- Step 1: Deal Deal 12 cards face down to each player. After a deal, the remaining cards are the "stock."
- TIP: Ace is high, then 10, King, Queen, and Jack. Nines have no value.
- Step 2: Name trump suit Pick the top card from the stock and turn it face up. This will be the trump suit, or the suit designated a higher rank than any other suit.
- Step 3: Meld your hand Arrange your hand into melds; three or more cards of one suit in a sequence, or three or more cards of the same rank and different suits. Place melds face up on a table.
- TIP: The highest value meld is the "run," or the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 in the trump suit worth 15 points. One ace in each suit is 10 points.
- Step 4: Play lead card in trick Pick one of your cards to play as lead card in the first trick of the game. A trick is a pinochle round played one card at a time from each player’s hand.
- Step 5: Win first trick Win your first trick. After the lead card is played, an opponent tries to pick a card from the hand with a higher meld value than your lead card.
- Step 6: Score the game Mark card values taken in tricks on a score sheet. The last trick taken in the game is worth 10 points. Add card values together to determine the game winner.
- FACT: German immigrants popularized pinochle – from the German dialect word Binokel – in the U.S. in the late 1800s.
You Will Need
- Two 24-card pinochle decks
- Two players
- A score sheet
- A pen or pencil
- Three or four players or two two-player teams