OBJECT OF COTECCIO: The object of Coteccio is to be the last person with a life at the end of the game. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 7 players

MATERIALS: One 40 card Italian suited deck or a modified 52-card deck, a way to keep score, something to use for bidding (optional), and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Coteccio is a trick-taking card game for 2 to 7 players. Each player will start with 4 lives and will lose a life when they score the most points in a round. The last player remaining with a life will win the game. Coteccio can also be played as a bidding game. In this instance, all players will place the same bid at the start of the game and the winning player wins the pot. 


The first dealer is random and, the dealer passes anticlockwise from the first. To setup, a 52-card deck to be used remove the 10s, 9s, and 8s from the deck. This should leave 40 cards remaining. 

The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player a 5-card hand, one card at a time, anticlockwise. If using bidding all players will place their bids before viewing their hand of the first deal. Once all players receive their hands the game can begin.  

Card Rankings and Values

The ranking of the deck is 1 or Ace is high followed by, Re or King, Caval or Queen, Fante or Jack, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low). 

The cards also have values associated with them for scoring purposes. In the above order, they are valued at 6 points, 5 points, 4 points, and 3 points. All remaining cards have no point values. The last trick is also worth 6 points. 


The player to the right of the dealer starts the game. the game is played almost identically to other trick-taking games except the goal is to not win tricks. There is an exception though, that if you win all the tricks in a round, the other players will be penalized. 

The leading player may play any card from hand and all other players must follow suit if able. If not able to follow suit a player may play any card. There is not a trump suit in this game. The player to play the highest-ranked card of the suit lead wins the trick and will place it face up in front of themselves for scoring later. The winner of a trick leads the next trick. 


Once all tricks have been played players will tally their scores. The player with the most points will lose a life. If there is a tie all tied players lose a life. The exception is if a player wins all the tricks in a round all other players lose a life. 

If a player has won the first 4 tricks, they may choose to either annul the hand and have the same dealer deal again, or they may lead the last trick and attempt to win all tricks in the round. If they succeed, they score as described above, and gain an additional life. If they fail, even if they scored less than another player, they will be the only player to lose a life, and the player to win the last trick gains a life. 

If a player loses all their lives and wishes to continue to play, they may call the doctor. A player may only do this if there are at least 2 or more other players remaining. This means they will pay into the pot half of the starting bid all players made. This player will receive a number of lives equal to the player with the fewest lives. Players should discuss before the game how many times a player is permitted to call the doctor. 

If no bidding is used, a player wishes not to call the doctor, or if the player has reached the maximum amount of times allowed to buy back in, they are out of the game. 


Once all other players have lost all their lives an only one player remains, that player is the winner. If there was a pot, they will win it. 

In certain situations, all players can lose. If in a round all remaining players lose their last life by tying then there is no winner. This means all players will start with 4 lives again and compete for the pot once again. 

Amber Crook
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