OBJECT OF RIFKI: The object of Rıfkı, also known as Turkish King, is to have the best score at the end of the game.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards (or a Turkish deck of 52-cards), a way to keep score, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Compendium Card Game
AUDIENCE: Teens and Adults
OVERVIEW OF RIFKI
Rıfkı, or Turkish King, is a compendium game for 4 players. The goal of the game is to have the best score of all players at the end of the game. This is done by winning or avoiding winning tricks throughout deals. There are a total of 20 deals in Turkish King, with each player declaring 5 times.
The first declarer is chosen at random. The dealer will be the player to their left and the player who will cut the deck is to the declarer’s right. For each new deal, the declarer passes to the right.
The dealer will shuffle the deck and have the cutter cut the deck. Then they will deal counterclockwise each player a 13-card hand one card at a time. Once all the cards are dealt the declarer may choose their contract.
The ranking for Turkish King is traditional. Ace is high followed by King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low). Depending on the contract declared there may or may not be a trump suit. If there is the trump suit ranks higher than the other suits.
There are 2 types of contracts. The first is trump contracts, also known as kozlars. There is only one type of trump contract. The other type of contract is a negative contract, also known as cezalars. There are 6 types of negative contracts to choose from. During the game, a player will declare a contract 5 times, and they must choose a trump contract twice and a negative contract three times.
In a trump contract, the player will call a trump suit. They cannot call no-trumps. Then they will lead the first trick. The goal is to win tricks to earn points. Play proceeds as described below in Gameplay. Each trick won is worth 50 points.
In a negative contract, there are no trumps, and the goal is to avoid winning tricks or certain cards, also known as penalty cards. The 6 types of negative contracts are Rıfkı, Girls also called Kiz, Boys also called Erkek, Hearts also called Kupa, Last Two also called Son Iki, and No Tricks also known as El Almaz. Each type of negative contract can only be declared twice in each game.
In Rıfkı the king of hearts is the only card that causes a negative score. If you win the king of hearts in a trick you lose 320 points. Hearts cannot be used to lead a suit until one has been played in a previous suit or hearts is the only option for the player.
In Kiz, the cards that cause a negative score are the 4 queens. If a queen is won by a player in a trick, they lose 100 points.
In Erkek, the cards that cause a negative score are the 4 kings and 4 jacks. If they are won in tricks that player loses 60 points.
In Kupa, hearts are the cards that give negative scores if won in tricks. Each heart is worth negative 30 points. Hearts cannot be used to lead a suit until one has been played in a previous suit or hearts is the only option for the player.
In Son Iki, the last two tricks are worth negative points. Each of them is worth negative 180 points to their winner.
In El Almaz, all tricks are worth negative points. Each trick won is worth negative 50 points.
Each deal is started by the declarer and played counterclockwise. The game differs slightly based on which contract is declared. They do share the fact that after each deal is played players will score their points and keep their scores cumulatively through the entire game.
In a trump contract, the game is played mostly like traditional trick-taking games. The declare leads the first trick and players must follow suit if able. If they cannot, they must play a trump if possible. If neither can be followed a player may play any card to the trick. The trick is won by the highest-ranked trump, or if not applicable, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads the next one.
For negative contracts, the declarer also leads the first trick. All players must follow any restrictions in place for leading in certain contracts. The following players must follow suit if possible. If playing a contract with penalty cards and a higher card of that suit has been played you must play the penalty card even if it doesn’t follow suit. If a player cannot follow suit, they must play a penalty card if possible, if not they may play any card. The winner of a trick is the highest card of the suit led. The winner leads the next trick.
Any penalty cards won in tricks by players are placed in front of them. If all penalty cards in a contract have been won by players, the round ends and the remaining tricks do not need to be played.
END OF GAME
The game ends after the 20th, and final, deal is finished. Scores are finalized and the player with the highest score wins the game.