OBJECTIVE OF DEHLA PAKAD: Collect as many tens as possible to win Kots. Four 10s earns a team 1 Kot (Coat).
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players (fixed partnerships)
NUMBER OF CARDS: standard 52 card deck
RANK OF CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-taking
AUDIENCE: All Ages
INTRODUCTION TO DEHLA PAKAD
Dehla Pakad is a card game similar to Whist. Like Whist, once the first five cards are dealt, the eldest hand makes trumps. The tricks are finished after on player has won 7 total tricks. There is a special bonus which is awarded to a team if they take the first seven tricks.
The origin of the game is believed to be from Iran, India, and Pakistan. The game bears many names, such as Court Piece (Coat Peace), Pees, T’rup Chaal, Troefcall, Hokm (Hok), Chakri (Chokri) Rung (Rang), and حکم in Persian. Dehla Pakad is a four player game, played in partnerships.
For the first hand, players choose a dealer at random or by whatever preferred method. For each hand consequently the dealer depends on the result of the previous hand, this is discussed later in the section The Winning Kots.
The dealer shuffles the pack well and proceeds to deal each player, including themselves, 5 cards in a batch. The deal is paused to determine trumps and after the dealer deals out the cards that remain in the deck in batches of four (8 card total to each player). Cards are to be dealt face-down so that they are not revealed to other players but the owner.
The player sitting to the dealer’s right leads the first trick by playing any single card from hand, as typical of Trick-Taking card games. Players must follow the suit led with if they can; if not, they can play any card they have in hand, including trumps. The player who wins the trick- or takes it- is the player who plays the highest ranking trump card. If a trump card is not played then the highest ranking card from the suit led with takes the trick.
The winner of a trick doesn’t gather the cards from that trick. However, they do lead in the next trick.
THE TRUMPS SELECTION
To determine the trump suit there are two common methods, players must mutually agree upon which they will employ.
METHOD ONE: Play starts after the first 5 cards are dealt. The play follows usual rules without trumps until a player is unable to follow suit. In this event, the suit played by the player who could not follow suit becomes the trump suit. Once that trick has finished, the dealer deals the rest of the cards in batches of fours.
METHOD TWO: After the five cards are dealt, the player sitting to the right of the dealer declares trumps based on their hand. After they announce trumps, the remainder of the deal is finished. The player who picked trumps leads in the first trick.
A player who takes a trick doesn’t gather the cards from that trick. Instead, they turn the cards from the trick face down in the middle of the table. If a player wins two tricks in a row then all the cards are gathered and added to their team’s trick pile. Cards stay in the center pile until then.
Once a center pile is won, a new one is formed in the next trick. This prevents the player who had won two tricks from taking the pile if winning a third consecutive trick.
The player that wins the 13th trick (the final trick) takes all the cards from the center pile despite not taking the 12th trick.
The goal of the game is to win Kots.
- If a team takes all four 10s during a hand they win 1 Kot. The deal passes to the right if the dealer and their teammate won or to the dealer’s partner if the non-dealing team won.
- If the non-dealing team takes two or three 10s during play, the win the hand and the same dealer deals.
- If the dealing team takes three 10s, they win the hand and the deal passes to the right.
If a team takes 7 hands in a row they win 1 Kot. However, if a Kot is won by taking four 10s, the number of hands falls to zero.
Players play either for a) fixed length of time, b) fixed amount of hands, or c) to a target number of Kots.