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Rules for the game of Troccas

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Subject: Rules for the game of Troccas
   The game of Troccas has been played in Switzerland for centuries.
   The verson here was brought to us by an SCA member who learned it
   while visiting Romanch-speaking relatives in France.
   Rules to play Troccas
   The cards: There are 78 cards: 4 different suits, 21troccas and
   one fool (le mat). (We used a Swiss tarot deck.)
    The Suits : The suits are: sword, cup, stick and rose. Each suit
   has 14 cards: 4 figures (king, queen, knight, servant [valet])
   and 10 cards numbered from I-X. X is best in swords and sticks,
   and I is best in cups and roses. ;(In other words, the I - X
   cards are counted backwards for cups and roses.) Figures are the
   best in all suits from King high to valet low.
   Troccas: Troccas cards are numbered XXI to I. XXI is the best.
   Troccas cards beat all of the suits. Think trump.
   The Fool (le mat): The fool is a neutral card. You can play it
   anytime. It beats nothing. It also can not be beaten. If someone
   plays the fool as the first card, the next player chooses the
   suit. If the point (trick) goes to the other team the losing team
   takes a card (no points) from the played pile and keeps the fool.
   The fool is placed face down on the played pile. If one team
   takes all the tricks, the fool and the scart also go to the
   winning team. This rarely happens. (Think 'shoot the moon')
   The Honors. All cards with a value of 5 points are called Honors.
   The kings, the fool (le mat), the XXI (le monde), and the I (le
   Choosing partners and order of play. To play you need four
   people. Somebody shuffles the cards, his neighbor at the left
   cuts the deck. The shuffler lays the card from the top in the
   middle of the table. Then every player takes one card, beginning
   with the player on the shuffler's right. The players take a card
   until everybody gets a trocca. The 2 players with the highest
   troccas are a team and the 2 players with the lowest troccas are
   a team.
   Dealing the cards. The player who had the lowest trocca is the
   first "scartist", and deals the cards for the first hand. He
   shuffles, the neighbor on his left cuts the cards. The scartist
   takes the pile and deals, beginning with the neighbor on his
   right. Everybody gets 6 cards, then 6 more, and finally 7 cards,
   with the seventh card dealt face up. The scartist gets 9 cards at
   the end rather than 7. Three players have 19 cards and the
   scartist (dealer) has 21.
   Make the "Scart" The scartist has 2 cards more than the others.
   He must lay down 2 cards: make the 'scart'. This can give him an
   advantage. The scartist prefers to lay down cards of a suit,
   where he is' short'. That allows him to beat the king or queen of
   the other team with a Trocca. If he isn't able to eliminate a
   suit, he lays down figures of a suit in which he has lots of
   cards. The scartist puts the two cards in from of him on the
   table, the other players should not see the cards in the scart.
   The points in the scart are counted at the end of the hand with
   the other points taken by the team. Honors cards (kings, fool,
   XXI and I) may not be placed in the scart.
   Playing: The player to the right of the scartist begins. He puts
   one card on the table. Followed by the player on his right. The
   players must play the same suit if possible. If they can't play
   in suit then they must play Trocca. If they have neither suit nor
   Trocca, they can then play any suit they choose. When four cards
   have been played the team playing the highest card then takes
   that trick and places it in a pile in front of one of the team
   members. Troccas beats every suit and the face cards. Between the
   troccas the higher numbers always beat the lower. Watch the I, it
   is worth 5 points. The king is the highest card in every suit,
   the queen, the knight, the valet and for swords and sticks the X,
   but for roses and cups the I are the next highest cards. If a
   suit is played for the first time and the king is also played,
   the player laying tha king may call the valet to him. The player
   who has the valet of that suit must play him and take the next
   highest card of that suit to his hand, not a face card or
   Troccas. When all the cards have been played (one hand) you count
   the cards. The game is finished when each player has dealt (four
   Scoring:  After each hand one team counts the points. There are
   72 points.
   King 5
   Fool 5
   XXI (le monde) 5
   I (le bateleur) 5
   Queens 4
   Knights 3
   Valets 2
   4 cards not face/honor 1
   You always have to take four cards to count. If there is more
   then one figure, subtract one point for each 1 king (5), 1 queen
   (4-1), 1 valet (2-1), 1 suit card (0) = 9 points [5+(4-1)+(2-1)]
   1 trocca (not XXI or I), 1 queen (4), 1 knight (3-1), 1 suit card
   = 6 points 3 troccas (not XXI or I), fool (5) = 5 points XXI (5),
   I (5-1), queen (4-1), 1 suit card = 12 points 4 troccas (not XXI
   or I) = 1 point 4 suit cards = 1 point 2 troccas (not XXI or I),
   2 suit cards = 1 point Points over 36 are 'goods', points under
   36 are' bads' One team counts the points and has 32, that team
   has 4 bads and the other team has 4 goods. After each hand the
   teams count their 'goods' or 'bads'. After the game the team with
   more goods is the winner. Goods are positive points and bads are
   negative points. There will always be the same number of 'goods'
   and 'bads' in each hand.
   Top of page
   The Historical Games page has rules for many more period games
   for cards and dice.
   These rules were compiled by Nicolette Deplazes, from the shire
   of Rudivale, and formatted for Hypertext by Lord Berwyn
   Ęthelbryght of Ackley.
   Last revision, Nov. 22, 1995 

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