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Pinochle 101 – A Beginners Tutorial on Pinochle Basics

Pinochle

Pinochle is one of the most fun and challenging card games in the world. Much like Poker, it requires skill in estimating probabilities, strong instincts on when to be cautious or when to take risks, and an ability to read your opponents to gauge the strength or weakness of their hands. However, Pinochle requires deeper analysis and more strategy than Poker. Perhaps one could say Pinochle is to Poker as Chess is Checkers. If you enjoy the mechanics of Poker, but think you’re ready to try something more thought-provoking, Pinochle is definitely worth checking out. There are many different variations of Pinochle and many players have their own unique rules and preferences for how to play. In this introduction, we’ll start with covering the basics…

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Cutthroat Pinochle: Basic Winning Strategies

Cutthroat

In Cutthroat Pinochle, there are no partnerships; it’s every man for themselves. Cutthroat is usually played with three players and can be played with either single deck or double deck. The primary objective it to maximize points for yourself, and the secondary goal is to prevent your opponents from making their bids so they lose points instead of gaining points. To begin, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals out the entire deck to each player, 3 cards at a time if single deck or 5 cards at a time if double deck. Usually the last 3 cards left get placed face down into the “kitty” in the center of the tables. Bidding Strategies After all cards are dealt, players examine their cards and proceed…

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Partners Pinochle with 4-Card Pass: Basic Winning Strategies

Deck of Cards

In the United States and Canada, perhaps the most popular style of Pinochle is four players with partners and 4-card passing. This is the variation featured here on this site. In this form of the game there are two 2-person teams playing against one another. Whichever team wins the bidding gets to choose the trump and exchange 4 cards with their partner. Each player gets points for the melds in their individual hand, and then each player’s points are combined with their partner’s. Similarly, each player earns trick points for pointer cards taken (Aces, Tens, and Kings). At the end of the hand each player’s trick points are combined with their partner’s and added to their meld score. If the high-bidding team makes their bid…

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