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Play Belote

Belote is the national card game in France. Play it against computer opponents.

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Belote game info

Belote Classic is a trick-taking card game from France. It is the national card game in France, and also played in Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, North Macedonia and Saudi Arabia.

Belote is played with 4 players, using 32 cards from a French-suited deck. The game is played clockwise. The main skills required for Belote are card counting and strategy. A game takes 30-45 minutes to play. Belote has popular variations (e.g. Belote Coinchée and its Bulgarian variation Belot) and is closely related to the Dutch game Klaverjassen.

How to play Belote

Players

Belote is played with four players, in two partnerships (teams) of two players. The players sitting across from each other are in the same team.

Deck and cards

Belote is played with a French-suited deck of 32 cards, by removing the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s from a regular 52 card deck.

The ranking and the card value are different between trump suits and regular suits.

Cards in the trump suit rank highest to lowest as follows: J (20 points), 9 (14), A (11), 10 (10), K (4), Q (3), 8 (0), 7 (0).

Cards in a non-trump suit rank highest to lowest as follows: A (11 points), 10 (10), K (4), Q (3), J (2), 9(0), 8 (0), 7 (0).

Objective

The goal in Belote is to earn more points than the other team by winning tricks with valuable cards and declaring certain combinations of cards.

Deal

Each player is dealt five cards, first three cards for each player followed by two more cards. The dealing and playing direction is clockwise. The next card in the deck is turned up. Note that the pack is never shuffled in Belote.

Bidding

There are two rounds of bidding possible.

In the first round, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player can either take or pass. Taking means choosing the face-up card as trump. If all players pass, the second round starts.

In the second round, each player can again take or pass. This time, they are free to choose a trump suit, but it must be different from the suit of the face-up card.

Bidding ends as soon as someone takes, and this player gets the face-up card. Each player is dealt three additional cards, except the taker who gets two additional cards.

Gameplay

The player to the left of the dealer starts playing.

Following suit is mandatory, and it is also mandatory to try to win the trick:

If a trump card was played, the highest trump card wins the trick. Otherwise the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick.

The winning player puts the cards from the trick in front of him and starts the next trick.

Declarations

Next to earning points by winning tricks, players can also earn points by declaring certain combinations of cards.

Square / Carré

The first type of declaration is four cards of the same rank. This is called square (carré in French).

Sequences

The second type of declaration is a sequence of 3 or more cards in the same suit. The ranking for a sequence is A - K - Q - J - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7.

Belote

The third type of declaration is belote-rebelote. If a player holds both King and Queen of the trump suit, he may declare belote. This earns 20 points.

Only the team with the highest square or sequence declaration earns points. Declaring belote always earns points.

Note that in our version you can decide to play Belote with or without declarations.

Scoring

After playing all 8 tricks, both teams calculate the points of the cards in the tricks they won. The winner of the last trick earns 10 points (dix de der in French).

The team of the taker must score more points than the other team to fulfil their bid. The total amount of points (except declarations) is 162. This means 82 points are needed to fulfil a contract (besides declarations). If the team of the taker fulfils their bid, each team notes their points, otherwise the opponent receives all 162 points. If a team wins all 8 tricks (Capot in French), they get an additional 90 points, so 252 points in total.

Game end

The first team to attain the target score (501, 701 or 1001) wins the game.