Requirements: Bezique markers, 2 packs of cards
Checkout our Bezique gift set if you want a hard copy of the rules, markers and cards.
Remove jokers and all cards with a value of six or below, so that you’re left with the aces, face cards, and the cards numbered 10, 9, 8, and 7. Shuffle both packs together. You should be playing with 64 cards.
Both players cut the deck, and the player who’s cut to the highest value card deals. In bezique, 10 is the second-highest scoring card. This means the descending order of card values is:
Remember, tens are higher than face cards!
16 cards are dealt in the pattern 3-2-3. The dealer deals:
- 3 cards to his (or her, clearly!) opponent
- 3 cards to himself
- 2 cards to opponent
- 2 cards to himself
- 3 cards to his opponent
- 3 cards to himself
After these cards are dealt the dealer places the next card face-up between the players; this card’s suit will be the trump suit. (If this trump card happens to be a 7, the dealer scores an automatic 10 points.) The remaining cards, or stock, are placed next to the trump, and then you’re ready to play!
To be the first reach 1000 points by winning tricks and making melds.
(Don’t worry. Keep reading.)
A trick is just another name for a round and in order to win a trick, you need to play a card higher than your opponent’s. So, here goes!
The non-dealer leads by playing any card from his hand. The dealer can then play any card – in Bezique, he does not have to follow suit. If chooses to play a higher card of the same suit or any card from the trump suit, he wins that trick.
Let’s say that diamonds are trumps.
Player 1 (non-dealer) leads by playing a 9 of hearts.
Player 2 (dealer) plays a Jack of hearts and wins the trick.
OR plays an 8 of diamonds and wins the trick.
OR plays a Queen of spades and loses the trick.
In the case of two cards of the same rank being played (e.g. a King followed by a King), the first player wins the trick. At the end of each trick both players draw a card from the stock, and the winner of the trick leads.
So that’s how to win a trick. But what is a meld?
After winning a trick (but before picking up a new card from the stock) the winner can meld, or declare, that he holds in his hand one of Bezique’s special point-scoring card combinations. He places the cards face-up on the table and records his score on his marker. Don’t feel compelled to memorise these before your first game – our Bezique set comes with a rules book which will be an invaluable reference until you’re addicted. But in the meantime, here are the melds:
Marriage (K and Q of same suit; not trumps) 20
Royal Marriage (K and Q of trumps) 40
Bezique (Q of spades and J of diamonds) 40
Any four jacks 40
Any four queens 60
Any four kings 80
Any four aces 100
Sequence (A – J of trumps) 250
Double Bezique 500
The melds are placed face-up because these cards might be able to be re-used in future melds. In other words, if you meld a royal marriage, the king from that meld can be used a trick or two down the line as, say, one of a collection of four kings. He CANNOT be used to “remarry” the duplicate Queen of Trumps – as in life, in Bezique polygamy is disallowed!
Once the cards in the stock are used up, the game changes a bit. (Don’t panic, because it actually becomes simpler.)
The winner of the final trick draws the last card from stock, and the loser takes the face-up trump card. There are eight more tricks left, and they are played like this:
- Now each player must follow suit and play a higher card if possible. If you can’t follow suit, you’ve got to play a trump. If you can’t do either, you’ve lost the trick.
- No more melding!
- The winner of the final trick is granted ten bonus points.
After the very last trick is played, each player counts the number of aces and 10s that he’s won. Each ace and each 10 earns you a further 10 points and these are called brisques.
A Post-Script: Penalties.
More than eight cards in your hand? Bad news: 100 points to your opponent.
If a player forgets to draw a card from the stock after a trick (in the first part of the game) then his opponent gains 10 points. It’s a bit like UNO.
In the second part of the game, if you don’t play a higher card or trump where you can (and your opponent is savvy enough to spot this) then all the brisques are awarded to him.