"Briscola" is the popular Italian cards game played with a 40-card deck.
After the deck is shuffled, each player is dealt three cards. The next card is placed face up on the playing surface, and the remaining deck is placed face down, sometimes covering half of the up-turned card.
This card is the Briscola, and represents the trump suit for the game. Before the game begins if a player has the deuce of trump he/she may retire the "briscola". This move may only be done at the beginning of the game or first hand. Before the first hand is played (in four player game), team players may show each other their cards. The deal, and game play itself, proceeds counter-clockwise.
The player to the right of the dealer leads the first hand (or trick) by playing one card face up on the playing surface. Each player subsequently plays a card in turn, until all players have played one card. The winner of that hand is determined as follows:
-if any briscola (trump) has been played, the player who played the highest valued trump wins
-if no briscole (trumps) have been played, the player who played the highest card of the lead suit wins
Unlike other trump card games, players are not required to follow suit, that is, to play the same suit as the lead player.
Once the winner of a trick is determined, that player collects the played cards, and places them face down in a pile. Each player maintains his/her own pile, though the four- and six-player versions may have one player collecting all tricks won by his partners.
Then, each player draws a card from the remaining deck, starting with the player who won the trick, proceeding counter-clockwise. Note that the last card collected in the game should be the up-turned Briscola.
After all cards have been played, players calculate the total point value of cards in their own piles.
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