OBJECTIVE OF SOLO 66: Score at least 66 points as the soloist or as the defending team
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 5 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 32 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 7,8,9,J,Q,K,10,A (high)
RANK OF SUITS: (low) Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Clubs (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF SOLO 66
Solo 66 is a trick taking game that is loosely based on the rules of Skat. This five player game is played for one round with the bid-winner declaring the trump suit and competing against the other four players. In this game, the bid-winner is referred to as the soloist. The goal is not to capture the most tricks. Instead, players are trying to capture point cards. The soloist wants to capture at least 66 points in order to win the game. The defending team of four is working to keep that from happening.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Solo 66 requires a 32 card deck which includes 7’s – A’s of each suit. The card order is as follows: (low) 7,8,9,J,Q,K,10,A (high).
Cut for low card to determine the dealer. Shuffle and deal six cards to each player. The last two cards are placed face down to form the kitty.
Players bid to determine who will go solo for the round. The bid-winner becomes the soloist, determines the trump suit, and plays alone against the four other players.
The bid begins with the player seated on the dealer’s left. Bidding is done by suit. The suits rank (low) Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs (high). A player can either bid or pass. Bidding continues until all but one player has passed. Once a player passes, they join back in to bid.
The bid-winner calls trump for the game. They can make trump the suit with which they won the bid, or they can make the trump suit higher. For example, if the bid was won with Hearts, the bid-winner can make the trump suit Hearts, Spades, or Clubs.
If all the players pass, the game is played without a trump suit, and the player who captures the last trick wins the game
EXAMPLE BIDDING ROUND
Player 1 begins the bidding round with Diamonds. This means that if they win the bid, they can make any suit trump. Player 2 passes. Player 3 raises the bid with Hearts. This means that if Player 3 wins the bid, they can make Hearts, Spades, or Clubs trump. Player 4 passes. Player 5 raises the bid with Clubs. Clubs is the highest bid, so Player 3 automatically loses the bid.
Player 5 becomes the soloist for the game. They must declare Clubs as trump.
THE FIRST TRICK
The player on the dealer’s left leads. The players who follow must match the suit if they can. If they cannot match the suit, they must play a trump card. If they do not possess a trump card, they can play any card. The highest ranking card in the suit that’s led or the highest ranking trump card captures the trick. The trick-winner leads.
Play continues as described until the last trick is captured.
For this example, Hearts are trump. Player 1 leads with an Ace of Diamonds. Player 2 can follow suit with the 9 of Diamonds. Player 3 does not have any Diamonds, so they must play their 10 of Hearts. Player 4 does not have any Diamonds, or a trump suited Heart, so they throw a 9 of Spades to the trick. Player 3 captures the trick with the 10 of Hearts. They lead.
Players earn points for the point cards they capture.
7’s, 8’s, 9’s = 0 points
Jacks = 2 points
Queens = 3 points
Kings = 4 points
10’s = 11 points
Aces = 11 points
The last trick is worth 10 points.
The soloist wins the game if they capture 66 points or more. The defending team wins the game if they capture 66 points or more. In the event that the game is played with no trump suit, the player who takes the last trick wins the game.