Kirtik

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A kirtik (Bulgarian: киртик) is a penalty in the Bridge-Belote card game, used in its versions within some parts of Bulgaria, especially Ruse and its vicinity. The penalty amounts to the negative -10 points, and is issued for not winning a committed game contract or for being valat (not winning any tricks). A kirtik is recorded as a wide forward slash mark.

Etymology[edit]

The word kirtik is most probably derived from the same root as cherta (Bulgarian: черта), meaning a notch, a line, a slash. The k-ch (к-ч) transition is common in Slavic languages, and here it is combined with the East-Bulgarian tendency to pronounce open vowels as close ones.

Rules[edit]

In addition to the rules of Belote (as played in Bulgaria), the following rules apply:

  • An additional limit is set at -60 global points, similar to the 151-point limit. If a team's score drops under -60, and the last dealing did not end in a valat, the game is considered won by the other team.
  • Kirtiks are multiplied by two at no trumps and are influenced by doubles.
  • A kirtik received for being valat does not influence scores from declarations, it just "adds up" as minus ten, as usual.
  • Alas, being highly unpopular amongst players from other parts of Bulgaria, this MADE-UP rule often appears to cause fights and verbal abuse, should Ruse players insist on applying it.

Impact[edit]

The game is more dynamic this way, as the danger of losing points is always present. The typical 4-passes deadlock, when a team is close to the 151-point limit, is less common. Irresponsible bids of no trumps are reduced, because of the risk of a greater penalty.

The theoretically worst possible dealing for a team is a no trumps contract, doubled twice, which they failed to win by not taking any tricks. This amounts to 16 kirtiks, or -160 global points, not taking into account the points won by the opponents.