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If at the start of your turn, you believe that your hand value is at least as high as your opponents can achieve with one more turn, you can knock instead of drawing a card.
Knocking ends your turn; you must keep the hand you had at the start of that turn, but each other player gets one final turn to draw and discard.
After the player to the knocker's right has discarded, all players reveal their cards. Each player decides which suit is their point suit, and totals up their cards in that suit.
The player with the lowest hand value loses a life. If there is a tie involving the knocker, the other player s lose a life, but the knocker is safe.
The knocker loses if his or her score is lower than that of every other player, and in that case the knocker loses two lives.
If there is a tie for lowest between two or more players other than the knocker, then both all of those players lose a life.
There is just one case where it is possible to pick up your own discard. This happens when there are only two players left in the game and your opponent knocks.
The card you discarded just before the knock is still on top of the pile, so it is now available for you to take back if you want it - for example if you had just broken up a suit for tactical reasons you can now restore it.
If after drawing and discarding, or with the cards originally dealt, a player achieves hand value of 31, they show their cards immediately and claim victory.
In this case all the other players lose. A player who gets 31 can declare it even after another player has knocked; victory is immediate and all the other players lose.
If it happens that two or more players get 31 on the initial deal then all the players other than those with 31 lose.
The normal way of scoring in Scat is that each player begins the game with three pennies. When you lose a life, you have to put one of your pennies into the kitty in the centre of the table.
If you knock and lose, having the sole lowest hand, you pay two pennies if you have that many. If someone declares 31, all the other players have to put a penny in the kitty.
If someone declares 31 after another player has knocked, the knocker just pays one penny, like everyone else. If you have no money left, having lost all three of your pennies, you are said to be "on the county" meaning on the dole, on welfare, receiving charity from the county, etc.
If you lose while on the county, you are out of the game. The game continues until only one player has not been eliminated, and that player is the winner.
Some play that 3-of-a-kind of any rank counts as 30 or When it counts 30, it ties with three ten-point cards of the same suit. If it counts Rarely, people play that any straight-flush three cards of the same suit in sequence is worth 30 except for A-K-Q, which is Some play that there is a minimum score with which you are allowed to knock - for example 17, 19 or A variant played in Philadelphia and perhaps elsewhere is the "throw-down".
The penalty is computed by multiplying the basic value of the declared game, in this case 10, by whatever number it takes to exceed that bid.
In this case, that number is 30, as 30 is the first multiple of 10 exceeding The penalty is 30 points. The game should consist of a previously agreed number of deals, that number being a multiple of the number of players participating.
That way everyone gets to deal an equal number of times. History of Playing Cards. Gallery of Playing Cards.
Skat Skat is regarded to be one of the best three-player card games in the world and unlike many games, Skat is actually designed for three and works best that way.
The Cards card deck, shortened to 7 and up. Cards rank A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7. The remainder of the trump suit rank under the Jacks from Ace down through 7.
The Deal Players cut to deal, and each player is dealt ten cards in batches of 3 and 4, with two for the center, the Skat.
Objective In most bidding games, the winner of the bidding simply calls trumps, with few other options. Bidding Skat games have an unusual bidding sequence.
Naming the Game A player can choose to play with or without a trump and with or without using the Skat, or by using only the four Jacks as Trump.
The Play The Leader makes the opening lead, and thereafter the winner of the trick leads to the next. The Rules Standard trick taking rules apply You must follow suit to the card led, if possible.
A further verifiable written record of the new game can be found in an article about Osterland games in edition no. Although Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hempel published the first rule book for Skat in , shortly before his death, more and more variations and regional peculiarities of the game developed.
Because of the poor economic conditions and lack of political freedom in many German states, Germany was a classic emigration region in the 19th century and many emigrants took the game with them to their new homeland.
The first 70 years were a success story. The game spread and won more and more supporters from all social classes, but suffered from a confusion of special regional rules.
There was a danger that Skat would disintegrate into many new games. In the s important new movements began, which led to the rules being unified and later simplified.
The founding of the Empire accelerated this process in many ways. During the boom of the Gründerzeit period, the game was able to spread throughout Germany unhindered by the old borders, but this also encouraged uncontrolled growth.
In the rapidly expanding towns and the huge factories many people from different parts of the German Empire met and came into social contact.
In addition, supra-regional player associations could be formed in the new unitary state, which ultimately led to the foundation of the German Skat Association.
The event led to the first Skat Congress. About a thousand participants decided the General German Rules of Skat Allgemeine Deutsche Skatordnung , which was based on the aforementioned book by Buhle.
At this time there were two fundamentally different playing methods. The participants of the first Skat Congress could not agree a compromise between the two varieties, which is why no association was founded.
The second Skat Congress also failed due to this issue. Those present could still not agree on a final set of rules. Although suit bidding was declared an official form of the game, point bidding was still allowed.
The Congress chose Altenburg as the headquarters of the new association. A year earlier a comparable association had been founded in the United States: Skat had been played in the USA since at least Up to the outbreak of the First World War , seven further Skat congresses followed, at which further rules, such as Null contracts, were defined.
However, two points of contention could not be resolved: The second problem was that there was no agreement on a uniform Skat pack.
During the First World War, point bidding spread among the German soldiers. More and more variants developed. In the trenches men of different regional and social backgrounds met one another.
If they wanted to play together, they had to find compromises between their domestic rules, which again led to new variations.
In view of the situation that one would perhaps no longer be able to experience the settlement of the next round, the game increasingly took on the features of a game of chance with ever higher stakes.
Conservative skat players, who clung to the suit bidding, pejoratively referred to the point bidding game of the simple soldiers as Trench Skat.
Nevertheless, the codification of the basic rules for point bidding is thanks to a declared follower of the classic Altenburg suit bidding system.
In , the author of numerous Skat books and bookkeeper of the German Skat Association, Artur Schubert, published fixed rules for Gucki-Skat based on point bidding.
In , Schubert still rejected point bidding because the distribution of cards and the position of Jacks or Unters can already be guessed while bidding.
He described the rules of the unpopular game variant in order to prevent further diversification. In and , after a break of 18 years, two Skat congresses were held in Altenburg.
Apart from the details, the rule changes decided upon are the basis of today's game. At the 11th Skat Congress, point bidding was agreed as the official and only playing method, settling a year-old dispute.
Another important decision was the establishment of a committee for disputes, from which the German Skat Court emerged. After the 12th Skat Congress, the basic rules of the game were only changed in detailed questions such as certain base values and scoring.
At the following two congresses, the values of the Null and normal Grand contracts, which are still valid today, were determined.
It was also decided that Hand games would not be penalised twice and that the basic value of the Grand Ouvert would be Another innovation was the regulation introduced in at the suggestion of Otto Seeger that every game won would be rewarded with a bonus of 50 points.
Since there was also a desire in East Germany for a central authority to settle disputes, the Skataktiv was formed in Altenburg in to replace the Skat Court.
The Altenburgers then adopted the western rule changes, so that despite the division of Germany there was a common rule basis in East and West.
The two competing associations could not reach a consensus. The conflict escalated when the German Skat Association banned its members from double membership in both associations in In the company Novag Industries launched Skat Champion , the world's first electronic Skat computer, on the German market.
The device was strictly programmed according to the rules of the German Skat Association. The Skat Association tried to resolve the old dispute over playing cards with a compromise using a new French pack with German suits.
Both players' associations adopted the International Skat Regulations. In , the office of the German Skat Association in Bielefeld was closed and moved to its historical headquarters in Altenburg in accordance with the resolutions of the 28th Skat Congress.
Skat is a trick-taking game for three, played with a card pack containing no cards lower than 7. The cards may be either French-suited clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds or German-suited acorns, leaves, hearts, bells , as illustrated here.
Each player gets 10 cards and the other two go face down to form the skat. An auction determines who will play alone against the other two.
The highest bidder becomes the soloist and chooses the trump suit if any. The soloist's aim is not to win a majority of the 10 tricks played but to capture a majority of card-points contained in won tricks.
There being card-points available in all, the soloist must take at least 61 of them, which can be contained in as few as two tricks.
The skat belongs to the soloist, who may but need not choose to take it into hand and make any two discards before play.
Other bids are also possible. Regrettably, if British Skatt Association logo understandably, Germany has barely influenced the British card-playing repertoire until recently, and it is only since , when it featured as a competitive event in the first Mind Sports Olympiad, that British Skat enthusiasts have begun to come out of the closet.
The player could have bid up to that value during the auction. Most players will declare a Grand game with the above hand, as it will be much more lucrative than a Suit game in Hearts declarer will concede at most two Club tricks, probably achieving Schneider for a Game Value of at least 24x6.
Now for the special cases: If you think you can do more than just win, you can add points for the special cases.
The highest possible multiplier Game Level is The lowest possible multiplier Game Level is 2: The order of bidding is determined by the seating order.
Starting from the left of the dealer players are numbered clockwise: Vorhand , the second seat German: Mittelhand and the third seat German: In a three-player game, the dealer will be the third seat.
In a four-player game the third seat will be to the right of the dealer. Bidding starts by the player in second seat making a call to the player in first seat on which the latter can hold or pass.
If the first seat player holds, the second seat player can make a higher call or pass himself. This continues until either of the two players passes.
The player in third seat is then allowed to continue making calls to the player who has not yet passed. Bidding ends as soon as at least two players have passed.
It is also possible for all three players to pass. The mnemonic is commonly used among casual players. Alice, Bob and Carole are playing, and seated in that order around the table.
Alice deals the cards. Carole makes the first call to Bob, who passes right away. Alice then makes two more calls to Carole, who accepts both bids.
Alice then passes as well. The bidding ends, with Carole being the declarer for this round. Except for "pass", only the possible Game Values are legal calls.
Therefore, the lowest possible call is 18, which is the lowest possible Game Value in Skat. Players are free to skip intermediate values, although it is common to always pick the lowest available call while bidding.
The sequence of possible Game Values through 60, beginning with 18 is 18 - 20 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 27 - 30 - 33 - 35 - 36 - 40 - 44 - 45 - 46 - 48 - 50 - 54 - 55 - 59 - 60 higher bids are possible albeit rare in a competitive auction.
Also, numbers are frequently abbreviated by only calling the lower digit of a value not divisible by 10 e. If all players pass, the hand is not played and the next dealer shuffles and deals.
A dealer never deals twice in a row. It is common in informal play to play a variant of Skat called Ramsch junk, rummage instead of skipping the hand and dealing for the next one.
This is not part of the sanctioned rules, however. In a pass-out game, the player in first seat will be the last one to pass.
If that player intends to become declarer, however, he has to make a call of at least 18 picking up the Skat in that situation implies the call.
Players Alice, Bob and Carol are seated in that order, clockwise; Alice is the dealer. The auction proceeds as follows initial of player name in parentheses: The winner of the auction becomes declarer.
He will play against the other two players. Before the hand is played, declarer either. After putting two cards back into the Skat , declarer then either declares a Suit game by announcing a trump suit, declares a Grand game or a Null game.
If Hand has been declared, the player may make additional announcements such as Schneider , Schwarz and Ouvert.
In this case, the stakes will be doubled for the hand. In a less common further variation this process can be repeated twice more by announcing "Bock" and "Hirsch".
The player in the first seat sitting to the left of the dealer leads to the first trick. The other two follow in clockwise direction. Every player plays one card to the trick, which is in the middle of the table.
The winner of a trick stacks the cards face-down in front of him and leads to the next trick, which is again played clockwise. If a player cannot follow suit, he may play any card including a trump card.
Trumps, including all four jacks, count as a single suit. If a trump is led, every player must also play trump, if he has any. If there are trump cards in the trick, the highest trump in it wins the trick.
If there are no trumps in it, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The non-trump suit cards rank in order AK-Q Completed tricks are kept face down in front of the players who won them, until all the cards have been played.
Examining completed tricks except for the last one is not allowed. The tricks of the two players who are playing together are put together, either during or after play.
In the Grand game, only the four Jacks are trumps in the suit order given above for a regular Suit game. All other ranks are the same as in the regular Suit game 10 is ranked just below the Ace.
There are thus five "Suits" in the Grand game if a Jack is led to a trick, the other two players must play jacks too, if they have them. The goal of a Null game is for declarer not to take any tricks.
If declarer takes a trick in a Null game, he immediately loses and the game is scored right away. Declarer may, unilaterally, concede a loss while he is holding at least nine cards i.
Afterwards approval of at least one defender is required. Defenders may concede at any time, but may be requested by declarer to complete the play e.
Claiming of remaining tricks is possible as well, but for a defender only if she would be able to take the remaining tricks herself.
After the last trick has been played, the game is scored. Winning conditions for Null game are different from Suit and Grand games. To win a Suit or Grand game, declarer needs at least 61 card points in his tricks.
If declarer announced Schneider , he needs at least 90 card points in order to win. The two cards in the Skat count towards declarer's tricks.
If declarer announced Schwarz , he must take all ten tricks in order to win. The highest-ranking cards for taking the tricks the Jacks are not the highest scoring cards.
The calculation of the value of a game sounds something like this: The declarer must always be with or against at least one matador the jack of clubs must be somewhere , so the smallest possible multiplier is 2, and the smallest possible game value and the lowest possible bid is These are easy to score.
Each possible Null contract has a fixed value unaffected by multipliers. As with all contracts, an unsuccessful declarer loses twice the value of the game.
The Null values are:. These rather eccentric looking numbers are chosen to fit between the other contract values, each being slightly below a multiple of Before the rule change of 1st Jan , Null Hand cost only 35 when lost and Null Ouvert Hand cost only 59 - see scoring variations.
If declarer wins the game and the value of the game is as least as much as the bid, then the value of the game is added to the declarer's cumulative score.
If the declarer loses the game and the value of the game is as least as much as the bid, then twice the value of the game is subtracted from the declarer's score.
If the value of the declarer's game turns out to be less than the bid then the declarer automatically loses - it does not matter how many card points were taken.
The amount subtracted from the declarer's score is twice the least multiple of the base value of the game actually played which would have fulfilled the bid.
Note that the above are the official rules as from 1st January Before then, scores for lost games played from the hand were not doubled see scoring variations.
If as declarer you announce Schneider but take less than 90 card points, or if you announce Schwarz or Open and lose a trick, you lose, counting all the multipliers you would have won if you had succeeded.
This should normally be worth 48 game points "against 2, game 3, hand 4, 4 time clubs is 48". Rearhand has a Null Ouvert and bids up to 46, to which M says yes.
M plays clubs hand and takes 74 card points including the skat cards , but unfortunately the skat contains J, Q. M is therefore with 1 matador not against 2 as expected , and the game is worth only 36 "with 1, game 2, hand 3 times clubs" , which is less than the bid.
M therefore loses 96 game points twice the 48 points which would be the minimum value in clubs which would fulfill the bid. Had M taken say 95 card points, the Schneider multiplier would have increased the value of the game to 48 "with 1, game 2, hand 3, schneider 4 times clubs" and M would have won 48 game points.
Normally a running total of each player's score is kept on paper. At the end of a session to be fair, each player should have dealt an equal number of times , the players settle up according to the differences between their scores.
Between each pair of players, the one with the lower score pays the one with the higher score the difference in their scores multiplied by the stake.
A , B and C are playing for 5 Pfennig a point. At the end the scores are A: A side effect of the method of scoring is that if there are four players at the table, the dealer of a hand is effectively against the declarer, winning or losing the same as the declarer's opponents.
In tournaments organised by the Deutscher Skatverband , the game is played with four players at each table with dealer sitting out of each hand wherever possible.
A session generally consists of 48 deals. A small number of three-player tables may be formed if necessary, depending on the number of players in the tournament; at these table 36 deals are played.
The scoring is modified somewhat to reduce the difference in value between the different contracts. At the end of the session, the following additional scores are calculated:.
In an improvement in scoring at 4-player tables was suggested, by which when a contract is lost the declarer loses an extra 50 points as usual , and the two active opponents each gain 40 points instead of 30 ; with this scoring the inactive dealer at a 4-player table does not gain points when a contract is defeated.
This variation is very widely played in social games. Either opponent of the declarer, at any time before they play their card to the first trick, may say kontra.
This doubles the score for the contract, whether won or lost. The declarer may immediately answer with rekontra , which doubles the score again.
Note that it is the score that is doubled, not the value of the contract. For example suppose I bid up to 20, look at the skat, and play in diamonds.
I am only with one matador, but am hoping to make the opponents schneider. One of the opponents says Kontra, and in the play I win 85 card points.
As I am with 1, the game value is 18, so I have overbid the Kontra does not affect this. So I lose based on the lowest multiple of diamonds which would have been sufficient, namely I lose double because I looked at the skat and the score is doubled again for the Kontra, so I lose game points altogether.
There is some variation as to when Kontra and Rekontra can be said. Some play that Kontra can only be said before the first lead and a declarer who is Forehand must wait before leading to give the opponents an opportunity to Kontra.
A variation occasionally met with is that you are not allowed to Kontra if you passed an opportunity to bid 18 or say yes to A will not now be allowed to kontra B 's contract, because A failed to say yes to B 's 18 bid.
On the other hand, C can Kontra, because C would have had to say at least 20 to enter the bidding - C never had an opportunity to bid The thinking behind this variation is that a player with a good hand should bid - they should not be allowed to pass and lie in wait, ready to Kontra another player.
This is also very widely played. If Middlehand and Rearhand pass, and Forehand also does not want to play a contract, the cards are not thrown in, but a game of Ramsch is played.
Ramsch can be thought of as a punishment for a player who does not bid with good cards. The rank and value of the cards is the same as in Grand, but the object is to avoid taking card points.
Players keep their tricks individually, and whoever takes the most card points loses. There are many varieties of Ramsch. The players need to agree in advance on the following rules:.
If you like playing Ramsch, it is possible to play it as a game in its own right. That is, you just play Ramsch on every hand. See the Schieberamsch page for a description of how this works.
A Bockround is a round i. Note that this doubling only affects the final scores on the scoresheet; the bids and game values are unaffected.
It is usual to play a Bockround after some special event; the events which cause a Bockround should be agreed before the game. Some people like to play a round of compulsory Ramsch after each Bockround, or after every third Bockround.
Ramschrounds are played according to the rules of Schieberamsch , including the possibility of playing Grand Hand.
A Ramschround consists of as many hands of Ramsch as there are players; a Grand Hand does not count towards completing the Ramschround, and after a Grand Hand the same player deals again.
If the opponents decide at the start of the play that they cannot defeat the declarer, they can give up schenken. If the declarer accepts, the score is as though the game was won simply i.
The declarer can insist on playing on, but in that case has to make the opponents Schneider to win.