OBJECTIVE: Be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 32 card deck
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 7 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF ROSBIRATSCHKA
Rosbiratschka is a four player trick taking game that is played over a series of rounds. Each round’s rules are determined by a contract. In total, there are six different contracts to be played.
This is a German game that is traditionally played with a 32 card German deck. The rules have been adapted in order to play with a standard French deck.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
In order to play with a 32 card French deck, remove the 2’s through the 6’s.
To determine the dealer and the scorekeeper, each player should take a card from the deck. The player with the lowest card must deal first and keep score for the game.
The dealer should collect the cards, shuffle them thoroughly, and deal eight cards to each player.
During each round, the player on the left side of the dealer will lead first. Following players will play a card and follow suit if they can. If they are unable to follow suit, they may play any card they choose. The highest card in the suit that was led takes the trick. The player who takes the trick leads next.
Once all of the tricks have been played, the score is tallied up and deal passes to the next player. Play like this continues until all six contracts have been played.
Each round consists of a different contract that determines scoring.
During this contract, players earn one point for each trick they take.
If a player avoids taking any tricks, then the point value doubles. Each player earns two points per trick instead.
A player might be able to take all eight tricks. Doing so is called a slam, and that player deducts eight points from their score. Remember, lowest score wins, so starting off with a -8 is a good thing.
During this contract, players earn one point for each heart card they capture.
If a player avoids taking any heart cards, then the point value doubles. Each player earns two points per heart instead.
A player might be able to capture all of the hearts. That player deducts eight points from their score.
During this contract, players earn two points for each Jack they capture.
If a player avoids taking any Jacks, then they are worth four points instead.
If a player captures all of the Jacks, they deduct eight points from their score.
NO KING OF HEARTS
During this contract, the player who captures the King of hearts earns eight points. Once the king is captured, the round is over. The cards can be thrown in and deal passes to the next player.
This is not a trick taking contract. Instead, players are getting rid of their cards and trying to avoid being the first one to cross certain thresholds. For this contract, cards have a special value: Aces = 11, Tens = 10, Kings = 4, Queens = 3, Jacks = 2, & 9’s, 8’s, and 7’s = 0.
The player to the left of the dealer begins by playing a card of their choice to the center of the table. They say the value of the card. The next player then plays any card they wish on top of it, and they say the running total of the pile. For example, if player one played a King, they would say “four.” If the next player played a Jack, they would say “six” (4 + 2 = 6). This continues on with the first player to cross 25 earning one point, the first player to cross 50 earns two points, and the first player to cross 100 earns 5 points.
Once the running total of 100 has been passed, the contract ends. Players should throw in their remaining cards and deal passes to the next player for the final contract.
This is a hand shedding contract that challenges players to get rid of all the cards from their hand.
Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, they must start a row with a Jack. If they do not have a Jack, they pass their turn to the next player. Once a Jack has been played, the next player must play the same suited 10 or Queen on it. The 10 will be placed below the Jack, the Queen will be placed on top of it. If the player is unable to add to the Jack, they may start another row by playing a second Jack to the table.
If a player is unable to add to an existing row or play another Jack to the table, they pass their turn.
Play like this continues until there is only one player left with cards in their hand. Once that occurs, everyone at the table shouts Rosbiratschka, and that player earns eight points.
At the completion of this round, the game is over.
The player with the lowest score at the end of the final round wins the game.