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Doppelkopf Rules

Doppelkopf is a German four player card game that is very similar to sheepshead and skat. It is played with the 9, 10, J, Q, K & A of every suit (2 decks). Everyone starts out with -5 scoring points and 20 points in the Pot; at the end of the game, the scores should add up to 0. Each hand starts off in the bidding stage and proceeds to the playing stage. A usual Doppelkopf game takes about 30 hands (2 to 4 hours).

Game Points

There are a total of 240 game points:

A Normal Game

Trump (High to Low):
 10 of Hearts
  Q of Clubs
  Q of Spades
  Q of Hearts
  Q of Diamonds
  J of Clubs
  J of Spades
  J of Hearts
  J of Diamonds
  A of Diamonds  <- The Fox
 10 of Diamonds
  K of Diamonds
  9 of Diamonds
Non-Trump (High to Low):
 A Hearts  A Clubs   A Spades
 K Hearts 10 Clubs  10 Spades
 9 Hearts  K Clubs   K Clubs
 9 Clubs   9 Clubs

Play Rules

Person left of the Dealer leads. If a Non-Trump is led, the others have to follow suit. If Trump is lead, the others have to put in Trump. Trumps always beats Non-Trumps. The two who have the Queens of Clubs are partners and are called the 'Royalty' Team. The other two are the 'Opposing' Team. The object of the game is to get as many Scoring Points as possible (Note: Game Points are not Scoring Points). Game Points are also very important, because they effect the scoring points.

Special Rules

  • 2 Club Queens Rule: If a player has two Club Queens, he must announce it before the first card is played. In this case, the next one to win a trick, other than himself, is his partner. If he does not announce it, he doesn't have a partner and forms the royalty team all by himself.
  • Ten of Hearts Rule: If two Ten of Hearts are played in the same trick, the second one wins, unless it is the last trick of the game–then, the first 10 wins.
  • Fox and Pigs Rule: The Ace of Trump (usually Diamond) is a Fox. If it is won by the opposing team, it gives them one scoring point. However, if a player has both of the Foxes, he must announce before the first card is played that he has the Pigs. The Pigs then become the highest Trump in the game. If the player fails to announce the Pigs, they remain Foxes.
  • Doppelkopf Rule: If one trick contains 40 or more Game Points, the team that won that trick gets one scoring point.
  • Jack of Clubs Rule: If the last trick is won with the Jack of Clubs, that team gains one scoring point, unless they had both of the Jacks, in which case the opposing team gains a scoring point.
  • Lay Down Hand: A Player can lay down a hand if he is dealt less than four Trump or five 9's. In such a case, the same dealer will deal again.

Scoring and Calling (Not Calling Round)

Before the second trick is started, a person can call a Re or a Contra. These calls double the points of that particular game (If the caller is royalty, then he calls Re, pronounced ray. If not, he calls Contra). Before the third trick, he or his partner can call "No 90." This means that he doesn't believe the other team can make 90 (He receives an extra Scoring Point if the opposition doesn't make 90. If they do make 90, they win the game.). Before the fourth trick, he or his partner can call "No 60"... The scoring then proceeds as follows:
  • 1 point for those who win the game (121 pts for royalty, 120 pts for opposition)
  • 1 point for if the game winning team makes 150
  • 1 point for if the winning team called "No 90" and made it
  • 1 point for if the game winning team makes 180
  • 1 point for if the winning team called "No 60" and made it
  • 1 point for if the game winning team makes 210
  • 1 point for if the winning team called "No 30" and made it
  • 1 point for if the game winning team makes 240
  • 1 point for if the winning team called "No Points" and made it
  • 1 point for per Doppelkopf
  • 1 point for per Fox caught
  • 1 point for Jack of Clubs
The points for each team are then subtracted from one another. If a Re or a Contra is called, the points are doubled. If a Re and a Contra are called, the points are quadrupled.

If royalty wins, they each receive that many points out of the Pot. If there are not enough points in the Pot, they share what is in the Pot. If opposing wins, the members of the Royalty Team loses the number of points that the opposition gains.

Calling Round and Solo

Each player is required to play 3 Mandatory Solos (1 Queen, 1 Jack, and 1 Suit). The Calling Round is when people announce their intentions to play a Solo (If no player decides to play a Solo, a Normal Game is played). The player to the left of the dealer is asked whether he wants to play a Solo. Then the person to the left of him is asked and so on. If two or more players want to play, the first to announce his Solo must declare what kind of Solo he wants. The other player can overrule him if his Solo is of higher importance.

Importance (High to Low)

Mandatory Queen
Mandatory Jack
Mandatory Suit
Extra Queen
Extra Jack
Extra Suit

If a player wins an Extra Solo, the other players are required to play another Mandatory Solo of that kind. However, if he loses the Extra Solo, he has to replay his original Solo (An Extra Solo can only be played if that kind of Mandatory Solo has already been completed by the player).

If a player fails to complete his Mandatory Solos before the Pot is emptied, he must then play them in unfavorable conditions. The person across from him will deal. He will then chose which of his remaining Mandatory Solos he will play in that hand. Unlike a regular Solo, he does not get the lead. Instead, the player in front of him leads. This process is done to every player until everyone has completed his Mandatory Solos.
  • Queen Solo: In a Queen Solo, only the Queens are Trump. There are no special rules, except the Doppelkopf. Players must follow suit if possible. A,10,K,J,9 is the order, inside the suits, from high to low.
  • Jack Solo: In a Jack Solo, only the Jacks are Trump. There are no special rules, except the Doppelkopf. Players must follow suit if possible. A,10,K,Q,9 is the order, inside the suits, from high to low.
  • Suit Solo: A Suit Solo is played just like a Normal Game except that the player can determine which suit is Trump. All special rules apply.


This is a special round at the end of the game. In each of the four hands, the four players are deemed, in order, Dealer, Can Player, May Player, and Must Player. Eleven cards are dealt to every player and four are put in the Pile. The Can Player then decides whether he wants to pick up the Pile and play a Solo. If he doesn't want to, the May Player gets to decide. If he doesn't want to, the Must Player has to pick up the Pile and play a Solo. The Solo Player picks up the cards he wants and puts the rest back (these four cards count as his trick). Then, the Can Player leads to begin the Canmaymust Solo (It is fairly normal for a player to win this kind of Solo).

Scoring Layout

|    Q       | J         |           |           |       | <- Extra Solos
|   J   Q  S | J         |    J Q  S |    J   S  |       | <- Mand. Solos
| Player  1  | Player  2 | Player  3 |  Player  4 | POT  | <- Identity
| -5         | -5        | -5        | -5         |   20 | <- Opening Setup
| -4         | -5        | -4        | -5         |   18 | <- Royalty Win
| 2          | -7        | -6        | -7         |   18 | <- Won Solo
| 3          | -8        | -7        | -6         |   18 | <- Opp. Win
| 0          | -7        | -6        | -5         |   18 | <- Lost Solo
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    . |
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    . |
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    . |
| 15         | -20       | -1        | 6          |    0 | <- Last Normal
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - |
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - | <- Remaining Solos
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - |
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - |
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - | }<- Canmaymust
| .          | .         | .         | .          |    - |
| 30         | -55       | -10       | 35         |    - |  <- Final Score

These four numbers should add up to 0. The deal goes around the table clockwise.