Pitch Card Game (Oklahoma 10-Point Version)

Players and Cards

The game is played by either four or six people in teams two, using a standard American 52 card deck with two distinguishable Jokers (here US), designated high and low. The Jack of the same color as the Jack of trumps is known as the Off-Jack (for example, if clubs are trumps, the Jack of Spades is the Off-Jack). The Off-Jack and High and Low Jokers are part of the trump suit and the ranking of trumps from high to low is: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Off-Jack, High Joker, Low Joker, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two.

Deal

If there are four players, each is dealt nine cards. If there are six players, each is dealt eight cards. The remaining undealt cards are placed face down to form a "widow" hand.

Points

There are extra points for the Off-Jack and Jokers, and optionally for the three of trumps. This makes a total of ten or seven points to bid for. The points are:

  • High: Scored by the team who hold the highest trump in play.

  • Low: Scored by the team who hold the lowest trump in play (not by the team that wins it in a trick).

  • Jack: Scored by the team (if any) who win the jack of trumps in a trick.

  • Off-Jack: Awarded to the team (if any) which wins a trick containing the Off-Jack.

  • High Joker: Awarded to the team which wins the trick containing the High Joker, if it is in play.

  • Low Joker: Awarded to the team which wins the trick containing the Low Joker, if it is in play.

  • Trey of Trumps: Three points are awarded to the team that wins the trick containing the Three of Trumps.
    Note: The 3 point score for the three of trumps is optional. If not used then there would be only seven points available for bidding.

  • Game: Either as in the basic game, or some players award the point to the team that wins the trick containing the Ten of Trumps.

Bidding

There is just one round of bidding. The minimum bid is two; the maximum is the total number of points available - either ten or seven, depending on whether you count the trey of trumps. The dealer is not allowed to "steal the bid".5. The DiscardIf playing six-handed, the bid winner picks up the six cards from the "widow" and declares the trump suit. All players then discard down to six playing cards. The bid winner then starts the play.

If playing four-handed, the bidder declares the trump suit and then all players are allowed to discard from 0 to 3 cards, and receive an equal number of replacement cards from the deck (if sufficient are available), bringing their hands back to nine cards. All players then discard down to six cards. Some play without the discard and draw feature - the players simply each discard three cards. The bid winner then starts the play.

The Play

Some play that the bidder's first lead must be a trump; others play that anything can be led.

There are three options for following suit, depending on house rules:

  1. Players who can follow suit must either do so or trump; players who cannot follow suit may play anything.

  2. Players who can follow suit must always do so; players who cannot follow suit may play anything.

  3. Players must either follow suit or trump unless unable to do either, in which case they can play anything.

Scoring

The scoring and conditions for winning the game are the same as in the basic game, except that there is no 'smudge'.

Each of the four players is dealt nine cards, the minimum bid is four, and the dealer must take the bid for four if everyone else passes. After the bidder has named trumps the players discard all their non-trump cards and refill their hands to six cards. Any cards remaining in the stock are given to the bidder, who can take them or give them to partner without first looking at them. A player with more than six trumps must discard any excess trumps out of the game.

In the play, only trump plays are legal. A player who has no trumps left drops out of the play. If they won a trick with their last trump, the lead passes to the left. The game point goes to the side that wins the ten of trumps in a trick. The bidding side win the points they bid if successful, and lose the same amount otherwise. The first team to 52 points or more wins the game. A player can bid to "shoot the moon", for which their team has to rake all ten points; if they succeed they win the whole game if their previous score was zero or above, or advance to zero if their score was below zero; if they fail they lose the whole game.