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Truco
Origin
Family
Players 2, 4, or 6
Skills required Tactics, Strategy
Cards 40
Deck
Play Anticlockwise
Playing time 31 min.
Random chance Medium
Related games

Truco is a variant of Truc and a popular trick-taking card game originally from Valencia and Balearic Islands (Spain) and played in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Italy (in Piemonte, in Lomellina, and a particular variant in the towns Porto San Giorgio, Sirolo, Numana, Porto Recanati, Potenza Picena (Marche) and Paulilatino (Sardegna) ), Uruguay, southern Chile and Venezuela. It is played using a Spanish deck, by two, four or six players, divided into two teams.

Except for the variant played in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and many others, Truco is played with a 32-card French deck - .

Overview[edit]

Each player is dealt three cards from a subset of the deck consisting of the numbers 1 to 7 and figures sota in Spanish or valete in Portuguese (jack, worth 10), caballo in Spanish or dama in Portuguese (equivalent to a queen, worth 11) and rey in Spanish or rei in Portuguese (king, worth 12).

The most common form of the game is the four-player version, in which there are two teams of two players, who sit opposite each other. For six players, there are two teams of three players, with every second player on the same team.

The game is played until a team finishes a game with 30 points or more. The 30 points are commonly split into two halves, the lower half called malas in Spanish or ruins in Portuguese (bad) and the higher half called buenas in Spanish or boas in Portuguese (good). Therefore, a team with 8 points would be ocho malas or oito ruins (8 bad ones), and a team with 21 points would be seis buenas or seis boas (6 good ones). However, because both teams can score points in one round, it is possible (but very rare) for both teams to go over 30 points in one round. Usually as soon as one team goes over 30 points, the game is ended, to stop there being a tie situation. However, sometimes the winner is the one with more points, otherwise another hand is played, until the tie is broken.

The popular appeal of the game comes from the exciting bidding process. Each type of scoring can be bid on to score your team more points. Bids can be accepted, rejected or upped. Bluffing and deception are also fundamental to the game.

Card Ranking[edit]

  • Ace of swords("Espadilha" in Brazil, "Ancho de espadas" or "Macho" (male) in Argentina, "Espadilla" in Uruguay)
  • Ace of clubs ("Ancho de basto" or "Hembra" (female) in Argentina, "Bastillo" in Uruguay)
  • 7 of swords ("Siete Bravo" in Uruguay)
  • 7 of gold (Siete de oro in Spanish or Sete Ouro ou Sete belo in Portuguese, "Siete Bello" in Uruguay)
  • 3s
  • 2s
  • Ace of cup and ace of gold (Anchos falsos in Spanish or Ás falso in Portuguese, "Copon" and "Huevo Frito" respectively in Uruguay )
  • Kings (Reyes in Spanish and Reis in Portuguese) (12s)
  • Knights(Caballo, the King, Knight and Jack are called "Cartas Negras") (11s)
  • Jacks("Valetes" in Brazil, "Sota" in Argentina) (10s)
  • 7 of clubs and 7 of cups (Sietes falsos in Spanish or Sete Copa in Portuguese, all cards from here down are considered "Cartas Blancas")
  • 6s
  • 5s
  • 4s (Zap)

In addition, the Uruguayan version of the game uses a "Muestra" each hand. The following cards of the same suit as the "Muestra" are ranked higher than the Ace of swords and are called "Piezas": 2, 4, 5, Knight, which in some regions is called Perico, worth 30 points, and the Jack, which in some regions is called Perica, worth 29 points. Finally, if any player has the King of the same suit as the "Muestra" and the "Muestra" is a "Pieza", the King becomes that card.

The Venezuelan version is quite similar to Uruguayan version with the exception that the "Piezas" 2, 4, and 5 are not used. The "Muestra" or as it is known in Venezuela, "La Vira" (or trump suit) is designated by turning over the top card of the deck after shuffle or optionally, the top card following the deal. "La Vira" is then placed beneath the deck offset 90 degrees so that it is visible during the play of the hand. The suit of "La Vira" designates the suit of El Perico (the Knight) and La Perica (the Jack) which become the highest two cards in the game respectively. The remaining three Knights and Jacks are ranked as initially specified.

Mano (Mão) & Pie (Pé)[edit]

In Truco, there are two concepts concerning which player begins the round and who is the last. The mano in Spanish or mão in Portuguese ("hand") is the one that plays first and the pie in Spanish or pé in Portuguese ("foot"), the dealer, is the last to play. The hand is always the player on the right of the foot. The turn to deal is then passed counterclockwise, so the hand of the first round is the foot of the second and so on. If playing in teams, partners sit opposite each other.

They can also refer, when playing in teams of two, which player of the partnership plays before and which after. This has no significance in the game, as the playing is always done counterclockwise. But it has strategic significance since the foot of a team is traditionally considered the "captain" of the partnership during that round.

If the game is tied (for example, if two opponents have the same points for envido), the hand wins. That advantage is offset by the fact that, being the last one to play, the foot plays with all their opponent's cards in sight. Also, the foot and the one sitting to his left are the ones who call envido in a game of four or more. Then, the hand is the first one to call his points for envido.

Structure of the game[edit]

Players can earn points in three different ways. These will be further developed below in special sections for each one.

  • Truco: points can be earned by winning in the playing of the cards (the "tricks").
  • Envido: points can be earned by having the best combination of two cards of the same suit or a single card.
  • Flor: points may be earned by having all three cards of the same suit.
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