OBJECTIVE OF SCOPA: The objective of SCOPA is to play cards from your hand to capture cards on the table.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS:  2 or 4 Players

MATERIALS: A flat space, and a modified deck of 52 cards or an Italian set of cards

TYPE OF GAME: Capturing card game



The goal in Scopa is to capture the most cards by the end of the game. Players do this by using cards from their hands to either capture one card of the same value or a set of cards whose sum is the value of the card used. There are many variations of Scopa, most notably Scopone which is just a more difficult version of Scopa.

The game may also be played with 4 players. this is done by splitting players into teams of two and having partnerships sit across from each other. All rules below remain the same, but paterners score their scoring decks together at the end fo the game.


If you are not using an Italian deck all 10s, 9s, and 8s will need to be removed from the 52-card deck. Alternatively, all face cards can be removed instead for easier scoring; this is fairly common when playing with younger players.

Then the dealer may shuffle the cards and deal the other player and themselves three cards, one at a time. Then four cards will be revealed into the center of the table. The remaining deck is placed face down near both players in the center of the table.

If the faceup cards have 3 or more kings all cards are taken back and reshuffled and dealt again. With this configuration, a sweep cannot be performed by a player.

Card Values

The cards in this game have values attached to them, so that players may know which cards can capture others. The values are below:

King has a value of 10.

Queen has a value of 9.

Jack has a value of 8.

7 through 2 has face value.

Ace has a value of 1.


The player who was not the dealer gets to go first. The player will play one card from their hand face up to the table. This card may either capture a card(s) or not capture anything. If the card can capture either one card or a set of cards the player will collect both the card they played, and all cards captured and put them into a score pile for later.

 If the card played was able to capture all four cards at once this is called a sweep or a scopa. This is usually noted by placing the captured cards sideways face down on the score pile with the capture card faceup on top.

If the card played can not capture any cards it remains on the table and can now be captured. 

If some multiple cards or sets can be captured by one card the player must choose which set to capture but may not capture both. However, if the card played matches a card that can be captures this card must be taken over a pair of two or more cards of the same value.

Play continues like this until players both play out the three cards in their hand. The dealer will then deal three cards out to each player again and play continues. The center cards will not be refilled from the remaining deck but by players playing cards from their hands.

Once players have played out their hand and there are no more cards to refill hands the game is over. The last player to capture cards gets the remaining cards in the center to add to their score pile but this is not counted as a scopa.


The points are scored as follows. Each Scopa is worth once point. The player with the most cards scores a point if players are tied, the point is not scored by either. The player with the most diamonds scores a point if there is a tied no point is scored. The player with the 7 of diamonds scores a point. There is also a point awarded to the player with the best Prime (primiera) this consists of 4 cards one of each suit. Their values are determined by the chart below and the prime is found by adding up the amount of the cards. For example, a player might have a 7 of hearts, a 7 of diamonds, a 6 of clubs and a 5 of spades. This results in a prime of 75. If there is a tie for the Prime, the point is not awarded to either player

Seven 21
Six 18
Ace 16
Five 15
Four 14
Three 13
Two 12
King, Queen, Jack 10

The game is played to 11 points, with alternating dealers.

Nakoa Davis