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Pinochle – the Classic Card Game From Württemberg

No matter how many video games and games for mobile phones are released every year, traditional card games are still highly popular. This is not only true for widely known classics such as Skat and Rummy, but also for smaller, more locally spread games like Pinochle from Württemberg.

Pinochle is a piece of home to some: They consciously cherish the regional playing tradition, whether they are still living in the Württemberg area or are spread all over the globe.

Others encounter the game in their group of friends or discover it as an exciting variation of trick-taking games.

The joy of playing with fellow-minded people connects them all – as well as the interest in strategic bidding, playing cards, and trick-taking! A little bit of luck is always involved, of course. But the best hand will never guarantee victory! How is it, do you feel like giving it a try?

Bidding and Trick-Taking: It is all About the Kitty!

In theory, Pinochle can be played with two to eight people. A game of three where everyone plays against each other is most common alongside a game of four, Cross Pinochle, where two teams of two players each oppose one another.

Traditionally, cards of the Württemberg pattern, a derivate of the German pattern, are used. Thus, the suits are Acorn, Green, Hearts, and Bells. All ranks – Ace, Ten, King, Ober, and Unter – appear twice in each suit, resulting in 40 cards in total.

After dealing the cards, bidding commences: Each player estimates the number of points they could score by melding and trick-taking. The player winning the bidding is the declarer and gets to reveal and pick up the stack of remaining cards – the kitty. Then, they can go out if there is no chance to score their bid value. Alternatively, they can declare the game: They discard as many cards as they picked up with the kitty before and announce the trump suit.

Enter Pinochle‘s special feature – melding combinations ranging from the humble pair to the double Pinochle! Have you ever wondered how the rules of Pinochle came about? You can read an entertaining text on the history of Pinochle here – well worth an excursion in your game breaks!

But back to the course of the game – where were we? Alright, after melding comes trick-taking. In Pinochle, there are some rules for playing correctly – suit compulsion, trick compulsion, and trump compulsion, in that exact order. The highest card wins the trick. With cards of the same value, the one played first always wins.

After the last trick, it is time to sum up the scores and heads are spinning. But at the Pinochle Palace, you get to lean back and relax: Our algorithm takes care of the evaluation! Of course, it also checks if the declarer won their bidding value or if they must be punished with negative points. Sounds complicated? No worries – after a couple of warm-up rounds, you will quickly get the hang of it. If questions occur on the fly, our handy glossary will help.

From Tavern Table to the Internet: Playing Pinochle Online

If you love playing cards, you need fellow players – except if you are opting for a solitaire game! But not everyone who loves Pinochle has the chance to be part of a consistent Pinochle group or even a member of a Pinochle club. Sometimes, schedules will just not match up. And finding like-minded people knowing and loving the game, can be hard outside of the classic Pinochle regions.

And this is the advantage of playing online: At the Pinochle Palace, you will almost always find fellow players sitting down at a virtual card table with you. No matter where you are, no matter what time it is – as long as you have an internet connection!

Everybody is welcome at the Pinochle Palace: Beginners can get to know the game at ease – with a comprehensive manual and in-game help! Often, more experienced players will give helpful hints in the chat. Old hands can experience the game in a brand new way as well: Shuffling, cutting, and dealing is taken care of by the computer as well as determining the final score. This way, you get to focus entirely on the game strategy, since Pinochle requires not only luck but also brains.

That is not only true for our standard rules offering variation by playing with three or four players. There are numerous custom rules to modify the game even more and set up new challenges.

Are you ready for bidding, melding, and trick-taking? Go on then, get the kitty – best sign up right away!

Just get Started: Pinochle at the Palace

The Palace is probably the most accessible and comfortable way of playing Pinochle: With us, you get to play for free and cross-platform! This means we support pretty much any device and software environment you can imagine. Use what you prefer – PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone! Pinochle is available as:

  • browser game
  • Windows software
  • via Facebook
  • via Amazon
  • iOS app
  • Android app

Your account is accessible from different devices via your user name and password. It will, of course, display the same status everywhere. This way, you could relax on your way home, playing a round of Pinochle on your phone. Once you reach your sofa, continue the party on your laptop and, if you like, continue playing Pinochle in bed.

Apropos account: You can play at the Pinochle palace without registering. Many players choose to do so, especially during their first rounds. But once you stop by more often, you will quickly realize: It is most fun as a registered user. After signing up, take part in the Pinochle community: You can build a record for yourself and take part in the free league system!

Simply Play Better: The Premium Membership

The longer and more intensively you play, the more an upgrade from the free account to the Premium membership makes sense!

If you enjoy playing with additional rules, you will especially benefit form the chance to set up your own tables with your favorite custom rules – With 7, No Kitty, or American among others – at your pleasure.

Of course, you can choose whether you want to play a game of three or a game of four and if your table is public or not. As a Premium member, you get to select your fellow players and, if you wish, ignore individual players. Last but not least, you will receive additional Chips for consistent log-ins. Once you tried the Premium advantages, you will quickly appreciate them!

This concludes our introduction – welcome to the Pinochle Palace! Sign up and make your game!