TAROK

compiled by Modar Neznanich

Tarot Cards have been used to play card games for centuries. The Minor Arcana section of the tarot deck is what modern playing cards are derived from. In the game of Tarok, however, the entire 78-card deck is used. This game is designed for 2, 3 or 4 players.

The object is to score points by taking tricks. (A trick is the cards played in one round of a card game.) The first person to score 1000 (or more) points is the winner.

One player is appointed scorekeeper. Another player is selected as beginning dealer. The dealer shuffles the cards, offers a cut to the player to his right, then following the cut, deals 15 cards (one at a time) to each player. Remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the playing area, and will be used as a draw pile.

The player to the dealer's left selects a card from his hand of 15 cards and plays it face up in the middle of the playing area (next to the draw pile). The player to this person's left must play a card of the same suit if he has one. For the purposes of this game, the deck is considered to be composed of 5 suits:

1. Wands (staffs, rods, clubs)

2. Pentacles (coins, circles, diamonds)

3. Swords (daggers, spades)

4. Cups (bowls, hearts)

5. Major Arcana

If the player does not have a card of the suit led, he may play any other card, but he has lost the chance to take that trick. The player to his left now plays a card, following suit if possible. This continues until each player has played a card. The player who played the highest card of the suit led wins the trick.

In the Major Arcana the numerical value of the cards is used. The higher the number the higher the card. In the Minor Arcana (the suits of Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups) the King is the highest card, followed by Queen, Knight, Page, 10, 9, 8...and so on.

After the trick is won, it is placed aside by the player winning it. Then each player draws a card from the draw pile ad adds it to his hand, starting with the person who played the first card.

The person who won the trick leads the next round, and play continues until all cards are exhausted, or until one player has exhausted his hand and no cards remain for him to draw from. (That is to say that if the draw pile is depleted, play continues until someone is out of cards in their hand.) This ends the hand.

Once play has ended for the hand, scores are totaled and recorded.

Scoring is based on cards won in tricks. Any cards left in a player's hand are set aside and not counted in the score.

Scoring is as follows: Major Arcana cards are worth 15 points each. In the Minor Arcana (Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups), Kings are worth 25 points, Queens worth 20, Knights and Pages woth 15, and each card 1 to 10 are worth face value.

The person to the left of the last dealer collects the cards, shuffles them, offers a cut to the person on the right, and play continues as previously stated. Continue until one player has at least 1000 points at the end of a hand.


1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Ron Knight
Baron Modar Neznanich, OPel
Permission to Print.

e-mail: modar@everestkc.net

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