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The Germans are said to have gone down to the basement to laugh. But when a deck of cards is drawn, they all come out quickly. Cross, spades, hearts and diamonds, gin rummy or in the old German version: acorn, leaves, hearts and bells, have culture in the land of poets and thinkers.

History of the German Card Game

The origin of the maps lies in the oriental region and did not find its way to the European mainland until the 14th century. Already at that time the basic structure consisted of pictures, numbers and 4 different colours.

In each region these were changed however with the time and thus developed in the German empire the pictures king, upper and lower. the oldest received German pack of cards has thereby the colors duck, deer, falcon, heron. starting from the 16th century however the French sheet prevailed more and more, which is common also today in nearly the same form.

The Landsknecht can be regarded as the mother of the German card games, which was probably the most popular pastime in the local pubs between 1500 and 1800. The Skat and Schafskopf, known today, emerged from it.

Wars often fired the spread of the German card games, since it was a popular pastime of the soldiers. It was the same with the Skat. After the Battle of Leipzig was over, the soldiers distributed themselves again to their home villages and thus provided for the spreading of the favourite game of the Germans.

Skat: King of the German card game

One can probably call it THE German card game. Skat is a classic trick game and very popular because of its tactical versatility. You need a small 32-hand deck and exactly 3 persons, whereby always one competes against the other two. Due to its complicated rules and instructions Skat is not as familiar as it used to be. But if you have a quick look at what’s going on, you’ll get a quick overview.

Skat instructions and rules

Spend: Each player receives 10 cards, which are dealt at a rate of 3-4-3. The last two are pressed into the so-called “Skat”.

Attracting: As already mentioned, in the Skat one player plays alone against the other two. When stimulating, it is decided who the soloist is. The stimulation is a kind of auction, who goes highest becomes soloist. How high you can bid depends on the strength of your hand. So far so good. But how to stimulate is a bit more complicated and has to be calculated.

First you have to see which jacks you have. The order is cross-spik-heart check. When counting, it is important to know if you have the Jack of Clubs. If you hold the jack of clubs, you count “with” until the next jack is missing in the row. For example, if you have all Jacks except Heart, you count “with 2”. A +1 is always added to this value, i.e. “with 2 games 3”. If you do not hold the Jack of Clubs, you count down to your first Jack and bet without it. So if you only have the Jack of Hearts, you say “without 2 game 3”.

Once you have determined your Jack’s value, you have to multiply it by the given color values: Diamonds (9), Hearts (10), Spades (11), Clubs (12). So if you have 3 in your hand without “2 games 3” and your heart is supposed to be your trump card, you can play up to 3×11=33.

The order of stimulation is always “give, hear, say”. So whoever sits to the left of the dealer hears what he says to the right of the dealer. This goes on until the listener fits or the speaker can’t get higher. The same goes with the encoder until a soloist is determined. This player then receives the skat and must discard 2 cards, which count as points for him.
Prick: If the soloist is determined, the most difficult part is finished. He now has to collect points against the other two, who are not allowed to coordinate. The soloist begins to play a color which must be served. The trick is awarded to the player with the highest card. The order is A, 10, K, D, B, 9, 8, 7. However, if someone does not have the suit played, he may either discard (play another suit that cannot win) or trick (play a trump). The trumps are always the jacks and the suit chosen by the soloist. The highest trump always wins the trick.

Points count: When counting, the cards have the following values (eyes): A (11), 10 (10), K (4), D (3), B (2), 9,8 & 7 (0). So there are 120 eyes in the deck, which means you need at least 61 to win. The final account works in the classical way as follows: Only the soloist gets points. If the soloist wins, he receives the simplicity of his charm value. If he loses, twice his stimulus value is deducted.

Post Author: Barbara D. Young

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