- Introduction to tarot
- Aim of the game
- The deck
- Value of the cards
- How to play Tarot
- Game controls
- Table options
- Ranking for points
Introduction to tarot
Tarot is a card game of uncertain origin. Some studies inducate that Marco Polo perhaps brought it to Europe from China. Other’s indicate a possible origin in Egypt or even Israel. The oldest Tarot deck is dated from the 14th century, though the era it became mostly widespread was during the 18th century.
On the other hand, fortune telling with the Tarot is thought to be much later than the game. Also, the cards were adapted for the practice of cartomancy (1: The magician, 7: the chariot, 13: Death... etc).
Aim of the game
The object of the game is to get more points than your opponents up to a number of chosen rounds. The most popular variant of Tarot is for 4 players, although it’s also possible to play with 3 (explained at the end).
In each round a player is the declarer and plays against the other 3, called defenders.
The tarot deck is made up of 78 cards bigger than the usual cards.
The 22 trumps are the most characteristic of tarot. They are numbered from 1 to 21, except the Excuse that doesn’t have a number. The power of each card is proportional to its number, the 21 being the strongest and 1 the weakest.
The Bouts are the trumps 1, 21 and the Excuse. They are the most important cards and the strategy of Tarot is over them principally. The trump no. 1 is commonly known as the Petit.
The trumps are stronger than any other card.
- The strongest card is the king, then the queen, horse, jack, 10, 9..... until 1.
Value of the cards
Apart from its strength, the cards have a determined point value.
|Card||Bouts and kings||Queens||Knights||Jacks||Rest of the cards|
How to play Tarot
At the beginning of the game, the player that is the hand is chosen by automatic drawing lots, that is, the player that starts to play. In the following round (if there is one), the player that starts is the one on the right of the current player. It is played anti-clockwise.
Depending on what is happening, the won cards by the declarer become part of his pile, while the cards won by the defenders are collected in the pile of the player seated at the opposite side to the declarer.
Cards are dealt 3 by 3 and one card left in the centre of the table. These cards become what we call “discards” or the “Dog”.
Note: If after the deal one of the players only has one trump, and it’s the “petit”, the cards must be redealt.
After the deal, each player in turn can choose one of the following contracts or pass:
- The declarer can make use of the Dog cards among the discards.
- The declarer can make use of the Dog cards in the discards. The difference between it and the “Toma” is that there are more points in the game.
- Guard without the Dog
- The declarer can’t see the cards in the Dog, but at the end of the trick the points of these cards count in their favour.
- Guard against the Dog
- The declarer can’t see the cards of the Dog pile and at the end of the trick the points count in favour of the defendors.
A contract must be chosen higher than the rest. the player that has chosen the highest contract will be the declarer and play against the rest of the players who will be the defenders. If all players pass, the cards are dealt again.
For example, if the first player declares a Toma, the second player must declare a superior contract or pass.
If the declarer has declared a Toma or a Guard, they proceed to discard the Dog .
For that, the Dog is incovered and shown to all the players. The declarer adds the cards to their hand and discards 6 cards of their choice that will be put face down on their pile of won cards and counted as such in the final point count.
Therefore, these discarded cards cannot be neither kings nor Trumps. In the case of having to discard a king or trump by necessity, it must be of trumps that are not Bouts and must be shown to the other players.
Note: the Dog is not shown if the contract is “Guard without the Dog” or a “Guard against the Dog”.
The player who goes first plays any one of their cards. The others must throw down one of their based on the first. The group of cards with which are played in one hand are called trick.
If a trump card is played, the next player must throw down...
- ... a trump card of greater value.
- ...any other trump card.
- ...any other card.
If the card isn’t a trump, the next player must throw down...
- ...one card of the starting suit
- ...a trump card higher than any other card on the table.
- ...any other trump.
- ...any other card.
The player that places the highest valued trump or if there are no trumps, the highest valued card of the initial suit (the first card to be thrown) wins the trick.
The cards are kept in the pile of the winner (declarer or defenders) until the end of the round. The player who gets the trick starts discarding on the following hand.
The Excuse is one exception. You can throw down whenever you want and it has no specific effect. If it comes out as a beginning card, the next player takes it as “first card”.
Regardless of the effect on the trick, the Excuse is always taken back by the player that put it down and adds it to his pile. If this player has lost the trick, he will give one card from his pile to the rival team (always a card of 0.5 points). The is an automatic process.
Example: player 1 is the declarer and throws down the Excuse. As this card has no power, the defenders win the trick easily. Therefore, the Excuse is taken back into the pile of the won cards. From there they take a 2 of spacdes worth 0.5 and it is put into the defenders pile.
A poignée is a group of cards made up of Trumps. It’s called a single poignée if it has less than 10 Trumps, a double with 13 and a triple with 15.
When a player has a poignée, they can show it at their turn in the first round of the game (if they don’t show it, there’s no bonus added to the score). In such case, they must show the quantity of Trumps (10, 13 or 15).
If the player has more Trumps than required for a poignée (for example, 12), they can choose which to show. Except the Excuse, which only can be shown if it is making a poignée with the exact number of cards. The poignée has a fixed point value, not multipliable by the contract.
- 20 points for a single poignée.
- 30 points for a double poignée.
- 40 points for a triple poignée.
If a player wins the Petit (the no.1 trump) in the last trick, they get a bonus of 10 points for their team. The Petit is multiplied by the contract (see below).
The Capote must be declared when the player says his bet or upon discarding of the Dog. Getting a Capote it to win all the rounds of the trick.
Making a declared Capote attracts 400 additional points (not multipliable by the contract), one obtained but not declared, 200 points. Declaring a Capote and not getting it attract a loss of 200 points.
If one of the sides can get a Capote and they have the Excuse, it must be played in the last round of the game, in this case it is valuable and wins the round. Inasmuch as the “Final Petit” is won when the Petit is played in the second last round.
End of the round and count up the points
The round ends when the players have no cards left. At this time, the points are counted up.
The contract is considered fulfilled if the declarer:
- Has won 3 Bouts and get at least 36 points.
- Ha won 2 Bouts and got at least 41 points.
- Has won 1 Bout and got at least 51 points.
- Hasn’t won any Bouts but has at least 56 points.
Each game is worth 25 points. To this is added the difference between the points obtained and the points needed to fulfil the contract.
Example 1: 41 are needed (to have 2 Bouts) and the declarer has got 45. The difference is 4 points. 25+4=29 points.
This figure is multiplied according to the chosen contract.
|Toma||Score x 1|
|Guard||Score x 2|
|Guard without the Dog||Score x 4|
|Guard against the Dog||Score x 6|
Following example 1, the contract was a Guard, so 29 x 2 = 58 points.
If the declarer has fulfilled the contract, they win the figure calculated times 3 defenders. The defenders lose the said figure.
In example 1, the declarer adds up 58 x 3 = 174 points. the defenders lose 58 points each.
On the other hand, if the contract is not completed, each defender wins these points and the declarer loses triple the points played.
Example 2: the declarer doesn’t fulfil the contract (Toma) with 45 points. 51 were necessary (to have a Bout). The calculation of the points would be the following: 26 + 51 - 45 = 31 points. Multiplied by the contract 31 x 1 = 31 points. Each defender wins 31 points. The declarer loses 31 x 3 = 93 points.
Example 3: the declarer fulfills their contract (Guard), for that they score an extra 200 points. The declarer wins 254 x 3 defenders = 762 points. Each defender loses 254 points.
3 player mode
The game is similar, except that each player has in their hand 24 cards at the beginning and the poignées require a different quantity of Trumps (13, 15, 18).
Click on the card desired to throw it automatically on the table. Click the help button to open the form with Tarot basic information.
Why do robots play? What for?
In some games, when a player loses connection during the game, a robot substitutes until the player can return. The player has a time allowed of some minutes to return to the game and continue playing.
End the game amicably (cancel game)
Some games have the option of ending the game amicably. If this happens, the game is cancelled. That is, the players don’t receive or lose points and the game doesn’t count in the leaderboards or statistics. What’s more, the chips bet are returned to each player (except in the case of penalisation for abandoning the game).
To cancel a game, one of the players must click the following button . All the players must agree to end the game, otherwise the game will continue.
The robot doesn’t count in the votes to end a game amicably.
The table options are chosen by the master (the first player to sit at the table and that has a star beside his/her avatar).
To see or change the table options, press the following button . The table options can be changed before starting a game or in the middle of the games. If the icon is changed to red, that means the master changed some of the options.
- Time per turn
- Used to indicate the time a player has to play on his/her turn. If the time ends, the game plays for him/her. See also: Game in automatic mode
- Compete for points and chips.
- Permits playing competitive games. Deactivate this option to practise (you will not score points or win chips, nor will you get badges or level up).
- Bet per game:
- Indicate the amount of game chips you will bet in the game. The winner takes the pot. See also: What are the game chips? How can I get them?
- Private table.
- If this option is active, only invited players or friends can sit in. See also: How to invite other players to play at your table.
- Spectators allowed.
- Other people can enter the table to watch the game and chat. See also: Watchers during the games
- Number of rounds per game:
- Determines the number of rounds per game.
Ranking for points
To score points, the games have to be competitive (indicated by a boxing glove or swords). There is no scoring if 2 players at the table share the same IP.
If at one table game chips are being bet, you will need to have sufficient chips available to cover the bet. The winner of the game will get the XP points and the chips bet (the bank will receive 25% of the pot).
When playing Tarot for only 1 round, the betting system with chips is different to usual. If the declarer wins, he gets all the chips. If the defenders win, each one gets back the chips they bet. The declarer’s chips go to the bank.
The experience points (XP) got depend on the number of players and they are calculated
10×number of players.
- 3 players: 30 XP points
- 4 players: 40 XP points
The players that lose a game, add 5 points. If the game is ended amicably, each player gets back their chips bet.
You will get 10 additional XP points for each extra round indicated on the table options. If the game is for 2 rounds, you will get 10 extra points; if you play for 3 rounds, you will get 20 extra points, etc.