OBJECTIVE OF LA POLITAINE: The objective of La Politaine is to be the first team to 33 or more points.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 Players
MATERIALS: A modified 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF LA POLITAINE
La Politaine is a trick-taking game for 4 players. The goal of the game is for your partnership to reach 33 or more points first and win the game.
There will be two teams of two where partners will sit across from each other.
To modify the deck, you will remove all cards 6 and lower from the deck. This leaves you with a 32-card deck.
The first dealer will be random and then pass to the left at the start of each new round.
Once the deck is sorted, the dealer will shuffle the cards and deal hands to each player clockwise. The players will receive hands of 8 cards. Players should check their hands immediately because if a player ever receives all four 7s in their hand in one deal they automatically win the entire game.
A player may also request a redeal if their hand does not contain any 10s, 9s, or aces. This can be done any time before the first card is lead to the first trick. The same dealer will reshuffle and redeal after verifying their hand did not contain any of the above-listed cards.
Card Rankings and Values
Cards are ranked as follows. 10 (high), 9, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 8, and 7 (low). There are no trumps in La Politaine.
Certain cards have scoring values attached to them. Aces score 1 point, and 10s, 9s, Kings, Queens, and Jacks all score 1/3rd of a point. 8s and 7s are worth nothing, and the last trick scores 1 point.
There is a total of 11 full points in each round and all fractional points are ignored.
The gameplay is very simple for La Politaine. Like every other trick-taking game it is a matter of leading and following tricks. The game starts with the player to the dealer’s left and continues clockwise.
The first player will lead the trick and all other players must follow suit if able. If not able, they may play any card they wish.
The player who plays the highest-ranked card of the leading suit wins the trick. They will also lead the next trick.
There is a special point bonus that can be won in a round. if a player has three highest-ranked cards of the same suit and manages to win 3 consecutive tricks with them, their team scores an additional 11 points this round. To score this bonus a player must declare their intention when playing the first of the three cards to the first trick. This bonus is called a Politaine.
Players may also signal while playing the game. The two signals include taping the table after playing your card for the trick or sliding your card onto the table. Tapping signifies to your partner that you hold really good cards in the suit of the card just played and you would like your partner to lead this suit if possible. Sliding your card signifies you have good cards in the suit of the same color, to your partner.
Once all tricks are played players will tally their scores from cards won in tricks. The fraction of points are dropped from the teams’ scores and the two teams’ scores should always sum 11. The scores of each round are kept cumulatively and the round where a team or both teams reaches or exceeds 33 points ends the game.
END OF GAME
The game ends once 33 points have been matched or exceeded by a team. If just this team reaches 33 then they win, but if both teams exceed 33 the team with the higher total wins. If there is a tie and an additional round is played to find a winner.
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