Briscola

The Italian Card Game

Briscola  one of Italy’s most popular games together with Scopa and Tressette, and a little-changed descendant ofBrusquembille, the ancestor of Briscan and Bezique,  is a Mediterranean trick-taking card game for two to six players played with a standard Italian 40-card deck. Apart from the Northern Mediterranean, the game is also popular in Puerto Rico.

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It is usually considered to be an elaboration from an original Dutch card game related to klaviaas, perhaps transmitted by sailors. (A confirming piece of evidence comes from the curious expression when one team wins all the points, called a cappotto. This is a puzzling term, as it means coat jacket in Italian, but may descend from Kapot, meaning complete defeat in Dutch).

Relative to the Dutch game, where players need to follow suit, briscola rules allow any card to be played. This makes the game more unpredictable, as trump cards cannot be easily neutralized and may be played strategically at any point in time. The game can also be played with a modern Anglo-French deck, without the eight, nine and ten cards (see Portuguese variations below). With three or six players, twos are removed from the deck to ensure the number of cards in the deck is a multiple of the number of players; a single two for three players and all four twos for six players.

The four- and six-player versions of the game are played as a partnership game of two teams, with players seated such that every player is adjacent to two opponents.

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Briscola – Italian Card Game
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