Pinochle Glossary

Acorns: This is the highest suit of the Württemberg pattern and parallels Clubs in the French pattern.

American: With this custom rule, Nines are added to the deck, resulting in 48 playing cards in total. Additionally, the game goes clockwise.

Bells: This is the lowest suit of the Württemberg pattern. It parallels Diamonds in the French pattern.

Bidding: After dealing, all players look at their hand cards. Each one estimates how many points they could score by melding and trick-taking. They can now bid this score or pass. The highest bidder wins and becomes the declarer. They must now reach their bid value in this round or receive penalty points. Bidding goes counter-clockwise.

Bid value: If the declarer does not reach the score they were bidding, twice the bid value will be subtracted from their trick-taking score. All their points from melds are voided as well.

Calling: With this custom rule, the declarer gets to call a card they are lacking after discarding the kitty. The other players check who owns this card in a counter-clockwise direction. The first one to have it must surrender it. But they will be compensated with another card from the declarer.

Cross Pinochle: This is four-player Pinochle, wherein the players facing each other form a team or party. The points of both players in one team are tallied. The two teams play – virtually in crosswise direction – against each other.

Deck: Pinochle uses two decks of the Württemberg pattern. The suits in descending order are Acorn, Green, Hearts, and Bells. The ranks used in German Pinochle in descending order are Ace, Ten, King, Ober, and Unter, which have specific pip values. This makes 40 cards in total. When using custom rules, Sevens or Nines can be added to the game. They are blanks and do not award any points. In each case, this results in 48 cards in the game.

Declarer: The player winning the bidding becomes the declarer. They get to pick up and then discard the kitty and declare the trump suit. When using custom rules, they could also call for a card and declare Durch or Untendurch. The declarer must always reach their bid value by the end of the round. Otherwise, twice their bid value will be subtracted from their trick-taking score. All points from melds would be voided as well.

Discarding the kitty: After adding the kitty to their hand, the declarer must discard the same amount of cards to reach the same number of hand cards as the other players. These cards must not be the same as the ones picked up. Cards applicable in melds should not be discarded either.

Diss: This refers to the Seven of the trump suit. When using the custom rule With 7, the card can be melded. It scores ten points (French: dix).

Double Pinochle: This meld format consists of both Unters of Bells and both Obers of Green. It scores 300 points.

Double run: This meld format is made up of all ten cards of one suit. When using the custom rule With 7, the Sevens do not count for a double run. It scores 1,500 points.

Durch: With this custom rule, there is no trump suit. In this game mode, the declarer must win all tricks.

Eight of a kind: This is a meld format made up of all Aces, Kings, Obers, or Unters in the game. It scores 1,000 points.

Four of a kind: This meld format consists of four cards of the same rank but different
suits – Aces (100 points), Kings (80 points), Obers (60 points), or Unters (40 points).

Going out: When the declarer does not think they can reach their bid after picking up the kitty, they can opt to go out to avoid losing more points. In Cross Pinochle, the number of pips the partner could reach should be considered as well. When going out, the trump suit is declared as well – for example: “Going out in Bells.” The bid value of the player going out is subtracted from their score. Different from their fellow players, they do not get to meld. In Cross Pinochle, the partner of the one going out does not get to meld either.

Green: This is the second-highest suit of the Württemberg pattern. It parallels Spades in the French pattern and is sometimes referred to as Leaves.

Hearts: This is the second-lowest suit of the Württemberg pattern, just as in the French pattern.

Kitty: After dealing the cards to each player, the remaining cards are put on the table face down. This stack is the kitty. After bidding, the declarer adds it to their hand. Then, the declarer can decide to go out or to make the game. If they want to make the game, they discard the same number of cards again. This is called discarding the kitty.

Leaves: See Green.

Meld: Melds are specific combinations of cards that score additional points to your final score if you take at least one trick. Meld formats in the Pinochle Palace are Pinochle, double Pinochle, four of a kind, eight of a kind, run, double run, pair, and diss.

Melding: After declaring the trump suit or game mode, the declarer starts to meld specific combinations (see Meld). The individual points scored by melding are added to the final score of each player if they take at least one trick. The other players get to meld as well in counter-clockwise direction.

Must beat trump: With this custom rule, trick compulsion applies to the trump suit only.

Nines: Among other effects, the cards with rank nine are added to the game only when using the custom rule American. They are blanks, so they do not score any points.

No Kitty: With this custom rule, there is no kitty for the declarer to pick up.

Pair: This meld format is made up of a King and an Ober of one suit. It usually scores 20 points, but 40 points in trump suit.

Pinochle (Game): In the Pinochle Palace, the term Pinochle refers to the German way of playing Pinochle unless clearly stated differently. In a couple of rules, German Pinochle differs from American Pinochle. No worries, our comprehensive in-game help and manual will easily guide you through our rules.

Pinochle (Meld): This is a meld format made up of each one Unter of Bells and Ober of Green. It scores 40 points.

Pip values: When evaluating the taken tricks, Aces score 11 points, Tens score 10 points, Kings 4, Ober 3, and Unter 2 points. Sevens and Nines are blanks and score no points.

Rank: The ranks in Pinochle are Ace, Ten, King, Ober, and Unter. Using custom rules, the ranks Seven or Nine can be added. Each rank occurs twice in all four suits in Pinochle.

Run: This meld format is made up of one card of each rank of one suit – five cards in total. It usually scores 100 points, but 150 points in trump suit. Though cards can be used for several melds, the pair of King and Ober included in a run cannot be melded additionally.

Scoring: When a round ends, the points scored by melding and the points collected by trick-taking are tallied – in a game of three individually, in Cross Pinochle by team or party. The declarer checks if they reached their bid value. Due to going out and lost games, negative scores can come up.

Sevens: The cards with rank seven are added to the game only when using the custom rule With 7. They are blanks, so they do not score any points.

Suit: In Pinochle, every rank occurs twice in each of the four suits. The classic Pinochle suits in descending order are Acorn, Green, Hearts, and Bells. They correspond to the French deck with Clubs, Spades, Hearts, and Diamonds.

Suit compulsion: When playing cards to a trick, the suit of the first card must be followed, i.e., a card of the same suit must be played. Trick compulsion must always be followed as well. Should you not have a fitting card of the required suit, trump compulsion comes into play.

Table: A table of Pinochle consists of several rounds. The table ends after the agreed-upon number of rounds was completed.

Training: With this custom rule, the results of the table do not count for the league.

Trick: After a card was played and all remaining players served it, i.e., played a matching card, the player who contributed the highest card gets to take the trick. When two players play the same card, the first one wins the trick. Each player gets to add the pip values of the cards they won during trick-taking to their score. Ten additional points are awarded for taking the last trick of the round.

Trick compulsion: If you can take the trick, you must do so. This means if you have a higher card of the played suit, you are obliged to play it. If you do not have a card matching the suit, trump compulsion comes into play.

Trick-taking: After melding, the hand cards are played in trick-taking. Each player must play a card. The declarer gets to start trick-taking. Then, the order of turns is counter-clockwise. Whoever plays the highest card gets to take the trick and start the next one. The highest card is determined by card order and selected trump suit. During trick-taking, suit compulsion, trick compulsion, and trump compulsion are active.

Trump: Any card of the trump suit automatically beats any card of the other suits. The trump suit is announced by the declarer, the player who won the bidding.

Trump compulsion: If you cannot follow the played suit and have a trump card, you must play it.

Untendurch: With this custom rule, there is no trump suit. In this game mode, the declarer must not take a single trick.

With 7: This custom rule adds the Sevens to the deck, resulting in 48 playing cards in total.

Württemberg pattern: This is one of the German patterns for playing cards. It uses the same suits as the German, Bavarian, and Franconian decks. The differences among these patterns mostly concern style. The suits in descending order are Acorn, Green, Hearts, and Bells.

Whoever played first wins: Since two decks of cards are used, two cards of the same rank and suit can occur in a trick. If these are the highest cards in the trick, the one played first wins the trick.