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Subject: Belote de Comptoir rss

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Raymond Gallardo
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I learned this game more than 20 years ago when I was vacationing in Marseille. The game feels like Liar's Dice! This variant handles between 2-6 players.

Each player starts with six points. Players can use dice to keep track of points. The objective is to lose your six points as fast as possible; once you do so, you are eliminated from the game. The last one left has to buy drinks for everyone else.

The dealer deals 1, 2, or 3 cards (dealer's choice) to each player (each player receiving the same number of cards). Starting with forehand, each player bids the number of points he or she can win in tricks provided that he or she can determine the trump suit. Melds aren't scored. I'm not sure that if you're allowed to re-enter bidding once you have passed; I'm assuming you can't.

The highest bidder leads, and that player must lead trump. Otherwise, trick play is just like Belote. If the highest bidder manages to win at least the same number of trick points as his or her bid, then he or she loses one point; otherwise, all other players lose one point.

Rules online vary. This includes the number of game points won/lost depending on how high the bid is and the number of cards dealt (up to 5).
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Craig Duncan
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Could you summarize the trick play rules, for those of us who are not yet familiar with Belote? (Looking at some online sites for Belote, some of the trick play descriptions make reference to your partner; I assume this is ignored.)

Also curious whether you prefer playing with 1-3 cards at the dealer's discretion or 1-5 cards.
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Raymond Gallardo
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cdunc123 wrote:
Could you summarize the trick play rules, for those of us who are not yet familiar with Belote? (Looking at some online sites for Belote, some of the trick play descriptions make reference to your partner; I assume this is ignored.)
According to French rules of Belote de Comptoir, here's the order of priority:

1. Follow suit and play a card higher than the highest card of the led suit.
2. If you can't, then follow suit with a lower card ("pisser" or take a piss)
3. If you can't follow suit, then play a trump card higher than any trump card played
4. If you can't play a higher trump, then play any trump card
5. Discard

Note that English rules for (regular) Belote don't use priority #1.

In practice, it actually doesn't make much of a difference as the soloist usually ends up winning all or most of the the tricks; the soloist is hoping that the total value of all the cards dealt is at least as high as the their bid.

cdunc123 wrote:
Also curious whether you prefer playing with 1-3 cards at the dealer's discretion or 1-5 cards.
I've only played it with 1-3 cards. Most online accounts of the rules say 1-5 cards and only 2-4 players; many of them value contracts differently as well:

1 point: Bid value less than 51
2 points: Bid value 51-70
3 points: Bid value 71+

Some accounts have another level -- 4 points: Bid value 91+

Some accounts mention that if you win a contract, you gain these points; if not, all of your opponents gain the points instead. The objective is to win 6 points. The rules don't mention what happens when you tie. (I would say you win only if you have at least 6 points and you won as soloist.)


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Craig Duncan
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Thank you, Raymond!
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