How to Play Bezique

Rubicon and Chinese Bezique

With a few minor variations to the rules of traditional Bezique, you can add two new games to your card repertoire.

Rubicon Bezique

Rubicon Bezique became very popular because of its emphasis on melding.

Number of players: Two

Object: To attain the better score. Each deal is one game. A losing player scoring under 1,000 points is said to be rubiconed.

The cards: Two 64-card Bezique decks (128 cards total).

To play: This game is similar to regular Bezique, but deal nine cards instead of eight. The first melded marriage determines the trump suit. There is no trump until a marriage is declared. If you're dealt a carte blanche (no picture cards), show it and score 50, and score 50 more after each draw until you do get a picture card.

Rubicon Bezique became very popular because of its emphasis on melding.

Scoring: New melds include triple bezique, quadruple bezique and backdoor (see table above). A meld can be remade even by replacing a played melded card for a trick. Although the winner of a trick still gathers the two played cards, brisques (aces and tens) are not scored unless they are needed to break a tie or to allow a player to avoid being rubiconed. If one player counts brisques, both must count them. Last trick counts 50 points. The 7 of trumps is not scored. As with all Bezique games, no declarations are scored after the stock pile is depleted. The player with the highest score at the end of the game adds 500 points. If the loser is rubiconed, the winner of a Rubicon game receives a 1,000-point bonus instead of 500 as well as 320 credit for brisques, plus all the opponent's points!

Chinese Bezique

Chinese Bezique, or Six-Pack Bezique, is fast paced and high scoring; it was Winston Churchill's favorite game.

Number of players: Two

Object: To score a high number of points. Each deal is one game. Loser must reach 3,000 points or be rubiconed.

The cards: Three 64-card Bezique packs (192 cards total).

To play: Players cut to determine dealer, with the choice going to the player with the high card. Cut again if cards are the same rank. It is a disadvantage to be dealer. Deal 12 cards each. It is common to pile up cards played in tricks on the table, where all can see what's been played. Or you may collect them in a neat pile. Brisques and sevens are not scored. There is no trump until the first marriage determines the trump. That trump remains in the next game until that game's first marriage is declared.

Chinese Bezique, or Six-Pack Bezique, is fast paced and high scoring.

Scoring: If dealer lifts 24 cards from the deck when cutting cards at the outset, dealer scores 250 points. If nondealer guesses the correct number of lifted cards, that player scores 150 points. Carte blanche scores 250, and 250 with each succeeding drawn card that is not a face card. Winning the last trick earns 250. The other melds are scored in subsequent winning tricks. The winner of the game receives an additional 1,000 points. If the loser is rubiconed, the winner scores that additional 1,000 points plus the loser's points.

Tip: Remember, you can score again for a meld just by replacing one card. So after melding four kings, if you play one and can replace it later, you score for the entire meld again. In this way you will not only increase your score, but you might also attain the points needed for game.

Now that you're well-versed in all three Bezique variations, get out your card deck and start melding!

©Publications International, Ltd.