OBJECT OF MEDIATORE: The object of Mediatore is to earn the majority of the points each round.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: An Italian deck of 40 cards, chips or money to bid with or paper to score on, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game
OVERVIEW OF MEDIATORE
Mediatore is a trick-taking card game for 4 players. The goal of the game is to have your team score the majority of the points in each round. this wins you stakes or points to win the game.
Mediatore is a bidding game where players pay stakes if they lose a round to the winners of the round. players should discuss before if playing with money or chips how much each stake should be worth. If deciding not to play with payments, then scores can be kept to find a winner.
The first dealer is chosen at random and then passes to the right for each new deal.
The dealer will then shuffle the deck and the player to their left will cut. The dealer will deal counterclockwise 9 cards to each player in batches of 3 cards each.
The remaining 4 cards are placed facedown in the center of play for the winner of the bidding round. These cards are called the monte.
Card Ranking and Values
There is not a trump suit for this game. the cards rank 3 (high), 2, 1, Re, Cavallo, Fante, 7, 6, 5, and 4 (low). The cards also have point values associated with them. In the above order, the cards are worth 1/3rd a point for 3s, 1/3rd a point, 1 point, 1/3rd a point, 1/3rd a point, 1/3rd a point, and the remaining cards are worth 0 points. When players are determining their score for the round, they round down any partial point value. So, if a team scores only 5 and 2/3rds points they round down to 5 points.
The last trick is also worth 1 point. This means there is a total of 11 and 2/3rds points available to win each round.
The bidding round starts with the player right of the dealer. Each player has a choice to pass or bid on their turn. when a player bids they must bid higher than the previous player. Once a bid is made, the bidding round ends when three consecutive players say they pass. If all players pass with no bid made, then the cards are collected and redealt.
The bids rank Chiamo (low), Mediatore, Solo, Solissimo, Arcisolissimo (high).
A bid of Chiamo means the bidder will get to name a card (you usually want to name a three you don’t have in hand) and the player with this card in hand becomes the bidder’s partner. The partner must not show their card or let anyone know they are the partner. It will be revealed during gameplay. The bidder may then pick up the monte and add it to their hand secretly. They may choose any three cards to place back on the table facedown to make the new monte. If the card called was in the monte the bidder will have no partner for the round.
A bid of Mediatore means the bidder will name a card and the player holding the card must give it to the bidder. The bidder will then take the monte and show it to all players before taking it into their hands. They will then pick any four cards to make the new monte and pass a facedown card to the player who gave them the named card. The other three players will be on a team and the bidder plays alone.
A bid of solo means the bidder picks up the monte and shows it to all players. The dealer takes them into hand and makes a new monte of any four cards. The bidder plays alone against the other three players.
A bid of Solissimo means the dealer may secretly look at the monte but can take none of the cards. They play alone against all of the other players.
A bid of Arcisolissimo means the bidder plays alone against the other three.
The game starts with the player to the right of the dealer. They may lead any card they wish to the trick. The following players must follow suit if they can. If they cannot then they may play any card they wish to the trick.
The player to play the highest card of the suit led wins the trick and collects it. They will lead the next trick.
Players may use certain signals to the table. A player may say I knock to signal to their partner they wish for them to play the highest card they can of the suit led and lead the suit again if they win.
A player may say I fly to indicate to their partner they have no more cards of the suit led. Players may also say I stroke to let their partner know that besides the card you lead you have only one or two low cards of that suit remaining in hand.
Once all tricks have been won the scoring begins. The winners of the last trick may collect the monte into their score piles for scoring. Each team scores their cards and the team to score 6 or more full points wins the round.
Depending on the bid made determines the scores or payments players get.
If playing Chiamo, the losers pay 4 stakes or points each. The bidder receives 5 of these points or stakes and their partner receives 3 of these points or stakes. The bidder wins all if they played alone. The payments are revered if the bidder’s team loses.
If playing Mediatore, the losers pay 8 unless they were the player who gave up a card to the bidder. This player only pays 6. The bidder gets either 22 or 24 points or stakes. If the bidder loses the payments are reversed with the bidder paying either 8 or 6 stakes/points.
If playing Solo, the losers each pay the bidder 12 points/stakes, and if the bidder loses, they pay each player 12 points/stakes.
If playing Solissimo, losers pay the bidder 16 stakes/points each, or the bidder, if they lost, pays each player the same.
If playing Arcisolissimo, losers pay the bidder 18 points/stakes each, or the bidder, if they lost, pays each player the same.
If a team wins all the tricks in a round the points/stakes are increased by 2.
END OF GAME
The game ends when players no longer want to play. The winner is the player with the most points/ the player who won the most stakes.