Ace-Ten games

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The Ace (Deuce) and Ten of Bells from a Bavarian pattern, German-suited pack

An Ace-Ten game is a type of card game, highly popular in Europe, in which the Aces and Tens are of particularly high value.[1]


Many of Europe's most popular card games feature the Ace-Ten scoring system, where the cards count as Ace = 11, Ten = 10, King = 4, Queen or Ober = 3, Jack or Unter = 2. Pip cards below the Ten generally have no card point value and the pack is often shortened by removing the lower pip cards or 'non-counters'. This means that, in a typical shortened pack of between 20 and 36 cards, there are 120 card points and thus a winning total is typically 61 points. Wins are doubled for scoring three-quarters of the total points and trebled for winning every trick, a scoring system known as the Skat schedule after its "most illustrious" example, the German national game of Skat.[1]

There are 3 branches of the Ace-Ten family:[2]

  • Schafkopf group. Here the trump suit is bolstered by the promotion of all Unters (Jacks) or all Obers (Queens) or both to be permanent top trumps.
  • Marriage group. Bonuses are added for melding a 'marriage' or 'pair' comprising a King and Queen or King and Ober of the same suit as well as for winning the last trick.
  • Jass group. Has the features above; in addition the trump Jack and trump Nine are permanent top trumps, known as Jass and Nel.


Although the origin of Ace-Ten games is uncertain, it is most likely to have been invented by users of French cards in the Netherlands area, a hypothesis supported by the Dutch origin of the Swiss national game of Jass.[3]

The earliest record of the Ace-Ten scheme dates to 1718 and the French game of Brusquembille.[1]

Games with national or regional status[edit]

Many Ace-Ten games have achieved national or regional status. They are usually played with cards typical of their particular country or region. These include:

Other Ace-Ten games[edit]

Other well known Ace-Tenners include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Parlett 2008, p. 211.
  2. ^ a b Parlett 1991, p. 263.
  3. ^ Dummett, pp. 561-2.
  4. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 297.
  5. ^ Binokel - Die Spielregeln I at Retrieved 16 Sep 2018
  6. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 281.
  7. ^ Jass at Retrieved 16 Sep 2018
  8. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 295.
  9. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 285.
  10. ^ Schafkopf at Retrieved 16 Sep 2018
  11. ^ UW CSE's Martin Tompa publishes the definitive guide to winning at Schnapsen at Retrieved 16 Sep 2018
  12. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 271.
  13. ^ Sueca, the most famous Portuguese card game at Retrieved 16 Sep 2018
  14. ^ Parlett, p. 285.
  15. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 287.
  16. ^ a b Parlett 1991, p. 266.
  17. ^ Parlett 1991, p. 282.


  • Parlett, David (1991). A History of Card Games, OUP, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-282905-X
  • Parlett, David (2008). The Penguin Book of Card Games, Penguin, London. ISBN 978-0-141-03787-5