OBJECT OF COURT PIECE: The object of the game is to score more courts than the other team at the end of the game.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF COURT PIECE
Court Piece is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. Players will split into two teams of 2 with partners sitting across from each other for the game.
Teams are competing to win courts, which are the game’s points. Players can win courts by winning the most tricks in rounds or winning certain tricks to score.
Players will determine how long they wish to play before the game begins. Once this time frame or a number of rounds has passed the final scores will be compared for a winner.
The first dealer will be chosen at random but in future deals it will become one of the players from the losing team of the last round. If the dealer’s team wins the round the player to the dealer’s right will be the new dealer. If the player who calls trump’s teams wins but doesn’t score a court the dealer remains the same. If the player who calls trump’s team does win a court, then the dealer’s partner will become the new dealer.
The dealer will shuffle and allow the player to their right to cut the deck. Then each player will receive a hand of 5 cards, anticlockwise. The player who cut the deck will call the trump suit for the round. The dealer will then deal out all the remaining cards, four at a time, to each player. The end hands for each player should be 13 cards in total.
The ranking for Court Piece is standard. Ace is high, followed by King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 being low. The trump suit follows the same ranking system.
The player to the dealer’s right will start the game and may lead any card. The following players must follow suit if able but if not possible, they may play any card. The highest-ranked trump, if applicable wins or the highest-ranked card of the suit led if no trumps are played. The winner of the trick will lead the next one. When a player wins a trick, it is placed in a facedown pile next to them.
Once all tricks have been played and won in a round, players may start scoring. Teams will keep a cumulative score over several rounds.
The team that wins the majority of the tricks has won the round. A team can score a court by winning 7 consecutive tricks. Once a court is scored the number of consecutive tricks will reset, and this count carries over from one round to another. A team can also score a court if a player on the other team is caught misplaying or cheating. The round would automatically end, and the other team would receive a court.
If a team wins the first 7 tricks, players may choose to start the next round or may play through the remaining trick. If a team manages to win all 13 tricks, which is incredibly rare. They score 52 courts.
END OF GAME
The game is won by the team who has the highest score at the end of the time frame set by the players at the beginning of the round. Ties are usually kept as ties with no winner for the game.