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Aren't runs worth 15, a pinochle 4, four aces worth 10, and so on?

As mentioned in the article, the scores are often divided by ten because the last zero is redundant.

I added this to double-deck section, also meld bidding.--Buckboard 08:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the scoring system doesn't need to be duplicated in the double-deck section? --Ashawley 01:09, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

The double deck section has the scoring explanation removed and unduplicated. -- 22:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

there are many different ways to score. such as runs are 19, 20 with the nine. open bid at 25, marriage worth 2, 4 if trump. pinochle is 4, double is 30.

Have played where taking all the tricks is 'Pulling a Pinochle' and is an automatic game win (500 point game) or +500 points if in negative score. Anyone whos played it this way, have other team take a single trick with no points? Is it still a Pinochle or just worth 50 points? No Names Please (talk) 10:37, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

My (California) parents taught me the lower scoring style: Minimum bid 15 in single deck game, rising by one each time; and minimum 50 in double pinochle, rising by one to 60, then by 5 point jumps. Scoring: 4-30-70-game for 1-2-3-4 pinochles; 15-150 for single/double runs; 4-40, 6-60, 8-80, 10-100 for single/double Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces around (hence, "100 Aces" means two in each of four suits); 2-4-24 for single marriage, marriage in trump and marriages around; one point for an extra nine of trump, but only in single-deck (nines discarded in double -deck /partners game). DOR (HK) (talk) 04:40, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Resolving duplicate cards[edit]

When two copies of the same card are played in the same trick who wins the trick?

Typically the highest card played first takes precendence.

First played is always the rule. That's what makes taking your opponent's ace of trump so sweet. IMO more fun than over-trumping.--Buckboard 08:47, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

More players?[edit]

There is mention in the introductoin about five and six player games, but no accompanying explanation later in the article.

This is mentioned in the article in the "Five-handed and larger Pinochle" and the "Racehorse Pinochle" sections.

Question on the "Playing Tricks" section[edit]

There is one method here mentioned that is not typical to the version of Pinochle that I am familiar with. i.e. Leading with trump. Is there any external verification to ensure that this is the standard of play? If it cannot be verified is there a way that we can include a statement suggesting that leading with trump or not are simply two different ways to play? Thanks. ~Rymnel~

Agreed--I have never played this way, nor is it in my edition of Hoyle. Trump is declared by the bid winner, and strategy is the key to the game. The object is to play to your strength, which may vary from hand to hand (i.e. lots of trump, or lots of aces, or short-suited) and to get through to your partner for tricks after playing out your leads. That makes playing trump as the first lead not only pointless but frankly much less fun.--Buckboard 08:42, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm quite convinced that there is no standard way to play. There are merely more and less common variants. I agree that I have also never heard of requiring trump as the first lead. In fact, the whole "Playing Tricks" section is notably divergent from my own posted rules set. I'll make some edits to reflect alternative models of play. Snarke 19:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


My family has used a sort of back-up option for if none of the players have a good enough hand to play. We allow the first player to choose if they want to bid, and before the first bid, any player is allowed to call "Bid or Bunch" which means that they may bid if someone else does, or if the rest of the players say either "bid or bunch" or pass, then the hand is thrown in and the next hand is dealt. We also increased the minimum bid to 25 (or 250 depending on method of scoring). I wonder if anyone else has ever played this way, or if it is a family modification. Thanks --Emily

Curious variant. However we have always played "cut-throat"--which means if you're the dealer and everyone passes, you'd better be able to declare trump (marriage in trump suit). Making tricks or going set is always problematical when the bid is "dumped on" you!--Buckboard 08:45, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

My family has always had "bid or bunch", but it's a little different. Minimum bid is 25 (250) for 4-handed play, the first person can open or pass, same for the second. The third person can then open, pass (dump the bid on the dealer) or ask the last person (the dealer) to "bid or bunch". If the dealer wants to bid, they do, otherwise it gets tossed in and the hand is redealt. I've been told that's North Dakota rules, but I'm sure others in North Dakota have different rules. We can also throw in the hand if somebody has 5 nines (the person holding that hand can play it if they want, but usually they don't want to). We allow some limited talking to the partner (they can ask their partner if it's okay to throw it in), but I'm sure that's not standard. Nerfer (talk) 16:31, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Separate pages?[edit]

Would it be easier to try and reorganize a lot of the information on this site into seperate pages? For instance, have one page specifically for two handed variations, another for three handed, four handed, etc. And include single and double deck underneath each. Just a thought, as there's several variations on the main page. Uzerzero 01:25, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I think someday that reorganization would make it easier for readers to use the page, and that would make this article just be a short summary of the game. Unfortunately, each separate article would duplicate the basic information about Pinochle--decks, betting. That would make them harder to maintain. But I think this page will stabilize at some point in the future and allow us to do just what you've suggested. -- 00:43, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

What about splitting off the section to separate pages, now? The article has changed a lot since July 2006.[1] --Ashawley 04:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Dealing options[edit]

In the version I have played, the dealer is allowed to deal in groups of three, four, five so long as all players get the same number of cards on a given round of the deal. Here are some of the options: 3-3-3-3-3 or 4-4-4-3 / 4-3-4-4 etc or 5-5-5. The 5-5-5 option is generally employed only near the end of a close game.Watercat77 19:16, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Question on Racehorse[edit]

The deal of 20 per player and 4 in the blind calls for a deck of 124 cards. Since the standard double deck is 80, what additional cards are included for six players? Are there two teams of three players each? --

I can't find an actual reference for the variation called Racehorse Pinochle in three relatively modern playing card books:

  1. U.S. Play Card Company's Official Rules of Card Games. 90th edition.
  2. Frey's According to Hoyle.
  3. Scarne on Cards, 1965.

I think "Racehorse" is just a variation of six-hand. Some Web sites suggest it's a variation that allows card passing by the bid winner. I don't know.

The six-handed games I read in those sources suggest using a triple pack and dealing 16 or 12, not 20. -- 01:08, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The variant I've heard described uses 2.5 standard decks without the 9's. Clearly some clarification needs to be written for the current description as the card count doesn't work as it stands.

Opening Bid[edit]

I have never played where the dealer opens at 150. The rule is the player to the dealers left starts (or passes) and the lowest bid cannot be less than 250.

I've generally played low bid no lower than 250 and understand that to be the rule. But have participated under house rules where the bid is 'dropped' on the dealer for 200 or 150. - swp

Passing Cards[edit]

I have never played the version stated here. What I have played is the one where the bidder declares trump, the partner chooses four cards to pass, then the bidder chooses four cards to pass back.

We refer to these variations as 'peak' and 'no peak' In the Upper-mid West 'no peak' is the standard and 'peak' is the variant. In the Southwest 'peak' is the standard and 'no peak' is the variant. - swp

Also a 3 card pass is standard in the Upper-mid West where a 4 card pass is more common in the Southwest. I have no experience with the New England game. - swp

December 2006 changes[edit]

A lot of contributions have been made this month to the article, some more speculative than others and some more helpful than others, but I've tried cleaning them up just now. Try viewing the diff from November 7, 2006 to today, it may give a substantive synopsis of what's changed recently. Happy editing, -- 01:47, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Idea for picture[edit]

I have an idea for a picture for this article. How about a photograph of a decent Pinochle hand, or perhaps a bunch of melds laid out. The Euchre article has the best hand shown in a picture. -- 20:45, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Pinochle variant in Turkey[edit]

In Turkey we're playing a variant of Pinochle, which I couldn't find anywhere in wikipedia. The difference is, there're 96 cards (4 times 24 deck), can be played only with 2 players, each player has a hand with 9 cards, non-trump run is also awarded. For counting the points we're using a wooden counter special for this game.

There's one more variant of this game, which is played by 3 players, with 80 cards (4 times 24 deck without nines). Each player has a hand of 25 cards, and 5 cards are kept closed until the end of bidding.

Is there anyone who knows if these games are also played in other countries? Is there any english name for these card games? iyigun 17:16, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

3 hand double deck 5 card kitty[edit]

I was prison where I learned to play this version prefered for gambling for inmates. As it is 2 players against 1. I cannot find any information about it. Please help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Hello, I enjoy playing this type of pinochle as well. Do you have any particular question about the variation? Or are you just wondering why it's not included? Jamie 04:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Double-Deck Four-Handed Blind Pinochle[edit]


Here is a variation of pinochle that we use in our household. It creates quite an interesting game.

We use two decks of pinochle cards (96 cards, 4 of each variety of card, numbered 9-A).

Dealing Order[edit]

Round To Player To Blind
1 3 0
2 4 1
3 4 1
4 4 1
5 4 1
6 4 0
total 23 4


We start the bidding out at 35, until all pass to the highest bidder. The winner of the bid calls trump. The only requirement for making trump is that you must have some in your hand.

Bidder Picks up Blind[edit]

After trump is called, and before melds are made, the bidder gets the blind, showing everyone what the blind is.


Melding begins using the following table:

Meld Possibilities[edit]

Cards X1 X2 X3 X4
Run (A,10,K,Q,J of trump) 15 150 500 ---
Royal Marriage (K,Q of trump) 4 30 60 240
Dix (9 of trump) 1 2 3 4
Common Marriage (K,Q off suit) 2 4 6 8
Pinochle (J♦,Q♠) 4 30 90 360
Aces Around (A♠,A♣,A♥,A♦) 10 100 500 ---
Kings Around (K♠,K♣,K♥,K♦) 8 80 400 500
Queens Around (Q♠,Q♣,Q♥,Q♦) 6 60 300 500
Jacks Around (J♠,J♣,J♥,J♦) 4 40 200 500
Round Robin
26 260 500 ---

If "Round Robin" is used, cannot count the "Kings Around", "Queens Around", or "Marriages" used for "Round Robin". But if another "Kings Around", "Queens Around", or "Marriages" the double amount may be used for the additional type of cards. Also the "Run" includes a Royal Marriage, but if an additional Royal Marriage is held it can count for a double.

Meld Example[edit]
  • K♠,K♠,Q♠,K♣,K♣,Q♣,K♥,K♥,Q♥,K♦,K♦,Q♦ = (K♠,Q♠,K♣,Q♣,K♥,Q♥,K♦,Q♦) (K♠,K♣,K♥,K♦,K♠,K♣,K♥,K♦) = "Round Robin" + Double "Kings Around" = 26 + 80 = 106
  • A♠,10♠,K♠,K♠,Q♠,Q♠,J♠ = (A♠,10♠,K♠,Q♠,J♠) (K♠,Q♠,K♠,Q♠) = "Run" + Double "Royal Marriage" = 15 + 30 = 45
  • A♠,10♠,K♠,K♠,Q♠,Q♠,Q♠,J♠,J♦,J♦,J♦ = (A♠,10♠,K♠,Q♠,J♠) (K♠,Q♠,K♠,Q♠) (Q♠,Q♠,Q♠,J♦,J♦,J♦) = "Run" + Double "Royal Marriage" + Triple "Pinochle" = 15 + 30 + 90 = 135 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Returning Cards to the Blind[edit]

After the meld is laid down, but before the meld is scored, bidder must secretly discard four cards to the "blind", they cannot be trump. If the bidder has all less than four cards elgible cards in his hand, the bidder must forfeit some points on the table to discard the remaining cards.

Play Begins[edit]

Bidder starts play each player must try to beat the highest card on the table, if player does not have a card in the suit that was led, he must play trump, if he is out of trump, he may play any card he wants.

Hand Exhausted[edit]

After play is completed, player who gets last trick gets the four cards thrown in the "blind".

Trick Points Added[edit]

Points are then added from tricks and "blind" based on the following:

Card Points
A's 1
10's 1
K's 1
Last Trick 2
Total Possible 50

Penalties Incurred[edit]

If one team recieves no trick points, that team cannot count their meld and the opposing team receives another 50 points for a total of 100 points.

If bidder does not make the bidded amount when adding meld to trick points, the bidder receives no points for the round and, actually, loses the amount bidded as a penalty for over-bidding.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Comprehensive Pinochle Documentation[edit]

This site has documented 4 handed pinochle in a comprensive series of documents. There is also a pinochle hand evaluator program. Although there are many variations of the game, this version captures a truly addictive method of playing this game. Website —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sbcnslt (talkcontribs) 23:02, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Blurring of rules[edit]

This article had the rules and melds of different pinochle games listed as standard which would confuse the novice. Since the standard game these days is pretty much partnership auction pinochle and the rules already posted were about 90% correct for this version I have removed the rules that are only in variant versions and put them in their respective variant entries. I'm sure there is more work to do but it's a start. Melds can be a sticky wicket since there are so many house versions. I stuck with the two versions of Hoyle I own and the Bicycle card website. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:59, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

We should put a statement that many regional or family variations exist (details on passing, minimum opening bid, bid-or-bunch, throwing it in on 5 nines, etc.) I don't know of other card games that have that much variety. Nerfer (talk) 16:44, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Kitty in three player games[edit]

The discussion regarding the kitty in a three player games is a bit confusing. I am not sure if this is simply poor writing or an attempt to list variations. In one sentence it states the non-scoring cards are discarded by the bid winner; later it states that any cards may be discarded. In the version I am used to, any cards may be discarded, and in fact, discarding scoring cards which are unlikely trick winners is a wise strategy. But others may play differently, so I am hesitant to edit this. Wschart (talk) 03:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

It took me a second... actually the "kitty" is money or points given to an imaginary 4th player in a 3 player game of pinochle. But I read it and you are talking about the "widow." I agree it was badly written and confusing. I checked 3 sources and all agreed on how the widow is played. You may discard any three cards that "aren't melded." So you would take the widow, lay down your meld, dump any three cards remaining in your hand, and then pick up your meld. I fixed the article wording to reflect this and I hope that helps clarify. I'm sure there are many 3-player house rules and if you can find one on the internet simply add it to the end of the 3-player game under "variations" with a proper source. Good catch on the wording. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:23, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Back after some time. This section looks pretty good now, except that it says that if you don't have enough cards left in your hand, you can pick up meld cards. But it does make it clear that if you do so, you lose that meld. Of course, there just might be a version where you can meld a bunch and then if you have less than 3 cards in your hand, you can discard meld and still keep the score, but I'd rather doubt that. Wschart (talk) 15:40, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Proposal for a major change[edit]

I would propose, for sake of lay readers, that a new major section be introduced, after the History and Deck sections, that gives a broad overview of game play. As it is, the article becomes too detailed, too quickly, losing readers wanting to first understand the overall nature of the game. Until the Deck section it is suitably useful; after, it leads one to close the window, and seek initial information elsewhere. 00:42, 1 December 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

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“favorite card game of American Jews”[edit]

Ref: Will Eisner’s story “Cookalein”, in the full page scene “Pinkus Firs”. (I only have a German version, sorry.) – Fritz Jörn (talk) 06:07, 19 February 2017 (UTC)