OBJECTIVE OF PALATINATE RAMSCH: The objective of Palatinate Ramsch is to not be the first player to 500 points.


MATERIALS: A modified deck of 52 cards, a way to keep score, and a flat play area.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Palatinate Ramsch is a trick-taking card game for 3 players. The goal of the game is to have the lowest score at the end of the game by avoiding winning tricks.


To modify the deck, you will remove all cards ranked 6 and lower. This will leave you with a 32-card deck.

The first deal is chosen at random and passes to the left for each new deal. The dealer will shuffle the deck and the player to their right will cut it. Then the dealer will deal each player a hand of 10 cards in batches of 3, 4, then 3 again. Between the first batch of 3 and 4 cards, the dealer will deal 2 cards face down into the center of the play area. This is the skat.

Card Ranking and Values

The ranking for this game has the trumps consisting of all jacks and then the ranking for the other suits as well. Trumps are ranked Jack of clubs (high), Jack of spades, Jack of hearts, and Jack of diamonds (low). The remaining suits rank Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, 9, 8, and 7 (low).

Each card has a value assigned to it for scoring. Scoring points is bad and should be avoided when possible. Jacks are worth 2 points each, Aces are worth 11 points each, 10s are worth 10 points each, kings are worth 4 points, queens are worth 3 points each, and all remaining cards hold no point value.


The player left of the dealer will start by first discarding two cards from their hand face down to the center play area and then picking up the skat. The next two players will also be able to do this as well in turn. If a player chooses not to discard and look at the skat and instead just passes it to the next player, it doubled the score for this round. Each player may choose to do this meaning the score will be 8 times what it would be traditional.

After the skat has been completed the player to the left of the dealer will start the round. they may lead any card to the trick. All other players must follow suit if able. If jacks are led the suit to follow is the trump suit of all jacks. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any card including trumps.

A trick is won by the highest trump played, if applicable. If no trumps were played the trick is won by the highest-ranked card played of the suit led. The winner of a trick collects the cards and leads the next trick. The winner of the last trick also collects the two cards form the skat. 


Scoring is done after the round is concluded.

Players will compare their scores and the player with the highest score will add the points to their overall game score.

If only one player won all the tricks, the other two players score 120 points to their game score.

Keep in mind all points are doubled for each time the skat was passed.

Game scores can be negative.


The game is played until a player reaches 500 or more points. This player is the loser.

Amber Crook
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