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Subject: English rules for Pisa rss

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Raymond Gallardo
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Günter Burkhardt's


A game of cards for 3-5 players of 12 years of age and over

Game time: 45-60 minutes


* 56 playing cards (in 4 colours of 0 - 13)
* 8 bidding cards
* Playing instructions
* Brief instructions

Idea of the game:

Just imagine, you have cards to hand and you can decide just as you like which are the trump cards, how many tricks are to be made, and which are the high and low cards, etc.

This is no pipe dream, but you must prevail in a bidding process over the other players playing the game. Or else you stay out of the bidding and rake in points with a vengeance even before the first trick is played.

Purpose of the game:

PISA is a game of chance in which each round consists of a bidding and playing phase. After each phase, points are awarded, with more points being able to be made in the playing phase than in the bidding phase.

Preparing to play:

Have paper and pencil ready.

Shuffle all 56 playing cards and deal 13 cards to each player (11 each when 5 players are playing the game). The remaining cards are set aside, being no longer needed for this round.

The players pick up their cards face down.

Place the bidding cards ready at the centre of the table.

Playing sequence:

Several rounds are played, with each round consisting of two phases:
1) bidding phase
2) playing phase

1) Bidding phase:

As soon as each player has been dealt his or her cards, the bidding phase begins. In this phase, the players establish which are the trump colours, how many tricks are to be made, and which are the high and low cards. For the bidding phase, the following sequence is always observed:

first the trump (colours), then the trick goal (many or few tricks), and finally the value of the cards (high or low number better).

All 8 bidding cards are first sorted according to

* 4 trump cards: The main trump is the bigger colour (trumps all other colours) The subsidiary trump is smaller colour (trumps both colours and is trumped only by the main trump)
* 2 trick cards (many or few tricks)
* 2 value cards (0 or 13 as the highest number)

Sequence of the the 3 bidding phases:

The player on the dealer's left begins with the first bid.

On each further bid, the starting player shifts clockwise.

The corresponding bidding cards are first laid at the of the table, i.e. the trump cards.

Each now lays a card, beginning with the starting player. All other players follow clockwise: corresponding to the cards he or she holds, 1-3 cards face down to one of the bidding cards. It must then be visible which cards have been put down by which player.

As soon as all players have played, the cards are turned over to decide which bidding card has won. For this purpose, the numerical values of all cards lying beside the respective bidding cards are counted up, even if they have been put down by different players.

The bidding cards with the highest sum indicates the trump for the coming round. The bidding cards laid below are set aside face down.

Should there be a level game, the bidding card on which more cards have been laid wins. If a level game recurs, the highest individual card, if necessary, the second highest, and so on, decides.

Each player lays his or her used cards face down in front of him or her.
The bidding phase for the trick goal (many or few tricks) now follows.

Finally, the value of the cards is decided.

When all 3 bidding phases have been completed, only the three winning bidding cards still lie at the centre of the table. They indicate which are the trump colours, how many tricks are to be made, and which are the high and which the low cards.

Now follows the ...

First points award:

The players turn over the cards they have used for bidding (at least 3, at most 9) and lay the cards face up in front of them.

Each player then determines the sum of the card values he or she has played. The following rules apply: The player having the highest sum receives 1 winning point. The player with the second highest gets 2 winning points, the player with the third highest 3 winning points, and so on. The player having the lowest sum gets the most winning points (3-5 depending on the number of players playing the game). Should there be a level game, both receive the lower number of winning points.

The winning points are immediately noted down.

Each player now chooses the cards he or she would like to pick up again. Exactly 3 cards must remain lying, i.e., discarded, in front of each player. All discarded cards are then collected face down in a common stack and play no further role in the subsequent course of the round.

Each player now has 10 cards (8 cards when 5 players are playing the game) in his or her hand (please check), and the playing phase can begin.

2) Playing phase:

The trick game now begins.

The player on the dealer's left also starts here. The others follow clockwise.

The following rules apply:

a) the played colour must be obeyed;
b) a player not having the played colour may trump or throw away;
c) each colour counts for itself. If the main trump has been played, no subsidiary trump need be obeyed.
d) The player making the last trick plays the next One.

Second points award:

When all tricks have been played, points are awarded for the second time. For the latter, the number of tricks is important.

If the goal was "many tricks", the player with the fewest tricks also receives the fewest points. For the second points award, there are double the number of points as compared with the first points award, i.e. the player with the fewest tricks gets 2 points, the next player 4 points, and so on. When 5 players are playing the game, the player with the most tricks would then get 10 points.


If the goal was "few tricks", then (e.g. when 4 players are playing the game) the player with the fewest tricks gets 8 points, the the next fewest 6 points, and so on. Should one or more players have equally many tricks, the winning points are added and shared among the players.

Example: The goal is "many tricks." Player A has 5 tricks and receives 8 winning points, players B and C have 2 tricks and receive 5 winning points (4 winning points for place 3 and 6 winning points for place 2, with these points being counted up and shared among both players). Player D has 1 trick and receives 2 winning points as the last one.

The winning points are immediately noted down.

Ending the game:

When each player has dealt once, the game ends after the last round.

The player with the most overall winning points wins
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