2. After the Cards are Dealt

No more needs to be said about the shuffling and dealing of the cards because all of this is handled by the computer. The proper dealer is also selected automatically as well.

This section concernes itself with those aspects of the game that the computer cannot undertake. First of all you must learn the point values of the cards. This chapter applies no matter which version of the rules you choose to follow (American or Bavarian).

2.1 Card Values

As mentioned previously, Sheepshead is played with 32 cards grouped into the 4 suits, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, and Clubs each containing 8 cards.

The number of card points captured in tricks plays a decisive role in determining the hand's winner(s). The individual cards have point values as follows:

A more detailed description of these issues follows in a later chapter.


2.2 Trump Ordering

The order of the trump cards in a normal game is (from lowest to highest):

American Rules:

German (Bavarian) Rules:

Thus, there are 14 trump cards. Under the American rules - as in Doppelkopf - Diamonds are trumps whereas German players tend to prefer Hearts. In our program, you can choose which of the two suits you prefer. For example, you can play under the American rules and choose Hearts as trump, if you wish.

3.3 Order of the Remaining Suits

In normal games (the exception is the Null game), the non-trump (side) suits have the following order (from lowest to highest):

There are 6 cards in each side suit.

3.4 The Goal of the Game

In a normal (call) game, each player has a partner and the two together make up a side or team. In special cases (solo games) one side consists of a single person and the remaining 3 players make up the other side. This also depends upon which rules have been selected.

Since Sheepshead is a 4-person game, there are always two sides that play against each other. Simply put, the winning side is the one that captures the most card points in tricks.

What a trick is, how it is played out, and who wins it will not be discussed here in detail (see Chapter 5). Suffice it to say, that each player lays one card on the table. Once this is done, all four cards (the trick) are won by one of the players who collects them and puts them face down next to him or her.

After all 32 cards have been played out this way, each player counts the card points that he or she has captured. The players on each side add their card points together and this determines which side has won (See Chapter 6: Scoring).

You might ask what the total number of card points is? It is exactly 120.

This calculation will be explained now with the help of some examples. Suppose that you captured the following cards in tricks:

How many card points would you have?

Correct. There are exactly 34 card points (0 + 11 + 10 + 4 + 3 + 0 + 4 + 2).

Consider a second example:


How many card points are there this time?

Right! There are 35 (3 + 3 + 4 + 10 + 0 + 0 + 4 + 11).

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