welcome to my ~~~~~~~~ Brusquembelle page

A fun card game that doesn't require memorizing extensive rules or an obscure vocabulary, playable by two to five people. It dates to the early 18c, though the rules here are from the mid 19c.

Cards: One stripped deck, 32 cards (7s to kings, plus aces) for two or four players; 30 cards (as before but less one red and one black 7) for three or five. It was apparently common for foursome to play as pairs, but four alone is quite fun, though it can be more challenging in some ways.

Ranking: Aces and tens high, then king, queen, jack, etc in the usual manner.

Deal: Three cards to each player, all together. Next card is turned up for trump, placed under the stock or talon.

Play: Starting with eldest hand (i.e. the first player clockwise from the dealer), each player in turn plays one card. There is no obligation to follow suit from the first card played; one can play a trump if so desired. Highest trump, or first suit played, wins the hand.

After each hand, the winner draws a card from the stock, and each other player does likewise. The winner then starts the next hand.

The card turned up for trump is the last card in the stock.

In the last three hands, after the stock has been exhausted, play is as before, except that one is now obligated to follow suit or trump, if possible, i.e. you can't throw away bad cards in these hands.

Scoring, Part One: Each player counts up the point-value of the hands they have won, as follows: Aces, 11 points. Tens, 10 points. Kings, four points. Queens, three points. Jacks, two. Everything else, nil.

Whomever scores the most points, wins the pool.

Scoring, Part Two: But wait, there's more. What makes Brusquembelle different is the side-scoring. It works like this: You pay, or get paid, for playing the aces and tens. If you played an ace and won the hand, everyone pays you two cents. However, if you play an ace and don't win the hand, you pay each other player two cents. Tens pay in the same fashion, but one cent each.

You could of course play for dollars, or poker chips, or pieces of candy, or glass counters, or just "points" tallied on paper. It's up to you.

There's a certain amount of necessary strategy required, which you'll figure out for yourself. :)

So, there you have it - a fun little card game for two to five players, that's much easier to learn than, say, All Fours or Euchre.

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