OBJECTIVE OF SPIZZICHINO: The objective of Spizzichino is to be the first player with 51 points.  


MATERIALS: An Italian 40-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface. 

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game 



Spizzichino is a trick-taking card game for 2 players. The goal is for you to reach 51 points before your opponent.  


The dealer first dealer is chosen at random and players take turns dealing after. The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal 8 facedown piles of 5 cards each.  

After the piles are dealt the opponent will pick four of the piles without looking through them. Two of them they will take into their hand, and the other two will be turned face up so that only the top card of the pile is seen. Once the opponent finishes the dealer will do the same, taking two of the remaining piles into their hand and turning over the other two.  

Each player will now have a hand of 10 cards and two five card stacks faceup in front of them.  

Card Ranking and Point Values 

The ranking is 3 (high), 2, 1, Re, Cavallo, Fante, 7, 6, 5, and 4 (low). The points awarded for each of the cards are in the following order. 1/3rd a point for 3s and 2s, 1 point for 1s, 1/3rd a point for Res, Cavallos, and Fantes, and no points for any other cards.  

The last trick is also worth 1 point. There is a total of 11 and 2/3rds points available each round, but all points are rounded down to the nearest whole number.  


The non-dealer starts the round, and may play any card from their hand or either of the two top revealed cards. The following player must follow suit fi able, but if cannot may play any card. The winner of the trick sis the highest card played of the suit led. The winner of the trick collects it and leads to the next trick. There are 20 tricks to be played in a round.  

Once the top card of a pile is played to a trick the card below it will be available to play to the next trick. If the top card of a pile is a 3, 2, or 1 a player may choose to take the card into their hand to reveal the card below it.  

There are also declarations that can be made if a player holds certain cards in their hand. The top cards of piles do not count for these. If a player is dealt these combinations or takes the top card form a pile to achieve the combination, they must declare it immediately. Cards can only be declared once, so if later you draw an additional card that would add to a previously declared combination it cannot be declared again. 

The possible declarations are four of a kind of 3s, 2s, or 1s. These are worth 4 points. Three of a kind of 3s, 2s, and 1s. These are worth 3 points. The final declaration is a Napoletana which is a 3, 2, and 1 of the same suit. These are worth 3 points.  


Once all 20 tricks have been played scoring begins. Each player counts the value of the cards they won in tricks and adds them to any declarations made. The winner of the last trick also adds an additional point to their score. Once the totals have been found and rounded down to their nearest whole number, they are scored to that players game score.  

The game ends when one or both players reach or exceed 51 points at the end of a round.  


The first player to reach or exceed 51 points wins the game. If both players reach 51 in the same round the player with the higher score wins.  

Amber Crook
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