In two-handed pinochle 12 cards are dealt to each player, a card is turned up to determine trump suit, and players may meld after each trick won. Thus meld and play continue concurrently until the stock is used up—after which play continues until the last 12 cards in the hand are exhausted—and the highest combined score of meld and tricks wins. Four-hand, or partnership, pinochle may be played on an auction basis—in which case each member receives 12 cards and bids for the right to meld and name trump. After melding, the bidder joins forces with his partner in play against the other set of partners. Another form of partnership pinochle is played by opening the bottom card to determine trump. All four players meld before the opening trick is led.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.