Dear Doppelkopf Fans!

We want to give you here a brief introduction to the Essener System that will be expended in the chapters that follow. Before doing so, I want to extend my particular thanks to the authors Claus Günther, Jörg Passenberg and Heinz Zedler for the preparation and permission to use some of the text that follows

In the previous chapters we have covered the basic tactics of Doppelkopf. Among regular players in Doppelkopf clubs a variety of playing conventions have been developed that regular players understand and use in their play. The idea behind the conventions is to convey information to one's partner and thereby to improve the understanding of which cards are held where in order to formulate an optimal strategy.

From these conventions, there has developed the so-called Essener System that represents a unified set of conventions that players from different clubs can use together. This System is included in our software.

Another new development is the "silent" Contra-Announcement. More about this later..

The Essener System has to do with conventions that one can use, but which are optional. Thus, our software lets you elect which conventions you want to use. The software will also learn from your play.

Remember one thing about the Essener System: it is based on the official rules of the German Doppelkopf Association. Among other things, this means that the deck consists of 48 cards and the first Heart 10 that is played is high. Note too that not all parts of the Essener System are meaningful in every case.

We wish you much fun with Doppelkopf!

Uwe Rasche

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