OBJECTIVE OF ALCALDE: The objective of Alcalde is to not win the last trick of each round and to be the last player not eliminated.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 Players
MATERIALS: A 40 card Spanish Deck (or a modified 52 card deck), and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF ALCALDE
Alcalde is the Spanish deck version of three-player Briscola. One player plays as the Alcalde and the other two players play together to defeat them. The game is played that every time the Alcalde wins, they continue to be the Alcalde. By defeating the Alcalde, the player on their right becomes the Alcalde.
To set up, the Alcalde will shuffle the cards and deal the cards to each player. The other players will each receive 3 cards and the Alcalde will receive 6 cards. Then the remaining cards are placed central and the top card is revealed to determine the trump suit of this round. The trump card is placed face up at the bottom of the stockpile where the suit remains revealed.
The game can also be played with a modified 52 card deck. To make the necessary changes remove all the eights, nines, and tens from the deck. The ranking for this deck is Ace (high), 3, King, Queen, Jack, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2 (low).
Only certain cards are worth points when won in tricks. Ones (Aces) are worth 11 points, 3s are worth 10 points, 12s (kings) are worth 4 points, 11s (queens) are worth 3 points and 10s (jacks) are worth 2 points. All other cards are not worth any points. There is a total of 120 points available to win in the game; ties are possible and result in a win for the Alcalde.
Alcalde is played to score the most points possible by winning point-earning tricks. The player to the Alcalde’s right will start the first trick, but from then on, the player to win the previous trick will lead.
Any card can be played to start the trick, and other players may also play whatever cards they wish. You are not made to follow suit. When the Alcalde plays, they will play two cards. The other two players may choose to show each other their cards as they play.
The player with the highest card of the lead suit or the highest trump if there are any wins the trick. Once all tricks are played, there are 10 in total, the players will tally their scores.
After each trick, the winner will draw a card from the draw pile followed by the other players. The Alcalde always draws two cards.
END OF GAME
The end of a round comes once all ten tricks have been played. Scores are then added up and the player with the highest score wins the round. If the Alcalde wins or if there is a tie, they remain the Alcalde. If one of the other players wins, then the player to the right of the Alcalde becomes the new Alcalde.