Tarock rules
for tarock at Skill7

These tarock rules are taken from the Skill7 website and apply for playing at their site. If you wish to try it out, just sign up and give it a go.

The rules

Tarock is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. A deck of 40 Tarock cards is used (a normal Tarock deck) without II,III,7,8,9,2,3,4:

Tarock I (“Pagat”),

Tarock IIII to Tarock XX,

Tarock XXI (“Mond”)

Tarock XXII (“Sküs”)

10, Jack, Knight, Queen and King of Spades

10, Jack, Knight, Queen and King of Clubs - Ace, Jack, Knight, Queen and King of Hearts

Ace, Jack, Knight, Queen and King of Diamonds

Cards of the suits Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds are the suit cards. The others are the Tarock cards. The three Tarock cards, “Pagat”, “Mond” and “Sküs”, are individually called the “Trullstücke” and collectively the “Trull”.

At the start of the game, the direction of play and the first declarer is selected randomly. For each subsequent game, the next player (in a clockwise cycle) is the declarer. Each player begins the game with 10 cards. Should one player’s hand be particularly bad, the cards are dealt again, with the exception of the declarer. The reasons for a re-deal are as follows:

  • A player has no or just one Tarock
  • A player has all four “Glatzen” (10 of Spades, 10 of Clubs, Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds)

Beginning with the forehand, the players then take it in turns to make bids regarding the game they wish to play and any additions. Once three players have consecutively clicked “Continue” (only the declarer must bid at least once) the bidding is over and the game begins.

As soon as a player bids a higher game (“Farbesolo” beats “Rufer”, “Solo” beats “Farbesolo”) the additions for the previous game become redundant (including all “Kontras”). Once a player agrees to the current game (by either clicking “Continue” or by bidding an addition), he/she may not bid a higher game. The player may only add additions.

The following games are possible (in ascending order):

  • Rufer (der Rufer ruft XX, XIX, XVII, XVII, XVI)
  • Farbesolo (can only be bid by a player who has at least 5 suit cards)
  • Solo

The following additions are possible by the declarer or his/her partner:

  • Absolut
  • Pagat
  • Valat
  • Kontra to Absolut (the oppnonent)
  • Kontra to Pagat (the oppnonent)
  • Kontra to Valat (the oppnonent)
  • Rekontra to the game
  • Rekontra to Absolut
  • Rekontra to Pagat
  • Rekontra to Valat
  • Subkontra to Absolut (the oppnonent)
  • Subkontra to Pagat (the oppnonent)
  • Subkontra to Valat (the oppnonent)

The following additions are possible by the opponents:

  • Absolut
  • Pagat
  • Valat
  • Kontra (to the game)
  • Kontra to Absolut
  • Kontra to Pagat
  • Kontra to Valat
  • Rekontra to Absolut (the oppnonent)
  • Rekontra to Pagat (the oppnonent)
  • Rekontra to Valat (the oppnonent)
  • Subkontra (to the game)
  • Subkontra to Absolut
  • Subkontra to Pagat
  • Subkontra to Valat

In addition to the rules above, a number of limitations regarding possible bids have been included, which should prevent the players from making meaningless bids. For example, the game does not allow “Valat” to be bid if the player’s hand is far too weak. These measures support inexperienced players and make it difficult for a player to deceive his/her opponents.

The following limitations have also been included:

  • An opponent may only bid “Absolut” after a “Kontra” has been bid
  • No additions can be bid following a “Valat” except for “Kontra”
  • If an opponent of the declarer (therefore not in a “Solo” game) has the “Trull”, he/she must “Kontra” the game (providing a “Kontra” has not already been bid for this game and no “Valat” has yet been bid).

With regard to the declaration of the teams, each bid must be clear, which team the declarer belongs to. In the rare case that this is not clear following the bidding, an opponent must additionally say “Against the game“.

The forehand then begins the game by laying first. The players must follow suit or Tarock. If a player cannot follow suit, he/she must play a Tarock. Tarock cards, as the trump cards, beat suit cards. The order of the suit cards goes from King (the highest) to Ace or 10 (the lowest). The order of the Tarock cards goes from “Sküs” (the highest) to “Pagat” (the lowest). With regard to the obligation of following suit or Tarock, the following additional rules apply:

  • In “Farbesolo” the Tarock cards do not beat the suits. A player may not play a Tarock card if he/she holds a suit card. Nevertheless, players must still play a Tarock if they do not hold a suit card.
  • The player, who bid “Pagat”, may only play the “Pagat” at the last possible point in the game, even if this is detrimental to his/her chances of winning.
  • Should all three “Trull” cards (“Sküs”, “Mond”, “Pagat”) be played in one trick, the “Pagat” wins. This rule, however, does not apply in “Farbesolo”.

The players have a number of different ways to win the game:

Regular game:

To win the game, a team must reach at least 45 points. This value remains unaffected by a Kontra.

  • Normal Rufer - Normal game value
  • Solo/Farbensolo - Four times the game value

Absolut:

In an Absolut game, the team that bid Absolut must reach 56 points to win. If the team does not reach this total, the Absolut is lost. Should a team reach this total without having bid Absolut, the game is won as a “Still”.

  • Absolut for Rufer games - Normal game value (Still), two times the game value (bid)
  • Pagat for Solo games - two times the game value (Still), four times the game value (bid)

Pagat:

The player, who holds the Pagat, can bid Pagat. To win the Pagat, the player must win the very last trick with the card. The bidder may only play the Pagat at the last point possible, even if this leads to a loss. If the holder of the Pagat wins the last trick without having bid accordingly at the start of the game, the card is played as a “Still”. If the holder of the Pagat has to concede in the last trick, the game is lost as a “Still”.

  • Pagat for Rufer games - Normal game value (Still), two times the game value (bid)
  • Pagat for Solo games - two times the game value (Still), four times the game value (bid)

Valat:

To win a Valat, the team that bids Valat must win every trick, not every point. If the team wins every trick without having bid accordingly at the start of the game, the game is won as a “Still“.

Valat for Rufer games - Six times the game value (Still), 12 times the game value (bid)

Valat for Solo/Farbensolo games - 12 times the game value (Still), 24 times the game value (bid)

A Valat overrides all other additions, irrespective of whether they were bid or “Still”. Furthermore, the game itself will not be valued, but instead just the Valat and any Kontra. For this reason, no other additions can be bid following the announcement of Valat. They are also not considered in the points tally.

The following rules do not apply:

  • The valuation of the “Trull”, also in “Farbesolo” games
  • A player must have at least 6 suit cards to play a “Farbesolo” game
  • An opponent, who bid “Pagat”, must bid “Kontra” to the game beforehand
  • New cards are dealt if a player has only two “Trullstücke” and no other Tarock cards
  • A “Kontra” game can be won with 44 points
  • A “Rekontra” game cannot be outbid by a “Farbesolo”

Point system

The values of the cards are as follows:

King and Trullstücke 5 points Queen 4 points Knight 3 points Jack 2 points Other Tarock 1 point Lower suit card no points

The sum of all of the cards in the game is 88.

The calculation of wins is done separately for each round and is shown immediately after.The value of the game including all additions and “Still” premiums are calculated individually and then added together.

There are further premiums that are automatic (they cannot be bid):

  • Trull in Rufer games - Normal game value
  • Trull in Solo games(this premium goes to a player who begins the game with all three Trullstücke) - Two times the game value
  • Mondfang in Rufer games - Normal game value
  • Mondfang in Solo games (if the Mond is beaten by the Sküs during the game, the player of the Mond must pay the premium, even if the Sküs was played by his/her partner) - Two times the game value
  • Königstrull in Rufer games - Normal game value
  • Königstrull bei Solo/Suit Solo(this premium goes to a player who begins the game with every King) - Two times the game value

The members of the winning team receive the value from the losing team. In Solo games, the player receives from every opponent, but must also pay every opponent accordingly.

The following special rules also apply:

The premiums “Pagat”, “Trull” and “Mondfang” are not paid in “Farbesolo” games, but “Königstrull” is. In addition, “Pagat” cannot be bid first.



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