On the twenty-third day of the sixth month in the thirty-first year of the zhiyuan period (17 July 1294), we caught Yan Sengzhu and Zheng Zhugou playing cards, and have also found wood blocks to print cards. Each person has admitted to the truth of the accusation. We have, according to the rules, passed judgement and punished correctly the organizer Lu Donger, accessory to gambling Zheng Zhugou, the owner of the premises Jiang Sier, and the block printer Ye Lin, and dispatched to the Ever-abundant Treasury for deposit the nine cards (zhipai) that were about to be destroyed, and...
Source: Tarocchi by Philebus
This is the easiest of the Tarot games and a good introduction to the family for those who haven’t played many card games before. It is a game for three players, all playing against each other and will introduce you to the basics of playing out a hand without any bidding or bonuses getting in the way.
A pack of 78 French suited Tarot cards may be used though it usually played with an Italian suited Piedmontese pack. If you play this with an Italian pack, then remember that the Angel (also called Judgments) is the highest trump, not the
World. The Angel is also replaces the World (Mond) as the third honour. The ranking is irrational, so your pack will consist of:
The Fool, I-XXI of trumps, and then in the suits:
Spades & Clubs / Swords & Batons K, Q, C, V, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Hearts & Diamonds / Cups & Coins K, Q, C, V, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Kings & Honours 5 points
Queens 4 points
Cavaliers 3 points
Valets 2 points
All others 1 points
Decide who will deal first (deal then moves to the right), the cards are then dealt in packets of 5, with Dealer taking the last three cards. Dealer then discards 3 cards into a scart (discard pile) which will count towards his/her tricks for the hand. Kings and Honours may not be discarded, though the Fool may be discarded if no other trumps are held.
Eldest, the player to Dealer’s right, leads to the first trick, playing any card in his/her hand to the middle of the table. Each player in turn, moving to the right, must then play a card of the same suit (follow suit). If a player cannot follow suit, then they must play a trump, if they cannot play a trump, then they can play any card, though it will not win. If no trumps have been played, then the highest card of the suit led wins the trick and that player takes the cards and puts them into his/her trick pile. Otherwise, the highest trump played wins the trick.
The Fool may be played to any trick as an excuse for not playing a card you are obliged to play, but may be neither won nor lost. At the end of a trick to which the Fool has been played, the person who played it takes it into his/her own trick pile and gives the player who won the trick, an empty card from their trick pile in exchange.
Counting the points
At the end of play, count the cards in groups of three and minus 2 points from each group. You might find it easier to first count the number of groups you have, double that and minus the result from your total point count. There are 78 points in the pack, so players win or lose 1 game point for every point over or under 26. Add your game points for all three hands for your final game score.