OBJECTIVE OF PITCH SIX: The first player to earn 12 or more points wins the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 6 players
CONTENTS: 52 cards, Instructions
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking card game
INTRODUCTION OF PITCH SIX
Pitch Six is an out of print commercial rendition of the classic American game, Pitch. In this game, players are bidding on how many points they think they will capture. The bid-winner gets to name the trump suit for the round and lead the first trick. Much like in Pitch, points are awarded for capturing the highest trump card in play, the lowest trump card in play, the trump suited Jack and the Game point. What separates this version from others is the inclusion of a point for the trump suited 6 and for capturing the last trick.
Rounds are played until one player wins on the bid. When a bid-winner reaches a score of 12 or more, they win the game.
Out of the box, players get a 52 card deck specially designed for the game of Pitch Six. There is also an instruction manual.
The deck is made up of four suits: Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs. Each suit has cards ranked (low) 2 – A (high).
Within each suit are four point-cards that, when captured, earn the player points towards their score. All of the Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces have a second point value as well. The player who collects the most of these wins the Game point for the round. Cards that earn the player card-points or the Game-point are marked in a special way to help players remember.
Choose one player to be the scorekeeper for the game. Also, choose one player to be the first dealer. They shuffle the cards and deal six to each player. Cards are dealt three at a time. The remaining cards are placed off to the side. They are not used until the next hand.
There are a maximum of 6 points possibly available in a round of Pitch 6:
- The High – the highest trump card in play
- The Low – the lowest trump card in play
- The Jack – the trump suited Jack (which might not be in play)
- The 6 – the trump suited 6 (which might not be in play)
- The Last Trick – the last trick earns the player 1 point
- The Game – the game is earned by capturing the most valuable cards.
- Aces = 4 each
- Kings = 3 each
- Queens = 2 each
- Jacks = 1 each
- 10’s = 10 each
Each round begins with a bid. When a player bids, they are saying how many of the 6 points they are going to capture or earn during the round. The player left of the dealer may bid first or pass. The minimum bid allowed is 3, and the maximum bid possible is 6.
If that player bids, the following player must bid a higher number or say pass. Once it is the dealer’s turn to bid, they may “steal the bid” and say a number equal to the highest bid so far, they may bid higher, or they may say pass. If all of the players pass, the dealer must “take the bid” for 3 or more.
The player who bids the highest number is the bid-winner. They have won the right to pitch the trump suit for the round. The bid-winner pitches trump by picking one card from their hand and leading the first trick with it. The suit of that card becomes the trump suit for the round.
For example, if the bid-winner wants Clubs to be trump, they must lead a Club on the first trick. After the first trick, any card can be led.
After a card is led to the trick, following players must follow suit, or they may trump in. If a player is unable to follow the lead suit, they may play any card from their hand.
WINNING A TRICK
The highest card in the suit that is led or the highest trump card wins the trick. The trick winner leads the next one, and play continues until all six tricks are collected. This ends the round.
There are potentially six points available each round: the High, Low, Jack, 6, Last Trick, and Game.
The bid-winner adds up their points first. If they make their bid, they earn points equal to their bid. If they captured more points than their bid, they still only earn points equal to their bid. For example, if the bid was 4, and the player captured 5, they still only earn 4 points.
If the bid-winner did not make their bid, they lose points equal to their bid.
The other players score the points they capture.
CONTINUE THE GAME
After the score has been tallied, collect the cards. The deal passes left each round.
A player can only win on a bid. This means that a player cannot win as a defender. If a player reaches 12 or more points while defending, they cannot be declared the winner until they become the bid-winner and play out the round.
If a gap between scorers grows to 12 or more, the game ends and the player with 12 points or more wins.