bezique

bezique (bəzēkˈ) [key], card game usually played with 128 cards by two players. Bezique developed in France and England in the 1860s and originally required only 64 cards; later there were variations for three players with a 96-card pack and for four players with 128 cards. Pinochle is similar and is probably derived from bezique. In the United States the most popular form is the two-handed game, known as rubicon bezique, in which four 32-card packs are shuffled together. The cards in each suit rank ace, ten, king, queen, jack, nine, eight, seven. Each player receives nine cards, and the remaining cards, face down, become the stock. Trump suit is determined by the first marriage (king and queen of the same suit) declared. The nondealer leads, and his opponent follows, playing any card he desires. Highest card of the suit led or highest trump wins the trick. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick after first drawing the top card of the stock, with his opponent then drawing the next card from the stock. Play continues with nine cards to a hand until the stock is exhausted. Certain combinations of cards score various points. The player with the most points wins and receives a bonus of 500. If the loser is rubiconed (has a total of less than 1,000 points), the winner's score includes the sum of his and the loser's final totals and a bonus of 1,000.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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