Glossary of Card Game Terms
Above the Line:
In the card game Bridge, a bonus or premium score is called an Above the Line score, which is also the name of the area on the scoreboard where these scores are recorded.
One of the playing cards in a standard deck. It is usually designated by a large letter A. Usually the lowest and or highest card representation in a particular game (before the 2 or after the King). In most trump and trick winning style games, this card usually represents the highest card in a particular suit. In a standard deck of cards, there is one Ace of each of the four suits. See illustration at right which shows a standard Ace in each suit.
In many trick taking games, naming the trump suit to be used during the play of the hand.
In Pinochle and many of it's variations, when the player displays his melds.
In the Rummy type card game Hand, a player making a declaration that he has 51 points in melds, allowing him to play these melds to the table.
Around the Corner:
This term refers to a sequence of cards in various games that is allowed to roll over, starting again at the 2. For instance, in many games the highest card is the Ace in a particular suit and under normal circumstances the highest card in a sequence might be this Ace. However, when around the corner sequences are allowed a long sequence might proceed as follows: 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, Two, Three.
This refers to the practice, in certain card games, to allow players to bid on a certain hand or privilege in that hand such as naming the trump suit for that hand. The player who makes the highest such bid wins the auction, taking the hand or earning some either special privilege dependant on the game being played. This is often used in trick winning games.
The preferred and most often used scoring schedule in the game of Five Hundred. Characterized by distinct values for each individual bid.
A sequence meld in Rubicon Bezique, consisting of the Ace, 10, King, Queen and Jack all of the same, non-trump suit.
In the game of Spades, Bags are tricks won in excess of the number bid by a partnership. Also called Sandbags.
In a game of the same name, a contract to avoid winning the King of Hearts. In this game, that card itself is often called Barbu.
An indication, in the game of All Fours, that the first player would prefer a different trump suit than that of the card first exposed as such.
Being Set Back:
If the bidding partnership in Auction Pitch is unable to fulfill their announced bid the partnership is said to be Set Back.
Below the Line:
In Bridge, the trick scores for each hand are called Below the Line scores. This is also the name of the location on the score sheet where these trick scores are recorded.
In the game of the same name and most of that games variations, a meld consisting of the Queen of Spades and Jack of Diamonds.
This term is used in many games, by a player as an offer to win a particular number of tricks. Usually the player in that game who makes the highest bid (usually in number, but in some games suits are also ranked in this bidding) usually wins the right to name trump or some other special privilege. Usually found in games that feature an auction.
In the game Pedro, the instance where both player haves less than 62 points but more than 54. In this instance, if a team makes their bid on the next hand, regardless of the number of points bid, they win the game.
A round of trading which may be declared by the highest ranking player in the game of President.
In some card games the blind is a special, extra hand that is dealt in which no one may see its contents. In some such games, a round of bidding may determine who has the right to take or exchange for this hand.
In the game Spades and some similar games, a bid in which the bidder makes his bid without first seeing the contents of his hand.
In South African Kaluki, a player melding all cards in his hand at one time.
An occurrence in a card game when a player is not able to make any legal play.
This is an attempt to misrepresent a hidden hand or group of cards to your opponents in games where this is allowed. This is usually in an attempt to compel these opponents into taking a specific course of action. Found in games such as I Doubt It and other similar games, it is used to allow the player to dispose of a number of cards without the opponents challenging.
A variation of International Skat in which a series of hands can be designated to all have double scoring.
This is a special card combination in the game of Tien Len and its variants that can usually be played out of turn and can beat otherwise unbeatable combinations. Usually consisting of four cards of the same rank.
This is an extra score, added to a players regular score on a hand for playing or obtaining specific combinations in that hand.
This term is used in the game of Michigan and some its variations to refer to a specific card in the deck, that, when played, earns the player points or tokens designated on that particular card.
The name of a distinct variation of Michigan which adds a number of optional rules to the standard game.
In some trick taking games, a book is a trick taken over the number bid and needed to win the hand. These are also often called odd tricks.
In matching type games (such as Authors), a book is also a group of similarly ranked cards (usually four such cards).
In many Whist games, a book is the minimum number of tricks required before a side can begin scoring for the hand.
This is a bonus score found in the game of Gin Rummy in which a player receives a number of points for each hand he has won in the game. Also called the line bonus. It is thus called, because this score is usually placed below a line or in a box on the score sheet in these games.
In games of the Rummy family, this is when the stock pile contains fewer cards than the number of active players in the hand. When this occurs, the hand may immediately end or players may be prohibited from drawing any further cards from the draw pile.
A gap, hole or missing card in an otherwise continuous sequence of cards.
This term is generally found in games where a card of a specific suit (usually the trump suit) cannot be played to a trick until any player has already played a card of the suit to the trick as they did not have a card of the suit led. This card played to the trick is called "Breaking Trump".
Playing a card of a different suit than that which has been previously been played in sequence.
In the game Bezique, any card of denomination ace or ten. Winning these cards in tricks earns a player 10 points for each such card captured.
In the game of Cassino, this is where the player adds a card to one or more cards already on the table (usually adding to a higher number) to be taken on a later turn.
An agreement by all the players at All Fours to throw in all the cards with no score for the hand. Short for bunching the cards.
In Truco, a players option to discard the original hand dealt and request replacement cards.
Burning a Card:
The act of first exposing a card for all to see and then placing it at the bottom of the stock. Similar to burying a card.
In Egyptian Rat Slap and some of it's variants, when a player incorrectly slaps the pile and must place two cards from his own pile on the bottom of the current play pile.
This is the act, in a number of games of taking a card (often the top of the stock or a discard pile) and placing it deep back into such pile or the discard pile such that it's location cannot easily be discerned by any of the players.
Buying the Card:
In Shanghai Rummy and several other variations of 500 Rum, this allows a player, out of turn to take the top card of the discard. A player usually has a set number of such buys and there are specific rules on the order in which players can do so.
In Bridge and some other trick taking games, the act of a player making his bid is called a call.
In the game of the same name, a meld consisting of seven or more cards of the same rank, usually required by a side before it can complete the hand.
Bonus score awarded in Piquet for winning all 12 tricks during the hand. Usually worth 40 points.
A hand in Piquet and various versions of Bezique, which before the draw contains no Kings, Queens or Jacks.
A fun game, usually played by two in which the object is to play cards to the center of the table in an effort to score special point scoring combinations. Often shortened to just Casino.
Catch the Ten:
This is an alternate name for Scotch Whist which sometimes considered a variation of the Whist games, more closely resembles the Skat family of games.
In I Doubt It and other bluffing type games, this is when an opponent in some manner indicates they believe another player may be misrepresenting their claim as to a group of cards played face down to the table.
The first team to score 30 points in Argentinean Truco, winning the round.
The name given to the Ace of Spades in the game Agram. Although the card is given a special name, it is actually removed from the deck used to play the game.
A special combination of cards in Tien Len and some of it's variants that can beat otherwise unbeatable combinations. Usually can be played out of turn and consisting of multiple sequences of pairs.
One of four suits in a standard deck of playing cards. The Clubs suit is black in color.
This is a meld in Pinochle and most of it's variations. It consists of two cards, the King and Queen of the same suit of any suit other than the one designated as trump for the hand.
In games of the Rummy family, going out by melding your entire hand in one turn and never making any partial melds.
In many games, a player can surrender the hand. This usually entails immediately giving victory to the opponents with possibly a reduced penalty for conceding before the hand or game is completed.
When the Flor rule is used in Argentinean Truco, a statement by the opponents indicating a challenge for which team has the highest three cards of the same suit.
This is where a player believes he has won the game and can call for a "count out." The hand is immediately stopped and cards, points or tricks for a hand are immediately summed for each player, using only these points or tricks which have already been won in the hand. If the player has, in fact, gathered the required number of points to win, they are declared the winner. If not, however, the hand or game is awarded to the opponents, sometimes with a penalty for falsely declaring victory.
In the game Kemps, when a player thinks the opponents may currently have a four of a kind, they declare Counter Kemps before the opponents can state Kemps.
Another name for the Jack, Queen and King in a standard deck of playing cards. So called because the cards containing likenesses of individuals who might be found in a royal court.
In the various games of Cribbage, this is an extra hand in which each player deposits a number of cards face down. This crib is usually exposed and scored for the dealer at the end of the hand.
A device used to assist in the recording of scores in the game of cribbage. It usually consists of a piece of wood or other material with rows of holes in which a pair of pegs is advanced as scores are accumulated by the players. A cribbage board is also sometimes used to record scores for other games where scoring occurs at a very rapid pace.
In the game of Euchre, crossing it is when a player declares as the trump suit a suit of the opposite color than that originally turned up.
A trick taking game which originated in Denmark, with the unusual goal to attempt to not win the last trick.
In the game of Cucumber, a player earning 21 or more accumulated points at the end of a hand earns a cucumber.
The act of dividing the deck, usually into two pieces placing the bottom on the top. Usually done as a preliminary in most games and to help prevent cheating by dividing up a previously, specifically ordered stack.
This is a general term that is used in a game where each player is playing strictly on his own, with no partnerships.
In Gin Rummy, Indian Rummy and other Rummy variants, deadwood is the unmatched cards in a players hand when someone knocks or goes Gin. Most such games require that a player have a total sum of 10 or less points in deadwood before they can knock.
This is the process of distributing a number of cards to the players as determined by the game. Most games usually have the actual player who deals rotate around the table, such that differing players will have the opportunity to distribute these cards. In most games, the player who deals is usually the last to play in each round as well as being the last to receive any cards in each round of distributing the cards. In much of the Western Hemisphere, the cards (and dealer position) usually rotates in a clockwise direction, while in other parts of the world this is often done in a counterclockwise direction.
The current player who is taking the part of handing out the cards for this particular round or hand.
The act of distributing the cards as seen in "Deal" above.
A collection of cards in a neat pile. The cards are usually arranged face down and all have the same back design so as to make it unknown what suit and rank the card shows on the facing side.
A players statement indicating the number of tricks he intends to win and trump suit he wants to use for the hand. In most games, each player usually has the opportunity to make one or more declarations.
Declarer of Hand:
This is the player, in Bridge and some of its many variations, that has won the highest bid and will be playing both their own hand and the dummy hand as well.
Traditionally called the Dix, this is the lowest card of trump in the game of Pinochle or Bezique. In Pinochle this would be the nine and in Bezique it would normally be the seven. It is usually worth 10 points when melded.
The opponents of the declarers in Bridge, who try to set the declarers preventing them from making their declared bid.
This is a specific card in a standard deck of cards, usually marked with the numeral two (2), and therefore also called the two. In a standard deck, there is usually one deuce of each of the four suits. In many games deuces are often considered wild cards.
The marked value on the face of a card. Usually used for determining the rank of a particular card. In some games the suits are also ranked in a specific order.
One of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. This suit is one of two that is red in color.
This is the act, in many games, of placing one card, from your hand into a community discard pile in the center of the table. Discarding is usually the termination of a players hand.
The face up pile where players will place there discards at the end of their turn. Depending on the game, players may, under certain circumstances take the top, exposed card of this discard pile.
The lowest card of the trump suit in Bezique, Pinochle and other related games. French for ten, it is so named as melding this card usually nets the melder 10 points. Also called the Deece.
In the game Dom Pedro, the name given to the Joker which is considered a member of the trump suit.
One of the contracts in the game of Barbu and some of it's variants. During this contract players attempt to be the first to play all of their cards to a central layout.
In Bridge and similar card games a special type of bid. It usually means to leave the current high bid as it stands but double all scoring and penalties scored for that bid.
In the game Barbu, a bid to double the points for the hand with that particular player.
This is the standard score penalty the "player" in Pinochle receives when they elect to play out the hand but is unable to reach or exceed their bid in the hand.
Short for Double Pair Royale, four cards of the same rank. A point scoring combination in various predecessor games to Cribbage.
Two separate sequences of three or more cards that are identical in every way except for the suit. Also called a finger.
A sequence in Cribbage in which one of the cards in the sequence is repeated allowing the player to score twice for the run.
This is an extension to a bid in the game of Bid Whist in which the player is indicating they would like to play the hand with reverse ranking (thus, the cards rank, from high to low 2, 3, etc).
During a players turn this is the act of taking one or more cards (as per the specific games rules) into their hand from the stock pile or the discard pile. Usually performed at the start of the players turn.
When two or more players end a game with a tie for the highest score for winner. The game is said to be a draw.
In many games a pile of face down cards on which player will take cards, usually at the start of their turn. In some games, a player may draw from this pile when unable to make a valid play on his turn.
In the game of Truco, when the highest cards played to a trick are played by different partnerships and are tied such that no one wins that trick. Also called a Parda.
Draw a Card:
This is the act, during a game of a drawing a card from the deck. This is usually from the face down draw pile. Often shortened to just "draw".
Two cards of the same suit and denomination in Indian Rummy. Having a certain number of Dublees in a hand may allow the player to win the hand.
In Contract Bridge this is the bid makers partners hand which is placed face up on the table on which the bid maker plays from when it would be his partners turn of play.
This is the name of the first active player to play in each hand, usually the player to the immediate left of the dealer. The player who is this Eldest Hand, will usually be the dealer on the subsequent hand or game as the player to deal rotates around the table.
An exciting trick taking card game for 3 to 5 players with an interesting method of determining the trump suit for each hand. Euchre is also, in this game, the failure of the "maker" to make the number of tricks to win the hand, resulting in the opponents being awarded a certain number of points.
This is the act, in the game of Euchre, of a side or player failing to win the requisite number of tricks for the hand, resulting in the opponents earning a specified score. See Euchre above.
In the game Deduce or Die, two special cards which are used to determine the specific card, whose holder is the murderer.
One of several names used to indicate the Jacks, Queens and Kings in a standard deck. So named as these cards usually depict a face representative of the cards denomination.
The marked value of a card, also called the pip value. The face cards are usually considered to have a face value of 10 each, the Ace 1 and the other cards the actual numerical rank marked on the card.
In the card game Sheepshead (Schafkopf) a fail suit is a suit that is part of the non-trump suit. In the standard game of Sheepshead, this consists of the 7 through 10, Kings and Aces of all the other suits except Diamonds.
In various games in which players attempt to slap the center pile, the act of slapping the center when this pile does not warrant a slap.
An alternate name for a double run in Tien Len and its variations. It consists of a number of pairs that are in sequential order. Essentially two sets of sequences identical except in suit.
An incomplete slap to the center pile made by a player in games in which one of the goals is to slap the center pile when certain combinations appear there.
An often optional rule in Argentinean and other variants of Truco. This is a request for comparison of a players hand of which player might have the highest three cards of the same suit.
This is a specific group of cards that are all of the same suit. In Cribbage this allows the holder to peg a number of points.
In Pinochle a meld consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 of the trump suit.
To withdraw or surrender the current hand or game.
A card, usually starting with the lowest card in a suit on which the entire sequence of the suit will be built up. Often used in solitaire games.
In Canasta this is when there are additional restrictions on taking the discard pile. This discard pile is usually frozen until a side had made its initial required meld. Other events or cards on the pile can also cause the discard pile to become frozen to one or both partnerships in the game.
A five card combination in Big Two and some of it's variants consisting of three identically ranked cards and two other identically ranked cards.
In cribbage the number of points required to win the game. The player who scores this amount at any point in a hand, immediately is declared the winner.
A term often used to indicate the required criteria (points, melds, etc) to win a particular card game.
In All Fours and many of its variants, one of the point scoring categories, usually consisting of capturing the most high card points in tricks during the hand.
In Cinch and most of its variants, one of several point scoring categories during a hand. Won by capturing the 10 of the current trump suit in a trick.
Additional score rewards that are added to a players score (notably in Gin Rummy and similar games) for the number of hands or other criteria the player has made during the course of the game.
In the game "Gin Rummy" when a player is able to meld his entire hand this is called Gin. See "Going Gin".
An alternate name for the game of Gin Rummy, often shortened to just "Gin".
In the game of Cribbage a player who, on his turn cannot play a card that would not cause the current total to exceed a 31.
In Rummy and most of it's variations, having a hand in which all the cards in the hand are meldable.
In Euchre (and some other partnership games as well), when one of the members of the partnership believes they can win the hand solo (without the help of his partners hand). Bonus points are usually awarded when a player is able to win a hand this way.
In the game of Gin Rummy, when a player is able to meld his entire hand with no excess cards or deadwood, this is called "Going Gin".
In Skat and many of it's variations, a declaration (or portion of a declaration) to use only the four Jacks as trump for the hand.
One partnership winning all 13 tricks in a Bridge hand, earning bonus points for the feat.
In the Rummy family of games, a group is a set of three or more cards of identical rank.
A grouping of cards in which a partnership attempts to collect in the game Literature. The deck is divided into eight half suits, two for each suit, one the high cards and the other the low ones.
This is a generic term used in most card games to indicate one round or specific deal. In some games one hand is a whole game, while in others a game may consist of a number of such hands.
The specific cards dealt to an individual player at the start of a game. These cards would be considered that players hand.
In the Middle Eastern Rummy style game of the same name, a special declaration a player can make in which he can meld all his cards in a certain way. Ends the current round immediately with the declaring player winning the round.
In the partnership variation of All Fours, if the Jack of the designated Trump suit is won by the non bidding team.
One of four suits found in a standard deck of color. The suit of Hearts is red in color.
A fun trick taking game with the unusual goal to take in as few tricks as possible that contain specific penalty cards.
In All Fours, California Jack and other variations, one of the point scoring category. Usually scored for being dealt the highest trump card in play.
In Cribbage, when the starter card turned is a Jack. This earns a bonus for the dealer in that hand.
In Cribbage when the Jack of the same suit as the starter is found in the hand or, for the dealer also in the crib. This allows the holder of such a card to one point.
A method of scoring various games (notably Gin Rummy) where scores are simultaneously recorded for three games at the same time.
In Bridge, the five top ranking trump cards, or in a no trump bid, the four aces.
A name given to special hands in Big Two which can automatically beat any other combination.
In the card game Euchre, if the dealers partner wants to accept the turned up card as trump, he says "I Assist".
I Order it up:
In Euchre, if the first player (player to the immediate left of dealer) chooses to accept the turned up card as trump for the hand, he declares "I order it up.".
In the Piquet variation Imperial, Imperials are special scoring combinations a player may be able to score for during the declaration phase of the game. In the same game, Imperials is also used to refer to high cards in the trump suit to be used for the hand.
An alternative scoring schedule sometimes used when playing Five Hundred. In this schedule the values of the suits is reversed.
In the Hole:
In games featuring standard increases in score, to be "in the hole" indicates a negative score. This is so named for the practice in many games of circling such a score to indicate it is negative.
In Deduce or Die, the special deck used to allow a player to question other players and help deduce if they are the murderer.
Any illegal or invalid play for a particular game is called an Irregularity. There is often some type of game or scoring penalty associated with irregularities during a game.
One of the royalty or court cards. Usually ranked between the 10 and Queen in most games. There is generally one Jack of each suit in a normal deck. The diagram to the right displays an example of the four Jacks in a standard deck.
In the games All Fours, California Jack and variants of these games, one of the point scoring categories during the hand. Scored by capturing the Jack of the trump suit during a hand.
A special combination in 21 card Indian Rummy which scores bonus points for the player having the combination in their hand. Usually consists of three specific Jokers.
A special designated card that allows the player to designate this card to represent any other card in the deck. Some games place certain restrictions on when and how this card can be used or what it can be designated as.
In trick taking games a bid higher than the minimum bid necessary to overcall the last highest bid.
In the game with the same name, the usual exclamation to indicate a player believes his partner has four equally ranked cards.
An individual who does not have an active role in a game or hand but who watches other playing a game.
The highest of the court cards. In most games where card ranking is an issue, it ranks between the Queen and the Ace.
An extra group of cards dealt separately to the center of the table, often given to the dealer to exchange cards from before play of the hand begins.
The original name given to the playing card currently called a Jack. Originally it was marked with Kn on the card, but due to the similarity to the K for a King, it was modified to be called a Jack. Literally, a servant to a King.
In the game of Gin Rummy, this is the indicator the player gives when he believes he has a possible lower count in unmelded cards than his opponent. This ends the hand with each player making a count of such cards. This action can be indicated by a player indicating this verbally or actually rapping the table with their knuckles in a knocking motion.
In a scoring variant of Skat, an offer to double the score for the current hand.
A method of scoring in which a cumulative total of Game Points are recorded over a long period of time in which a player's overall position on a leaderboard or ranking.
In games of the Rummy family, laying off is adding cards to another players melds or combinations.
This is the player who plays the first card to a trick. This player generally has leeway in selecting any card from their hand to lead to the trick.
In Sheepshead if all players pass the hand is played with a goal of getting the least number of counting cards during the hand.
In the game of Euchre this is the Jack of the opposite suit but same color as the trump suit. In Euchre, this card is the second highest rank card in the trump suit and is considered to be a member of the trump suit for all purposes during the hand.
In the game Cinch and it's variants the Five of the same color but opposite suit as the suit designated as trump suit for the hand.
A card of rank Ace, King, Queen, or Jack, named so because they are marked with a letter instead of a numerical designation.
In Gin Rummy a bonus score awarded at the end of the game for the number of hands won during the game. See Box bonus.
In Bridge, winning twelve of the thirteen tricks in the hand. Usually scoring a bonus for a partnership.
One of the point scoring categories in the games All Fours, California Jack and variants of these games. Consisting of capturing the lowest card of the trump suit in a trick during the hand.
In the game 21 Card Indian Rummy, the cards of the next lower denomination than that of the exposed card. These are wild cards alongside any other Jokers used.
The main sequence of cards in Eleusis Express in which the players play the correct card next in sequence to the current pattern.
In Euchre the player who accepts or otherwise decides the trump suit for the hand. The maker and his partner will generally play against the opponent partnership.
Making It Next:
When a player, in Euchre, selects the opposite suit (but of same color) as the one that was turned down to be the trump suit for the hand.
In Truco Paulista, the four highest cards for the hand which are designated by a card exposed from the stock.
Spanish for hand, the name given to the player in Truco and other related games who has the first turn, usually the player to the immediate right of the dealer.
A general term for a meld in Pinochle, Bezique and similar games consisting of the King and Queen of the same suit. There are usually two types, Common Marriage and Royal Marriage.
Special combinations in 21 card Indian Rummy, usually consisting of three specific Jokers. Earns the player having the combination in their hand bonus points at the end of the hand.
In games of the Skat family, matadors are a designation of a number of unbroken series of trump cards a player may or may not hold in his hand.
A legal or valid group or set of cards that can be played to the table. These are usually 3 or more sequential cards of the same suit or a group of 3 matching cards. Melds are used primarily in the Rummy type games and Pinochle.
In the game of Auction Hearts, the suit that the players attempt to avoid winning in tricks, as each card won in the suit costs the player a penalty.
This is when, through an illegal play, an improper deck or other reason, the current deal is marked invalid. This usually results in all the cards being thrown in and a new deal by the same dealer occurring, with no scoring to occur on the misdealt hand.
In the early Cribbage variant Costly Colours, an agreement between the two players to exchange one card amongst their hands.
In the French game Le Truc, a request by one player to raise the point value for the current hand to the total needed for winning the entire game.
In the game Deduce or Die, the Motive Deck is a 27 card deck used for the Evidence cards and the players individual hands.
In Uruguayan Truco, a special suit that gives certain cards additional capabilities, particularly when used in declaring a Flor or Envido.
An optional rule in Cribbage in which a player may declare Muggins for any scores that his opponent may have missed.
The holder of this card in the game Deduce or Die is the murderer, and the other players attempt to deduce exactly who holds this card.
A player who has a score below zero is said to have a negative score. These can come about due to being caught with a large number of unmelded cards in their hand. Negative scores are often possible in some of the Rummy type games and also many of the Whist games.
In some of the bidding games, a nil bid is an expression that the player intends to win no tricks on the hand.
When a hand is played without any particular suit or group of cards as trump it is played at "No Trump". Thus, the tricks in the hand are won by the player who plays the highest card of the original suit led.
Early form of Cribbage from which the modern game and its variations have been derived.
A special bid in Skat and many of it's variants which is an indication of a players attempt to win no tricks during the hand.
One of the contracts in Barbu. During this contract the players try to avoid winning tricks.
Any of the cards in the Standard deck which is marked with a numerical digit. Usually contains a number of pips on the face to also represent that number. Specifically the cards marked with the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Tricks won in excess of the minimum of 6 for a hand. When bidding and scoring many games, these bids and scores are made in relation to these odd tricks.
In the game Pedro, capturing the Five of the opposite suit as the trump suit in a trick, potentially worth five points to the capturer.
In games which feature a trump suit, the other three non-trump suits in the hand.
Playing a game of Cribbage to 61 points. This is usually once around a cribbage board, vice twice around for a normal game. Makes for a much shorter game.
One For Last:
In Cribbage, playing the last card in a hand. The player playing this last card of the hand earns a score for doing so.
This refers to cards of a different suit but the same color as those of another suit. For instance, for Diamonds, the opposite suit would be Hearts, and for Clubs the opposite suit would be Spades.
In the German Deck, one of the three face cards in each suit. Usually, the equivalent of the Queen in the standard French Deck.
In bridge and other bidding games this is a bid that is greater in value, as per the definitions given for a particular game, than the previous such bids.
In bridge and other bidding games this is a bid that is greater in value, as per the definitions given for a particular game, than the previous such bids.
In Contract Bridge and other games of the trick taking family, tricks won in excess of those bid on or needed for the hand.
A common name in many games for the face down draw pile in the center of the table in which players may draw from during the course of the game.
The entire deck of cards before it is dealt out to the individual participants in the game.
A subset of the full deck, such as when separating the deck into two or more packets for cutting and shuffling.
A group of cards played face-down to the center of the table in I Doubt It.
A small group of cards deal out to players in each cycle of a deal. In some games, instead of just one card, a small packet is delivered to each player in each dealing round.
A player dropping from the hand in the card game Indian Rummy.
Two cards of the same denomination. A point scoring combination in Cribbage and many of it's variants.
Two or more players who team together in a hand or game, usually against other such partnerships. Generally, these players score as a partnership rather than individually.
A team consisting of two or more members in a card game who have the common goal of defeating the other players who are also usually grouped into their own partnerships. The players in the partnership usually score as a team instead of individually.
When a player in some games is unable or unwilling to make a play at his turn and the play skips to the next active player in the hand.
In certain games a player may be required or have the option of giving one or more cards to another player in exchange for a similar number of cards from that or another player in the hand. This action is called passing.
Passed Out Hand:
A deal, usually in games featuring bidding, in which no player makes the minimum bid. The cards are usually thrown in and the same dealer deals again with no score being recorded for the deal.
In the game Trut, a trick in which the highest cards to the trick are tied, such that no won actually wins the trick.
In the game of the same name, the five of the trump suit designated for the hand.
When a player, in Cribbage is able to reach the last hole, called the Game Hole on the cribbage board, thus winning the game.
When scoring the game of Cribbage on a cribbage board, each score is accomplished by advancing the rear peg in front of the front most peg a number of wholes equivalent to the number of points scored. This is called pegging.
A card from a players hand which must be set in front of that player, face up due to a penalty involving that card. In many circumstances this card must be played when an opponent demands it to be played and when it can legally be played.
In Piquet, earning 30 points while in the trick taking phase of the game before the opponent has scored anything. In most versions of the game, pic scores 30 additional points for the player scoring it.
A Truco variant, in which partnerships of three players are divided to participate in three two player hands.
Another name for the Jacks, Kings and Queens in the standard card deck.
A challenge declaration made by a partnership indicating the opposing partnership had an undeclared Flor. Used in Argentinean Truco and similar games and variations.
Spanish for Foot, the name for the dealer in several games, including Truco.
A meld consisting of exactly seven cards in the Canasta variant Hand and Foot.
An intricate game which consists of bidding, trick taking and melding.
In the game with the same name, this is a specific meld which consists of the Jack of Diamonds and the Queen of Spades.
Each suit marked in the middle of the numbered cards is usually called a pip. Thus, the 10 of Diamonds would contain 10 diamonds on the middle of the card, thus it would contain 10 pips.
The value of one of the numbered cards (2 to 10), represented by the number of small suit markings in the center of the card's face.
In Auction Pitch, the player who has the highest bid and who will play the hand as the declarer.
An active participant in a game of cards.
The high bidder in the game of Skat and some of it's variants who will determine various aspects of the hand (such as trump suit, game type played, etc).
Play of Hand:
This is the rules, strategy and requirements for a player at his turn in a game of cards.
This is when a player in the various trick taking games which are played as partnership elects to play without the benefit of his partner or his partners hand.
In the game Piquet, one of the three declaration categories in the declaration phase. Awarded to the player holding the most cards in a single suit.
This is the non-dealer in two handed Cribbage. With more than two players, the Pone is the player to the dealer's immediate right.
In the game Switch, a card which, when played, confers special affects on the game such as reversing the direction of play or forcing the next player in turn to draw a certain number of cards.
Highest social ranking during a game of President. Often has special privileges during the game.
Three cards of identical rank, short for Pair Royale. A scoring combination in several of the predecessor games to Cribbage.
A wild card consisting of the actual card marked as Joker in Rummy games. Distinguished from other potential Jokers in the hand which may be of any denomination during a particular hand.
In the game of Goofspiel, the pile of cards for which the players will attempt to win individually during the hand.
A sequence of three or more cards of the same suit in 21 Card Indian Rummy. It may contain no Jokers.
Alternate name given for four identically ranked cards.
One of the three court cards in a standard deck. Usually ranked between the Jack and King in the deck.
A game in Skat with the object to win no tricks with only the four Jacks as the trump suit. Can only be bid by leader when all other players have passed.
The specific positioning, with regards to value in relation to other cards of a specific card either in its suit or in the deck as a whole.
In the game of Kemps when the stock runs out and no player wants to trade for any of the current cards in the center of the table.
In Skat, after a player first doubles the score (Kontra) an offer to double the score again.
A bid in Bridge and similar games in which a player doubles a previous double by the opponent team. This bid essentially quadruples some of the base scoring during the hand.
In a trick taking type of game, when a player has a suit that is required to play but fails to play this card. In most games this is an illegal play and usually results in a penalty for the individual who reneged. Also called a revoke.
Earning a score of 30 during the declaration phase of Piquet before the opponent has scored any points. In most versions of Piquet, this earns the player an additional 60 points.
When a player has a card of the suit necessary to play to a trick but plays a card of another card instead. In most trick taking games this is considered an irregularity and usually results in a penalty for the offending player.
In the game President, a Revolution is an optional rule stipulating that if any player leads with four of a kind the current card ranking is reversed until the end of the hand or another Revolution is played.
In Euchre, the Jack of the designated spade suit for the hand. The Right Bower will be the highest ranked card in that hand.
In the games of Cinch, Pedro and their variations, the Five of the trump suit.
Robbing the Deck:
In the game Cinch and it's variations, the dealer having the privilege of sorting through the remaining cards in the undealt deck to replace discards from his own hand of his choosing.
When dealing, one rotation of card distribution to each active player in the game. Most hands consist of multiple rounds to get the necessary number of cards for the game into the players hands.
Starting with the first player, each player in the hand taking one turn in normal order.
In Pinochle this is a meld consisting of the Queen and King of the trump suit selected for that hand.
This is one of a number of names for any of the Jacks, Queens and Kings in a standard deck of playing cards.
In Bridge and other similar trick taking games, winning two of a series of three games.
In many games, a player unable to reach a specific point total before his opponent earns enough to win the hand or game.
In trick taking games, when a player plays a card of the trump suit on his turn when trumps were not originally led.
A series of consecutive cards that are in sequence. For most games, these cards are usually required to be of the same suit.
In All Fours and it's variants when additional cards are dealt to the players if the current trump suit is declined.
Running the Cards:
In All Fours, when, for any reason, another round of cards is dealt to the players, adding to the cards already contained in the hand.
In the game variant of the same name, the nine of the trump suit is called Sancho.
In the card game Spades, tricks won in excess of the number actually bid for.
When a partnership or individual player wins every trick in a hand. This is used in games from the Skat family of games, such as Sheepshead.
In Sheepshead and other games of the Skat family, this is when a partnership or player is unable to score 31 or more points in play.
A term used in Skat any many other games, this is when one partnership or player manages to win every trick in the hand.
The lowest ranking social rank in the game President.
A set of cards which are in numeric order as per their marked rank. For many games, all such cards must be of the same suit.
In the game of Piquet, one of the three categories in the declaration phase. Sequence is won by the player holding the most cards in an unbroken group of cards of the same set. This declaration must contain three or more cards.
In Bezique, a sequence is a meld consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the trump suit.
A card that is one rank higher or lower in number than another or previous card. In most games, valid sequences usually must be all of the same suit.
When a defending partnership or player is able to defeat the other, preventing them from making their bid or contract.
In the Rummy type games a set is a valid meld of cards placed on the table.
Three or more cards of the exact same ranking, usually used in the various games of the Rummy family.
One of the three declarations used in the declaration phase of the game Piquet. Set is the player with the longest or highest group of identically ranked cards. To win this declaration the set must contain three or more cards.
Set the Declarer:
This is when the opponents are able to prevent the declarer in Bridge and similar games from fulfilling their contract for the hand. See Set above.
This is when the opponents are able to prevent the declarer in Bridge and similar games from fulfilling their contract for the hand. See Set above.
In Eleusis Express, the sequence of incorrect cards that are played, which did not adhere to the next card needed for the current sequence.
The act of mixing up the cards in such a way that they are randomized and no player is aware of the current ordering of the cards in the deck.
In Irish Snap, when the players must keep the continuing count silently to themselves.
In the game of Piquet, intentionally not declaring your highest holding in a particular category in order to prevent the opponent from knowing what cards are held.
An exciting trick-taking game of Germanic origin in which a player attempts to win one of a number of declared game types.
In the aforementioned game, a widow hand which, depending on the game type selected by the bidder, may be used to aid him in the play of the hand.
When a player is beaten without having scored any points during the game, that player is said to have been skunked.
In Bridge, this is when one partnership is able to win all the tricks in the hand.
An alternate name for the card game SlapJack, a well known Children's game.
Playing a card to a trick which cannot win the trick, usually of an off suit from that led and not of the trump suit.
Making a discard of a card that the player cannot use.
A bid of four which is the highest bid in the game Auction Pitch.
In the game Snap, a shout made when a players's exposed card matches that of a center pile.
In the game Dom Pedro, an alternate name given to the Joker which is considered a member of the designated trump suit. Also used as an alternate name for the game Dom Pedro.
Generic name given to a group of games that can be played without other players. Very popular on many computer operating systems.
In Argentinean Truco, a statement made when a player concedes the points in the current hand to the opponent partnership.
One of the four suits found in a standard deck of cards. This suit is black in color.
A trick taking game played by four players in two partnerships. The Spade suit is always trump in this game.
The name used for the Ace of Diamonds in the Stops card game of the same name. This card allows the individual who plays the card to begin a new ascending sequence of cards to be played to.
A variation of the card game Schafkopf in which the normal ordering of the permanent trump suit is modified by setting the seven of diamonds as the second highest trump card.
An optional multiplier in many versions of Skat and some of its variations that allows the players to declare he will win the last trick in the hand with the lowest card of the trump suit for the hand.
A trick in Le Truc and other related games in which the two or more highest cards played to the trick are tied.
Another term used for melds in many of the Rummy type games.
Another term for the deck or draw pile.
When playing All Fours, an indication that the first player accepts the exposed cards suit as trump.
This is the deck commonly found when buying a regular deck of cards. It consists of cards Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King in the four suits Spades, Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs.
In Cribbage, after the cards are dealt for the hand, one card is dealt from the deck and placed face up as the starter card. Used for certain scoring combinations upon completion of the play of the hand. Also shortened to just Start Card.
A special card or cards in many members of the Stops family of games which stops or halts the current progression of play.
A sequence of consecutive cards played in the game of Cribbage. In Cribbage these cards do not have to all be of the same suit.
In Big Two and similar games, a group of five cards all in ascending sequence.
An ascending sequence of 5 cards all of the same suit, used in Big Two and similar games.
This is the name for the draw pile in which players may draw from during the course of the game.
This is the pile in which player will draw cards when unable to play a current card in games such as Crazy Eights.
In members of the Stops family of card games, when no player is able to continue the current sequence as the card has already been played or is otherwise unplayable.
In games like Speed and Spit, this is where neither player is able to continue play with any of the currently exposed cards on the table layout.
The four differing groupings of cards in a standard deck. These suits consist of Spades, Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs. Some custom decks have different or additional suits, but a standard deck consists of thirteen cards, one of each of these suits. The diagram to the right shows each of these suits. In some games the suits are accorded a further ranking amongst cards of the same rank.
In games such as Cassino, clearing the table of all cards currently in play.
This is the specific layout used for a particular game. It consists of piles and individual cards set up in preparation for the play of the hand.
In the game of Cassino (sometimes spelled Casino) this is when a player, on his turn is able to take one or more cards from the tableau in the center of the table.
Taking It Up:
In Euchre, when the dealer accepts the turned up card as trump for the hand, this is called Taking It Up.
A special discard or holding pile in various games including many of the solitaire type games.
A group of three cards of the exact same suit and denomination in Indian Rummy. In 21 Card Indian Rummy, this is often called a Tunnela.
Variant rule in Egyptian Rat Slap in which each player attempts to slap and pull as many cards to his own pile as possible when specific combinations appear.
Also called just Tops, in International Skat, an unbroken series of trump cards the declaring layer may or may not hold in his current hand.
In Skat, a declaration by a player to play using the skat and one of the cards of the skat to determine the trump suit for the hand.
In the game of Cassino, when a player is unable (or chooses not) to take any cards or make any builds during their turn.
This is another name for the card with the numeral three (3) marked on it. There is usually one such three in each suit in a standard deck of cards.
One round of play in certain card games. A trick consists of each player, in order of their turn, playing a card to the center of the table. Most games impose restrictions on what cards can be played to the trick after the initial card is played to the trick.
A pile containing the cards a player has won during the game of Goofspiel.
A special suit that is determined for the hand to have higher ranking than the others. Cards played to tricks are usually won by the highest trump card played to the trick, if any trump card is played to it. Dependent on the specific game this trump suit may be predetermined and permanent for the game or may be decided on by the players through a process of bidding or some other method.
To play a card of the trump suit to a trick when previously only cards of the non-trump suit had been played.
In the game with the same name, winning two of the three tricks in the hand.
A players legal opportunity to play or take action during a game.
Turning It Down:
When a player does not accept the turned up card as the trump suit for the hand.
In Cribbage, when the game is played to 121 points, which coincides with twice around a players series of holes on a Cribbage board.
Two for 31:
This is the score and the verbal cue used when a player in Cribbage can play a card which brings the total running card total to exactly 31. This player is awarded two points for this accomplishment.
Under As In:
This is a phrase used in a variation of the game Schafkopf (Sheepshead) in which a player places a card face down in determining a partner. Also sometimes called "in the hole."
One of the three face cards in each suit in the German card deck. Usually the equivalent of the Jack in the standard French deck.
In Gin Rummy, when a player has a lower count of deadwood than his opponent, when that opponent knocks to end and score the hand.
These are the tricks that a partnership or player was under the number they had bid for that particular hand. There is often a penalty for teams that do not win the number of tricks bid for.
In Gin Rummy, this is the initial card that is often turned over before the first player takes his turn.
The current exposed card on top of the discard pile in Gin Rummy and other games of the Rummy family.
In the card game 21 Card Indian Rummy, the cards of the next higher denomination than the exposed Joker. These are wild cards alongside any other Jokers used in the hand.
In the game of Bid Whist, Uptown is a prefix added to a bid in which the player is indicating that a high card (vice reversed ordering of low cards) will win a trick.
In Argentinean Truco, a request by one player to increase the point value for the current hand to four.
In some variants of Rummy, a meld consisting of three cards of the same rank. Often each of the cards in the meld must be of a different suit.
Modifications or changes to the standard rules of a game, which alter the way the game is played, sometimes called house rules. Oftentimes variations include difference in the number of players, addition of wild cards and point scoring.
Having no cards in a specific suit, a player is said to be void in that suit.
In Indian Rummy and it's variants, when the stock runs out of cards for players to draw. Usually results in no score for the hand.
In Bridge, when a partnership has won one game towards a rubber. Scores and penalties are usually higher when a team or partnership are thus vulnerable.
In a number of games, this is an extra hand which is dealt out, but which is not given to any particular player. This hand is sometimes auctioned to the highest bidder or given to the dealer for exchange of his own hand.
A specially designated card, which depends on the game, that can be substituted for any other valid card in the game. Jokers are often designated wild cards as are sometimes deuces and other cards.
In the classic game Comet, not having a valid play, a participant states Without and the turn passes to the next player.
In a two player game, the Younger hand is the opposite player to the one who takes the first turn, usually the dealer.
This is the name for player receiving the last card or cards dealt, usually the dealer. The Youngest Hand is often the dealer and in most games is the last to take his turn.
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