Dobbm

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Dobbm
William Tell pack - Deuces.jpg
The four Deuces (Aces) in the William Tell pattern German-suited pack
OriginAustria
Alternative namesTappen
TypeTrick-taking
Players4
Cards36
DeckWilliam Tell
PlayClockwise
Card rank (highest first)S 10 K O U 9 8 7 6
Random chanceModerate
Related games
Bauerntarock, Bavarian Tarock, Tapp

Dobbm or Tappen is a card game played in the Stubaital valley in Austria which, like Brixental Bauerntarock, Bavarian Tarock and Württemberg Tarock, is not a true Tarock game. The ranking and point value of the cards in Dobbm is identical with those of the other variants mentioned. In Dobbm as well, one player always plays as a soloist against all the others. It most strongly resembles the Brixental variant: Dobbm is also played by four players, each player is dealt eight cards, four cards go to the talon and Hearts are the permanent trump suit. Although not one of the true tarot games, it has adopted rules from Tapp Tarock. The fundamental difference between these games and true tarot games is in the use of German or French decks instead of true Tarot playing cards.

Aim[edit]

The aim of the soloist is to score more than 60 card points (Augen) in tricks, unless he has announced a higher target. The opposing team only needs to score 60 points to win.

Players[edit]

There are 4 active players. Five can play, in which case the dealer takes a holiday (er feiert).[1]

Cards[edit]

The suit of Leaves in a William Tell pattern, German-suited pack

Dobbm is usually played with a deck of 36 cards of the William Tell or Hungarian pattern, the so-called Tell cards.[1]

Trick-taking strength[edit]

The cards’ trick-taking power broadly corresponds to their card point value. Thus the Sow (Sau) or Deuce (Daus) is the highest-ranking card. Then follow the: Ten > King > Ober > Unter > Nine > Eight > Seven > Six. This ranking is also valid within the trump suit as well as the plain suits. Hearts are permanent trumps in the normal game. Solo games may have different trump suits (see below).

Ranking of the cards
Permanent trump suit
Bay herz.pngA  Bay herz.png10  Bay herz.pngK Bay herz.pngO Bay herz.pngU  Bay herz.png9  Bay herz.png8 Bay herz.png7   Bay herz.png6
Plain suits
Acorns Leaves Bells
Bay eichel.pngA  Bay eichel.png10 Bay eichel.pngK  Bay eichel.pngO  Bay eichel.pngU  Bay eichel.png9  Bay eichel.png8  Bay eichel.png7  Bay eichel.png6 Bay gras.pngA  Bay gras.png10  Bay gras.pngK  Bay gras.pngO  Bay gras.pngU  Bay gras.png9  Bay gras.png8  Bay gras.png7  Bay gras.png6   Bay schelle.pngA  Bay schelle.png10  Bay schelle.pngK  Bay schelle.pngO  Bay schelle.pngU  Bay schelle.png9  Bay schelle.png8  Bay schelle.png7  Bay schelle.png6  

Card value[edit]

The card values are the same as in Schafkopf or the related games of Bauerntarock, Bavarian Tarock. The ten, with 10 points, is just below the Sow (11 points) in value, but well above the King (4), Ober (3) and Unter (2). The so-called Spatzen ("sparrows" i.e. the Nines, Eights, Sevens and Sixes) only play a role during the game based on their trick-taking ability, but do not score points at the end of the hand.

Card value Card points
Sow 11
Ten 10
King 4
Ober 3
Unter 2
Nine 0
Eight 0
Seven 0
Six 0

There are 120 card points in the deck. The 6 of bells is marked as "WELI" but has no significance in this game.

Deal[edit]

The first dealer is chosen by lot. The dealer shuffles the cards and the player on the dealer's right cuts. The dealer then deals 2 packets of four cards to each player in clockwise order. The last four cards are placed face down on the table to form the Dobb. The role of dealer does not rotate; instead the last declarer becomes the dealer.[1]

Bidding[edit]

Contracts[edit]

There are basically two types of contract:

  • Dobbm: A form of Exchange contract. The soloist takes the talon (called the Dobb) and discards four cards of his choice. Because the points of the discarded cards count as part of the declarer's tricks, a Sow (Deuce) may only be discarded if it is accompanied by a trump card. If two Sows are discarded, two trump cards must also be discarded.
  • Solo: the soloist turns down the option of exchanging cards with the talon.

If none of the players announces a contract, i.e. they all say "pass" (weiter), the cards are thrown in and the same dealer deals a new hand.[1]

Dobb[edit]

In Dobbm the declarer picks up the Dobb without revealing its cards and discards four cards face down. Sows may only be discarded if accompanied by trump cards. The resulting discard pile belongs to the declarer and counts towards his points.

In Solo the Dobb is untouched, but still counts towards the declarer's points. It may not be looked at until the end of the game.

Doubling[edit]

After exchanging with the Dobb, the declarer says "done" (ich liege or i lig). The defenders may then double the stake (schießen or einen Schwachen geben). This starts with the player to the dealer's left who says "good" (gut) or "play on" (spiel zu) if happy to continue, or "Schwacher" (an Schwachn) to double the stakes. If he wants to play on, the other defenders in turn may opt to double the stakes. If one of the defenders says Schwacher, the declare may either accept it by saying "good" or double the stake again by saying "Retour". The defenders may then say "Retour" in response.[1]

Playing[edit]

Play is clockwise and the declarer leads to the first trick. Each player must follow suit if possible (Farbzwang). If a player is unable to follow suit, he must trump (Trumpfzwang, i.e. play a card of the Hearts suit). The winner of the trick leads to the next trick. The defenders keep their tricks in a common area.[1]

Scoring[edit]

After the last trick has been taken the sides count their card points, the declarer remembering to including the Dobb. There are 120 card points in toto. The winning side claims the amount of money, chips or game points based on the number of card points above 60 that they have scored. If both sides score 60 it is a draw (eingestellt). The stakes a doubled for a Solo, a Schwacher and each Retour.[1]


Revoking (failing to follow Farbzwang or Trumpfzwang) is called verleugnen or laungen and is penalised with half the value of the game being played.[1]

Ending[edit]

A session of Dobbm often ends with a Mußrunde ("must round"), which is where each player in turn (always being the one to the dealer's left) must be declarer and choose to play either a Dobbm or a Solo. It ends when every player has been a declarer.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dobbm at www.pagat.com. Retrieved 8 Jun 2018.

Literature[edit]

  • Michael Dummett, Sylvia Mann: The game of Tarot. From Ferrara to Salt Lake City. Duckworth, London 1980, ISBN 0-7156-1014-7.

External links[edit]

  • Dobbm at www.pagat.com. More comprehensive rules for Stubaital Dobbm.