How to Play Pinochle - Tim Ander - ebook

Enjoy Pinochle Night with Your Friends and Family!Inside How to Play Pinochle, you’ll find everything you need to master this fun and social game: The Basics of Pinochle Game Play Pinochle Rules for 2- and 3-Player Games Cunning and Tricky Pinochle Strategies The Secrets of Advanced Pinochle Play and much more!Though Pinochle traditionally involves two or four players, you can discover variations for three, six, and eight people. This trick-taking game developed from Bezique, a 18th-century French favorite. Named “Binocle” in French, the German immigrants who brought this game to the U.S. changed the pronunciation to Pinochle. Though this game was outlawed in WWI, it eventually became an American favorite.How to Play Pinochle describes how to set up its unique deck of four suits and six ranks (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9). You’ll discover how to partner up, deal the cards, auction, pass cards, meld, and form groups. When you understand the unique scoring system of Pinochle, you’ll know how and when to take tricks, deal with trump cards, and keep track of your final totals.You’ll even learn special game-winning strategies for bidding, trumps, passing, and more!Don’t miss your turn at this fun and fascinating family card game. Download your copy of How to Play Pinochle today and let the games begin!

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How to Play Pinochle

A Beginner’s Guide to Learning the Rules & Strategies of 2 - 4 Person Pinochle


Copyright © 2018 by Tim Ander.

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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Table of Contents


What is Pinochle?


How to Play

The Basics

The Partners

The Deal

Phase 1: Auction

In-between Phases: Passing Cards

Phase 2: Melding

Phase 3: Trick-Taking



Trick Scoring

Final Scoring

Two & Three Player Pinochle

Two Player Pinochle

Two Player Pinochle Variation

Three Player Pinochle

Pinochle Strategy



Passing cards


Advanced Pinochle



What is Pinochle?

Pinochle is a card game which is played with a 48 card deck. Traditionally the game of Pinochle is played with two or four players, but there are variations for three players, as well as six and eight.

Pinochle is a trick-taking card game and is derived from the game of Bezique, a game originating in 19th century France. The game involves players taking tricks to win points and also gaining points by forming certain combinations of cards, which are called ‘melds’. The game falls into the ‘trick-and-meld’ category due to the gameplay mechanics.

The standard version of Pinochle involves players creating partnerships to take tricks and create melds. The play is broken down into three main phases. The first phase involves bidding, the second involves the melds and the third deals with the tricks. When the three phases have been played out, the score is tallied.

The game of Pinochle has a few ways to determine the winner. The two most common methods are a number of games won and total score. Each deal can constitute a game, with the player, or players, with the highest score, taking the game. Whoever wins the most games is the winner. Players more often play to a total score. For example, you may decide to play to 1000. The first player, or players, to reach 1000 points are the winners of the match.


We have already mentioned that the game of Pinochle comes from the bench game of Bezique. When the game was created, it was done so under the name Binocle, which in the French language is translated as ‘eyeglasses’, not that that had anything to do with the actual game. In the French language, the word ‘binage’ is the word for the combination of cards known as ‘binocle’. The exact origin of the word is not clearly known, but the transition from Binocle to Pinochle is.

It was German immigrants who brought the popular card game to America and with the accent, the game was mispronounced as ‘Pinocle’, and later spelled as ‘Pinochle’. The game rose in popularity and in the 1940s, this became a double-edged sword. In some parts of the US, the game was outlawed due to the First World War. The thinking was that the game was too German and to boycott it was anti-German and Pro-American.

Thankfully, for many of us, the game was not outlawed for long, and the game is played by many players around the world today.

How to Play

The Basics

It is the Pinochle deck which differs from many other card games. There are 48 cards in the deck, consisting of four suits and six ranks. The deck consists of nines, tens, jacks, queens, kings, and aces. There are eight of each rank, two copies in each suit. This means that there are two 9-of-spades, two 9-of-hearts, two 9-of-diamonds, two 9-of-clubs, and so on for each rank, giving 48 cards in total.

The ranks are ordered slightly differently from the usual method. The 9 is still the lowest, and the ace is still the highest, but the order between these is not what you would usually expect. The ordering of the cards from high to low is A, 10, K, Q, J, 9. Not the usual order of cards, but this is the order for Pinochle.

This deck can be assembled by combining two regular decks, or two decks containing these cards, with the remainder, or unused cards, set to the side. You can also use a standard deck and change the scoring, but we are not going to get into that in this book. Pinochle decks are widely available, if you do not have access to two separate decks, or want to buy two separate decks. A Pinochle deck is also neater and easier to manage than trying to combine two decks into one.

For games where more players are involved, e.g., six player or eight player games, two Pinochle decks can be combined to play the game. You can also use this ‘double deck’ for a four-player game, with the scoring changed, but that is also something out with the scope of this book.

So what else do you need to play? Some friends would be the most important thing to have. You can, of course, play with people who are not your friends, but playing with friends will be more socially satisfying. You also need to have a table, or any other playing surface, to play the game on. You will need a big enough space to be able to deal cards to each player and have some space in the middle for the phases. Drinks and snacks are not mandatory, but I find that the evening is significantly improved with them. Now we have the ingredients, let us look at how we mix them all together.

The Partners

Before you begin to play, you should decide on how you are going to partner up. You may want to have the same partner all the time, if you are one couple playing against another, or you may decide to mix couple up during the evening. It does not matter how you do it; it will still be fun.