Belote is a card game that is practiced by four players with a set of 32 cards. The four players are divided into two teams of two players, members of a team facing each other and having on their right and on their left each opponent. This is a contract to play, in the sense that one of the two teams is committed to get more points than the opponent, and whose failure is severely penalized. It is similar to Jass, which is played with 36 cards, and is very close to the Dutch klaverjassen. The game was created by Rudy Cohen. There are several versions, including the country or the coinche.
The cards follow a descending hierarchical order depending on their color depending on whether it is trump or not:
In a non-trump suit:
A 10 K Q J 9 8 7
In a trump suit:
J 9 A 10 K Q 8 7
As part of bidding, cards follow a natural descending order:
Card order for bidding:
A K Q J 10 9 8 7
After 8 tricks, a player from each team adds up the points corresponding to the cards folded made by his team. If this is the last trick, he added 10 points as the total score. This is the rule of “last ten”.
The total points of the game is 162, counting the “last ten.” If the sum of the two totals are different from these, there shall be a recount of points.
In a non-trump suit:
- Ace is worth 11 points
- Ten is worth 10 points
- King is worth 4 points
- Queen is worth 3 points
- Jack is worth 2 points
- Nine, eight, seven on each 0 points
In a trump suit:
- Jack is worth 20 points;
- Nine worth 14 points; it is called the “fourteen”
- Other cards have the same value as in a non-trump suit.
Usually, the cards are shuffled early in the game only, to allow in the game memorizing folds of the previous deal. However, there are variants in which playing cards can be shuffled before each distribution, but only by the dealer. In principle, however, the game is interrupted by the left player at the end of each round in order to “break” these partially folds.
The card distribution is commonly called deal. It is usually in the counterclockwise.
The player to the left of the dealer must make the cut of the game: the game it separates into two piles, each to have at least eight cards.
In the first move of the game, a player is randomly assigned to perform the first deal. For this, each of the four players draw a card from the package, and the one that gets the smallest card is the dealer. The next dealer will be the player to the right of the previous dealer.
After grouping the game by reversing the order of cut, the dealer deals the cards, starting with its neighbor to the right, as follows:
Three cards (on the top of the heap) are dealt face down to each player and their two additional cards are distributed in the same way (or the reverse 2 and 3).
After the first distribution phase, the dealer turns the top card of the bunch not yet distributed. The color of the turned card and is offered as a trump to the players and it is the only trump that can be used during the first round (the players can say neither all-trump or no-trump or another color). Each player, in the sense of the distribution starting with the right of the dealer, accept or not the trump. If he does not, he says: “pass” or “one”. The first player who accepts the trump says “I’m in”, retrieves the turned card and it is proceeded to the second phase of the distribution (the player who took the card receiving two cards, the other three cards). If no one accepts the card, it is proceeded to a second round where everyone can choose any color for trump (it then retrieves the turned card and it is proceeded to the second distribution phase). The player that pass a second time says “two.” If no trump suit is selected, the cards are grouped, the player who has dealt cut the cards and his right neighbor begins the next deal.
Each player has 8 cards in the end of deal, that can organize and view at will (he usually held the cards in his hand in front of him), but without making them visible to other players.
In case of error in the deal (players must be sure that they have 8 cards), two choices exist according to the rules:
- A new cut and a new deal is done by the same players without penalty.
- The next move is begun (the dealer is changed) and the opposing team to that of the dealer receives 162 points.
The game may be canceled if a player has less than 11 points in his playing.