OBJECTIVE OF TUQUE: Be the first player to earn 61 points or more.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 39 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 6 – Ace, Trump Suited 6-Ace, Left Bower, Right Bower, Little Ben, Big Ben, Best Ben (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF TUQUE
Tuque is a two player Euchre style trick taking game with origins traced back to Arnprior, Ontario, Canada. This particular documentation of the rules is a slight variation of that game developed by Sean Ross. Tuque itself is perhaps a localized variation of Six Hand Almonte Euchre, and Sean’s variation of the scoring system is influenced by Joe Chellman’s rules for two-handed Euchre.
This game requires three Jokers. If three Jokers are not available, players can use the 2, 3, and 4 of Spades as the Bens. Bens rank higher than the Bowers in this game.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Tuque uses a 39 card deck. Take a standard deck and strip it down to 6’s through Aces. 6’s are low, and Aces are high. Above the aces ranks the Left Bower (Jack same color as trump suit) and the Right Bower (trump suited Jack). Above the Bowers ranks the Little Ben (lowest Joker), Big Ben, and the Best Ben (highest Joker). The Bens are always the highest ranking trump suited cards each round. To clarify, the rank of cards is as follows:
(low) 6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A, Trump Suited 6,7,8,9,10,Q,K,A, J(same colored), J, Little Ben, Big Ben, Best Ben
THE TRUMP AND BOWERS
As stated above, the Jack that is the same color as the trump suit becomes part of the trump suit. If Hearts become trump, the Jack of Diamonds becomes the Left Bower and counts as a Heart. The Bens also play as part of the trump suit. This means the Bowers and Bens are played when the trump suit is led.
Deal five cards face down in a row to each player then deal five face up on top of those. Finally deal seven cards to each player as their hand. The rest of the cards are placed face down in a pile on the table. Dealer flips the top card over to determine the potential trump suit for the round.
After the trump card is turned up, the non-dealer may order it up or pass. If the non-dealer orders it up, that suit becomes trump for the round. If they pass, the dealer decides trump. If the dealer passes, the card is turned face down.
If the trump card is ordered up, the dealer picks it up and replaces it with a card from their hand. That card is placed face down on the pile.
If both players pass, and the trump card is turned down, the non-dealer may determine a trump suit (other than what was shown on the card). If the non-dealer passes, the dealer must call trump.
If a Ben is turned up, the player that orders it up names the trump suit.
Play begins with the non-dealer. They may lead with any card from their hand or the face up cards in front of them. The following player must follow suit if possible, and cards from the hand or the face up row are eligible for play. When a card from the table is played, the face down card below it is turned up after the trick has been captured.
If the trump suit is led, Bens are required to be played as if part of that suit.
Whoever played the highest card in the suit that was led or the highest trump card takes the trick. That player leads the next trick.
Whoever makes trump earns 1 point per trick. The player who did not make trump also earns 1 point per trick unless they take nine or more. If the defender takes 9 or more tricks, they earn 2 points per trick.
Continue play with deal alternating each round.
The first player to earn 61 points or more wins the game.