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Skat cards-Jacks of Diamonds and Hearts.jpg
J and J as the Alt and Kloei
OriginBlack Forest, Germany
Alternative namesHindersche
DeckFrench pack (Tapp)
Card rank (highest first)A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6
Playing time1–1½ hrs/rubber
Related games

Hintersche or Hindersche [ˈhɪntɐʃə], also known as 4-Strich, is an historical card game, of the trick-avoidance genre, that is still played in the Black Forest region of Germany.[1]


Little is known about the origins of Hintersche, but the fact that it still uses 36 cards suggests it is of considerable age. It was a game that was mainly played by farmers, foresters and journeymen in the former Principality of Fürstenberg, a territory in Swabia that covered what is now the southwestern part of the Black Forest and the region of Baar.[1] Its rules were handed down orally from generation to generation. Today, it is only known in a few villages around the town of Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach.[1] It is particularly popular in the Wolf valley as well as villages like Schenkenzell and Kaltbrunn.[2]

In recent years, Hindersche tournaments have been held, for example, at Schapbach in the Wolftal.[2] Since 2003, Schapbach has hosted the Hintersche World Championships.[3] The first 'world champion' was Freddy Heizmann from Schapbach.[4] In 2015, Martin Thörmer, became the Hindersche World Champion in a competition at Schapbach in the festival hall.[5] He was succeeded in 2016 by Emma Hoferer of Schapbach,[6] Benjamin Heitzmann from Oberwolfach in 2018[7] and in 2019 by Bernd Dieterle.[3] To become the world champion in Hindersche requires skill, experience and a bit of luck.[3] The player who wins the wooden spoon by amassing the most penalty points is called the Bollenkönig ("Onion King", an 'onion' being a large dot drawn to represent a penalty point).[3]

Hintersche is a Swabian dialect word for backwards and may refer to the fact that the aim of the game is to avoid scoring points which is the reverse of the normal aim in card games.[8][9][10]


A rubber comprises four games each of two halves or rounds. To win the rubber, players must avoid losing any games. Within each game, the aim is to be the first to have erased any penalty points accumulated in the first round. Each round comprises a number of deals; in each deal the aim is either to score as few card points as possible or, with the right cards and skilful play, to score at least 100 points (called "making a hundred"). There are no partnerships.[1]


Hintersche is played by four players using the 36 cards of a French-suited Tapp pack. It needs to be a Jass/Tapp pack as 36 cards are needed and a standard Piquet or French-suited Skat pack only has 32 cards. Cards rank in their natural order - A > K > Q > J > 10 > 9 > 8 > 7 > 6 - except that there are two top trumps. The trump Jack is the highest card in the game and known as de alt ("the Old One"); the Jack in the suit of the same colour is the second-highest card and is known as de kloei ("the Little One"). For example, if Diamonds are trumps, the J is the highest card and the J is the second highest.[1]

Hintersche is a point-trick game with the points counting as follows:

Hierarchy and card-points
Trump suit Alt Kloei A K Q 10 9 8 7
Points 12 11 4 3 2 10
Plain suits A K Q (J) 10 9 8 7


The following rules are based on Schoch:[11]


Dealing and play are counter-clockwise. The first dealer is determined either by lots (lowest card wins) or the youngest player deals first. The dealer shuffles the pack and offers it to rearhand (on his left) to cut. The lowest card is now turned for trumps and the dealer deals nine cards to each player in packets of three. The dealer's last packet only contains two cards because he picks up the trump turn-up.[11]

Trick playing[edit]

Forehand now leads to the first trick. Suit must be followed; if a player is unable to follow, he may trump or discard,[a] taking the opportunity to smear high-scoring cards so that they count towards an opponent or to retain them to prevent an opponent scoring over 100 points. The trick is won by the highest card of the led suit or, if trumps are played, the highest trump.[11]

First round – Vier-Strich[edit]

Scoring slate in Hintersche. The player at the bottom right has already lost the first game of the rubber. There are more than four marks because one player has "made a 100".

The game is played in two halves or 'rounds'. The first round consists of four deals in which players score penalty marks, recorded as lines or striche on a slate, for scoring the most card points in a deal. The name Vier-Strich refers to the fact that the round ends once four marks are scored.[11]

A slate is used for recording the scores. Each player has a corner of the slate and his penalty points are recorded with diagonal lines called Striche (singular: Strich). This works as follows:[11]

At the end of each deal, each player's scores are reckoned by counting up the number of card points in his tricks. There are 140 points in total. The player who scores the most card points is penalized with a Strich – a diagonal line across his corner of the slate. However, if a player scores over 100 points, he has won a 'march' (Durchmarsch). He does not score any penalty points; instead, his three opponents notch up one apiece. Normally the first round ends with four marks on the slate; if there are more, because someone has won a march (also known as 'making a hundred') there will be 'superfluous' (überzählige) marks. If any player has a clean slate, they have won and sit out the second half.[11]

Second round – Butzen[edit]

The second round is called Butzen ("cleaning") and begins as soon as there are four or more marks on the slate. In this half, the chalk marks are wiped from the slate, usually with a small sponge. The game is played as before, except that the player who scores the fewest card points erases one of his marks, known as butzen. While there are still three or four players left in the game, the player who scores the most points 'receives' the mark erased by the winner and has to add it to his corner of the slate. Thus there are always four marks on the slate at this stage (if the first round ended as normal with four marks). Once only two players remain, marks are erased by the winner of a deal, but no marks are added by the loser. As players clear all their marks off, they drop out until there is one player left who is the loser of the game and is penalised with a single chalk mark on the frame of the slate, regardless of how many Striche he still has in his corner of the slate. The marks on the frame are not wiped off during the course of a rubber. There is a special case: if a player "makes a hundred" in the second round, he erases two marks and his opponents add one each to their tally.[11]


The rubber is won after four games, when there are four marks on the frame. Usually those who have marks pay five euros to those who do not. A rubber takes 1 to 1½ hours.[11]


  1. ^ The source is ambiguous here; it may be saying players may follow suit or trump; only if they can do neither may they discard. Undertrumping is allowed.


  1. ^ a b c d e Hintersche Regeln at www.uschoch.de. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Beim »Hindersche« gewinnt, wer die wenigsten »Augen« sticht at baden online. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Bernd Dieterle gewinnt auch die Hindersche-WM in Schapbach at www.bo.de. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  4. ^ Ein Strich auf der Tafel war schon zuviel at baden online. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  5. ^ Geschmiert, geschleift und gebutzt at www.schwarzwaelder-bote.de. Retrieved 26 January 2019
  6. ^ Altüberliefertes Spiel at www.schwarzwaelder-bote.de. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  7. ^ Hindersche-Weltmeister kommt aus Oberwolfach at www.schwarzwaelder-bote.de. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  8. ^ Red' ghörig! a language course in Vorarlberg. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  9. ^ Etz isch noch go gnuag Hai hunta! Archived 28 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, a compendium of sayings from Upper Swabia. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  10. ^ Stadtlexikon Leinfelder-Echterdingen, p. 122. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Schoch, Uwe (2014). im Hindersche: Spielregeln Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach im Schwarzwald.

External links[edit]

  • Schoch, Uwe (2014). im Hindersche: Spielregeln Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach im Schwarzwald - Rules (German).