Zwanzig means twenty, which is the trump used to decide partnerships. It is a game for four players using a pack further shortened to just 40 cards by removing all but one pip card in each of the regular suits along with the first two cards of the quartet (The Female Pope and The Empress).
Pack: A reduced tarot of just 40 cards is used consisting of four regular suits of 5 cards, and a suit of 20 trumps (omitting the 2 and 3 of trumps to leave the 1, 4-21 and Tomfool).
|All Others||1 point|
Ranking: Standard ranking is used...
Pips rank in suit from high to low:
King, Queen, Cavalier, Valet, 10
Empty Cards: These are cards that have values of 1 point or less.
Honours: The Juggler, The World, and Tomfool are called The Honours. They are always among the highest scoring cards.
A game consists of four hands
Deal: First Dealer is chosen at random or by consent with the role moving to the player on the left after each hand.
Dealer hands out two rounds of 5 cards to each player.
Auction: Then, starting with Eldest (Dealer’s left), players take turns to bid to play as Declarer. They may also make declarations for bonuses but with a single exception, they must be declared for along with a bid and if outbid, their declaration becomes void. Players must make the lowest bid not yet made but may pass, with the exception of Eldest, who is obliged to bid.
The available bonuses are:
- The Sparrow: This contracts the player to win the last trick with The Juggler. Scores 4 points.
- Slam: This contracts the player to win all the tricks of the hand. Scores 12 points.
The available bids are:
- Partnership: As the lowest bid, this is only open to Eldest (Dealer’s left). The bid is made by calling for the highest trump below The World that is not held. The Player with the called card may only make him/her self known by announcing to win The Sparrow bonus (this is the only time that an announcement may be made without making a bid), otherwise, their identity must be left to become apparent during play. Scores 1 point.
- No Trumps: Declarer plays alone against the other three. Trumps lose their power to trump other suits but the rules for playing them remain unchanged. Scores 2 points.
- Solo: Declarer plays alone against the other three. Scores 4 points.
Contras: Once the bidding is over, players have the opportunity to call a Contra to either the bid or an announced bonus to double its value, won or lost. Declarer may then call a Re-Contra to double it again, after which, a player may then call Sub-Contra to further double the value.
Play: Declarer leads to the first trick by placing a card face up on the table. Each player in turn, moving to the left, must play a card from their hand of the suit led – this is called following suit. If they do not have any cards of the suit led, it is called being void in that suit and they must play a trump card instead. However, if they have no trumps, they may then play any other card, though it will not win. Whoever plays the highest trump to the trick wins it, or if trumps are not played, then whoever played the highest card of the suit led wins it. The winner takes the cards and places them face down in their trick pile to be counted at the end.
The player that wins the trick then leads to the next one and play continues until the hand has been played out.
Emperor Trick: If all three honours are played to the same trick, then it is The Juggler that wins it.
Scores: Once the hand has been played out, there are two bonuses that may be scored by any player for having held certain cards in their hand.
If a game of No Trumps has been played, then a player may score 1 point for having held all four Kings. If any other game was played, then a player may score 1 point for having held all three Honours.
Card points are then counted individually, adding 1 bonus card point for every trick, so that there are 102 points in the pack. A Declarer must take at least 52 points to win the hand. Announced bonuses and the Bid are scored separately. If won, the value is paid to Declarer by each of the Defenders, if lost, its value is paid by Declarer to each of the Defenders. The bonuses for holding Kings or Honours are paid last by each of the other players to whoever claims them.