How to Play Court Piece

Court Piece is an exciting trick taking game which is very popular in India and Pakistan. This game goes by a number of alternative names such as Court Pees, Coat Piece and quite a few other similar names. In Pakistan this game is commonly known as Rung or Rang.

Court Piece is played by four players in two partnerships. Each player sits directly across the table from his partner. This game uses the standard 52 card deck. The ranking of the cards in this deck are as follows (from high to low); Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Partnerships and the first dealer can be determined in a number of ways, with drawing for low cards a common method. The players drawing the two lowest cards would play as partners against the players drawing the two highest. The members of each partnership should sit at the table directly across from their partner. The player drawing the lowest card of all becomes the first dealer. After the first hand, the dealer for the next hand will be a member of the opposing team from the winner of the current hand, as described below.

Court Piece Initial Hand
In Court Piece, the Trump Caller must make his choice of the trump suit from the first five cards dealt to his hand.
The dealer begins by shuffling the deck and handing the shuffled deck to the player to his immediate right who cuts the deck. He then takes the deck back and deals in a counter-clockwise rotation. Each player initially receives five face down cards. After this first batch of cards is distributed, the player to the immediate right of the dealer (called the Trump Caller) picks up and examines his cards and then declares the trump suit for the hand. The other players should not yet pick up their own cards until the Trump Caller has selected the trump suit for the hand. After the trump selection, the dealer then distributes the remainder of the cards in four card packets, with the result that each player has a hand consisting of 13 cards.

The Trump Caller then leads the first card to the first trick. Each subsequent player in a counter-clockwise rotation then plays one card to the trick.

When playing to a trick, a player must play a card of the suit originally led to the suit if he has one. If he does not have such a card he may play any card to the trick from his hand, including a card of the trump suit. The highest trump card played to the trick wins it. If no trump cards have been played to the trick, the highest card of the suit originally led to the trick wins it. The winner of each trick leads the first card to the next trick.

As tricks are won the cards in the trick are gathered by the winner and placed at his side. They should be placed face down, and in such a manner that the other players can clearly see how many tricks the player has won.

After all thirteen tricks have been played the hand is then scored as follows: Often, to save time, once one team wins seven tricks during the hand, the remainder of the hand is not completed, with that team set as winning the deal. This includes when a team wins the first seven consecutive tricks (for one Court). However, they sometimes opt to continue play of the hand if they believe they can score a 52-court.

If the current dealers team wins the deal, the player to his immediate right deals the next hand. However, if the team on which the Trump Caller is a member wins the deal (but not scoring a Court on the hand), the same dealer shuffles and deals the next hand. If the team consisting of the Trump Caller wins a Court on the hand, the partner of the previous dealer becomes the dealer on the next hand. The player to the right of the current dealer is set as the Trump Caller for the hand.

Before the game begins a set play time is usually mutually decided upon by all the players. After this time has elapsed, the current hand is finished and whichever team has scored the most Courts is declared the winner. If both teams have earned the same number of Courts, the game ends in a tie.


Variations and Optional Rules

Trump Card Show: In this variant, instead of calling a specific trump suit, the Trump Caller selects one of his first five cards and places it face up on the table. The suit of the selected card sets the trump suit for the hand. Although this card remains on the table in front of the player, the card is still considered to be part of the Trump Caller's hand. Thus, he would play this card at the appropriate time just as if the card was held in his hand.

Trump Deferred: Another variant that is sometimes played allows the Trump Caller to defer the selection of the Trump suit. In this variant, if the Trump Caller does not want to yet select a suit from his first group of cards, the first card dealt to the Trump Caller from the next batch is turned over and sets the trump suit. This card is considered to be a part of the Trump Caller's hand, such that he may play it to a trick as if the card was still in his actual hand.

The Same Player Must Win Two Consecutive Tricks in Double Sar Double Sir: Double Sir is played identically to Court Piece with only one difference. However, this difference is significant enough in that it can drastically alter the strategy adopted by the players of the game.

In Double Sir (also called Double Sar), completed tricks are simply turned face down and left in the center of the table until the same player wins two consecutive tricks. At this time, the player who won these consecutive tricks gathers the cards for this trick and all previous cards from tricks still in the center of the table and places them face down beside himself for totaling later. After the center pile is won, any player must then again win two consecutive tricks to capture the cards in the center of the table. After the last trick has been won, if there are still completed tricks in the center of the table, the player who won the last trick captures all the previously uncaptured cards. At the end of the hand, each partnership is credited with winning the number of tricks based on the number of four card tricks they have possession of. In the scoring and all other aspects this game is played identically to Court Piece.

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