OBJECTIVE OF PENEECH: Be the first player to reach 61 points 


NUMBER OF CARDS:  52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high), 7 is highest in diamonds suit

TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking



Peneech is a very old trick taking game that dates back to late 1600’s England.  It is a snappy little trick taking game for two players to enjoy.  Players are dealt 7 cards and the trump suit changes every trick.

Due to the nature of scorekeeping for this game, points are tallied after each trick is taken.  A cribbage board makes scorekeeping much easier.


Peneech is played with a standard 52 card French deck.  In this game, certain cards are referred to as Honor Cards.  The 7 of diamonds is the highest Honor Card, and it is called the Peneech. It is the highest ranked diamond card.  Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks are also Honor Cards.

To decide who will be the first dealer and the scorekeeper for the game, each player should take a card from the deck.  Whoever has the lowest card deals first and keeps score.  Deal alternates each round.

The dealer shuffles the deck thoroughly and deals seven cards to each player one at a time.  The rest of the cards are placed face down to become the trump pile.  The top card of the trump pile is then flipped over to determine the trump suit for the first trick.

If either player is dealt a hand containing no cards higher than ten, they may demand a redeal.


The non-dealer goes first.  They may play any card from their hand that they wish.  The opponent can follow suit or lay trump if they wish.  If they cannot follow suit or lay trump, they can play any other card from their hand.  The player who lays the highest card in the suit that was led or the highest trump suited card takes the trick.  

The player that wins the trick collects it as well as the trump card, and the points earned for that trick are recorded.  Please note that it is possible to earn points for the trump pile card if it is an Honor Card.  See the SCORING section for more detail.  

The player that won the trick flips the next card from the top of the trump pile over.  The suit of that card is now the trump suit.  They get to lead first.

Play like this continues until all seven tricks are played.  Once the seventh trick has been played, the next trump card is flipped over.  If it is an Honor Card, the winner of the seventh trick also gains the point value of the card. 


Players earn points for the cards they captured.  

Honor Cards earn the following points:

7 of diamonds = 14 points when captured from the trump pile, 7 points when captured as part of a trick while diamonds are trump

Aces = 5 points each

Kings = 4 points each

Queens = 3 points each

Jacks = 2 points each

Whoever captures the majority of the tricks earns one point for each card beyond seven.  For example, if a players captures 5 tricks, they would earn 8 additional points.  5 tricks plus 5 trump pile cards is 15 cards.  15 – 7 = 8 points.


The first player to reach 61 points wins the game.

Mark Ball
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