OBJECT OF DOBBM: The object of Dobbm is to score the needed number of points first. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 or 5 players

MATERIALS: A 36 Tell Card deck, coins or chips for payouts, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Dobbm is a bidding style trick-taking card game meant for 4 or 5 players. In a 5-player game, the dealer will sit out each round of play so there are only 4 active players at a time. The game is played with a Tell Card deck which has four suits and 9 cards in each suit. 

The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible in a round so that you score a bigger payout at the end of the round. There is no end to the game, only when players wish to stop bidding. 


The first dealer is randomly chosen, and the next dealer will be declarer from the previous round. The deck is shuffled and the player tot eh dealer’s right will cut the deck. All playing players will receive 8-card hands 4 cards at a time in clockwise order. The remaining 4 cards are placed in the center for later. 

In 5 player games, the dealer does not play in the round. Instead, they sit out for a round until the new dealer starts the next game. 

Cards Ranking and Values

There are four suits of acorns, bells, hearts, and leaves. Each suit has 9 cards. They rank Sow (high), 10, King, Ober, Unter, 9, 8, 7, and 6 (low). The cards also have values associated with them. In the same order the values are 11 points, 10 points, 4, 3, 2, 0, 0, 0, and 0 points. 

The trumps suit is always hearts for this game. 


After cards are dealt players will bid to see which player will be the declarer. The declarer determines how the game is played and which players will be playing against them. There are three options for bidding on your turn, and once you bid you do not get a chance to change it or increase it later. You may pass, bid Dobbm, or bid Solo. Passing means you wish not to be the declarer, Dobbm means you want to be declarer and play a regular game where you get to exchange from the cards in the center, and Solo means you want to be the declarer and do not want to exchange from the center. 

If all four players pass the round is restarted. In a four-player game, the dealer is the same, but in a 5-player game the dealer passes to the left and the new dealer gets a special payment called Stockeri described below in scoring. 

Once a player calls Dobbm, remaining players can only call solo or pass. A bid of solo starts the game with the bidder as the declarer. If all other players pass, then the player to call Dobbm is the declarer and gets to exchange cards. 

Once the declarer is determined, if a bid of Dobbm won then the declarer gets to exchange cards. They will take the cards from the center of the table and replace any four into the center, facedown. There is an exception, if a player wants to put a sow in this pile, they will also need to place a trump in there as well. Two sows require two trumps. These cards will automatically be scored in the declarer’s score at the end of the round. 

In a solo game, there is no exchanging but the facedown cards are still scored to the declarer’s score at the end. 

After the exchanging is completed now any opponent may call for the stakes to be doubled or pass so the game may begin. If they call for a double, the declarer may for a redouble or pass and start the game. this can continue until a side passes for the game to begin, and the stakes can be doubled as many times as players wish. 


Now the game can begin. It is declarer vs the other opponents. The declarer leads the first trick and the winner will lead the next trick. The leader may play any card and followers must follow suit if able. If not, they must play a heart to the trick. If not able to do that either they may play any card to the trick. The trick is won by the highest trump, or if not applicable, by the highest card of the suit led. When a trick is won by the declarer it is kept in a facedown pile near them. The opponents keep their won tricks in the same pile together. 


Once all ticks are won each group tallies their score piles. The declarer will also tally the remaining cards from the center into their score. Payments are made to the side with more points based on how many points more than 60 were scored. If 60 points were scored by the winners, then it is a draw and no payments are made. Solo games double the stakes and each double or redouble called after the exchange also doubles the stakes again. 

If a team wins all 8 tricks this is called a match. If the opponents score a match, they also get to score the points from the center cards instead of the declarer. 

Stakes can be anything but should be determined before the game begins. if the declarer wins the opponents each pays them the needed stakes. If the opponents win, they each are paid the required stakes by the declarer. 

Stakes are determined by scores. If the declarer’s score is 61 to 65 they are paid 1 stake from each opponent. If their score was 66 to 70 they are paid 2 stakes. 71 to 75,  3 stakes. This trend continues until the needed stakes are paid for the number of points scored. 

If the declarer’s score is 55 to 59 the declarer pays each opponent 1 stake. For a score of 50 to 54, 2 stakes are paid. For 45 to 49, 3 stakes. This trend continues until the needed stakes are paid for the appropriate score. 


There is not an official end to this game. only when all players are done playing.

Amber Crook
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