 A in all 4 suits
K-K-K-K 8 80 160 320 K in all 4 suits
Q-Q-Q-Q 6 60 120 240 Q in all 4 suits
J-J-J-J 4 40 80 160 J in all 4 suits
Pinochle 4 30 90 270 Q Spade + J Diamond
Marriages 2 4 6 8 K + Q in same suit
""of trumps 4 8 12 16 K + Q of trumps
Runs 16 150 300 600 A-10-K-Q-J of Trumps
Round House(Marriage in every suit) 24
Run and a Round House 36
When you begin to bid however, you should not count any runs as part of your meld. Trump will be declared by whomever takes the bid.
Step 3: Bidding
After the cards have been dealt, the player to the left of the dealer begins the bidding. Bidding is the act of declaring a number that you think you and your partner can make between your melds and the ability to pull points during tricks. The minimum bid is 50. A player may choose to not bid if they don't have a strong playing hand or don't have a marriage. In order for a person to declare trump, there must be a marriage for the person to declare trump in.
Other types of bids include simply increasing the bid by one, increasing the bid to signal your partner how points you have in your hand, and bidding 51 right away. If the first person to bid declares 51, he/she is signaling to his/her partner that he/she has an ace in every suit. This will become important when the hand is to be played, since having aces usuall guaruntees points will be pulled.
When a person increases a bid my a number other than one, the player is letting his/her partner know how many points he/she has in his/her hand. The number the bid is increased by times ten signifies the number of points in the player's hand.
If the bidding continues long enough, or if a player feels confident about the playability of his/her hand, he/she can bid 60 right away. Once the bid reaches 60, ever bid thereafter must be increased by 5.
Step 4: Trump and Meld
When everyone else passes, the person who was the last to bid "takes the bid." The player then declares one suit to be trump. For this round, trump will be the suit that beats out any other suit. When a person runs out a suit that is led during play, they must use trump in order to "cut" the leading cards. As long as a person plays the highest trump if trump is played, he/she takes the trick and any points with it.
Both players on the team that took trump lay down any cards that are worth meld. Both the bid and meld should be written down. The difference between the bid and meld tells the number of point cards that the team must take during play. If the number is less than 20, or the team has more meld than their bid, the minimum number of points that the team must pull will always be 20. If the team does not pull the required number of points during play, they will lose points equal to their bid at the end of play. The team will also lose points equal to their bid if they do not have 20 meld points. If this happens, any points the other team may have in meld is given to them and another round of bidding begins.
The other team members are allowed to ask how many points each other has. If their total is equal to 20, they are allowed to lay down the cards that are worth meld. In order to get these points after the playing phase, they must pull 20 points during the play phase.
Also, if a person has Aces around, aka one ace in every suit, they must declare so by placing the ace of trump in front of them.
After meld for both teams is calculated, the players pick up their cards and the play phase begins.
Step 5: Playing Phase
During this phase, tricks are played. Tricks begin with one person leading out a card of a particular suit. Going clockwise from the leader, everyone plays a card in the same suit on top of the card played. In pinochle, if a person can beat the previous card played, the must play that card. Card values are different from standard 52 card deck. The progression is J-Q-K-10-A. The cards that have point value are K-10-A. Each card is worth 1 point. When all four cards are played, the person that played the highest card wins the trick and takes the cards played and puts them aside for the team.
"Cutting" occurs when a player can not play a card in the same suit led. This person is forced to play a card in trump. When a trump card is played, the person that played trump will win the hand instead of the person that played the highest card in suit. If another person also is forced to play trump, they must beat the highest played trump card.
If a person is out of trump and the suit led, they may play any card from any other suit.
If a person plays a card that ties with the highest card played, the person who palyed the highest card first wins.
After the last trick is played, teams will then begin to count their point cards.
Step 6: Counting Points and Scoring
After the play phase, teams count up the point cards that they have collected. Point cards are the K-10-A. Also, the team that took that last trick recieves an extra two points.
If the team that did not take the bid recieves 20 points, they add the number of meld they made plus the number of trick points earned to their total score. Before the first trick, both teams start at 0 points. If the team that didn't take the bid doesn't make 20 trick points, their score stays the same.
If the team that took the bid makes the number of points they needed to save their meld, they add the number of trick points they pulled and the amount of held they saved to their total score. However, if the team got less trick points than they needed to save meld, their score decreases by the bid they took. Teams can go into the negative score.
After the score from the round is calculated, the person to the left of the previous dealer becomes the new dealer and another bidding round begins.
Both teams start at 0 points before the first playing round. The first team to reach 500 points wins the game. If both teams go above 500 points in the last round, the team with the highest score wins