Appendix B: Official German Rules

1. Additions

This section discusses briefly the rules that specifically apply to "Bavarian Sheepshead" in addition to the ones described in Appendix A.

1.1 Game Types

There are two types of games: partnership games (two against two) and solo games (one against three). "Call Game" is another name for a partnership game. Among the solos there is the Jacks Solo, a simple Solo, the Jacks Tout (also called Jacks Schwarz), the Solo Tout (Schwarz), and the Macks (Matadors). "Tout" is French for "all" and the "Tout" solos require that the soloist take all eight tricks. In a Macks Solo, the soloist holds all four Queens and all four Jacks.

The Game types rank as follows:

1.2 Meaning and Rank of the Cards


In a Jacks Solo, only the four Jacks are trump in the order Club, Spade, Heart, and Diamond. The Queens return to their respective suits and rank between the King and the 9.

2. Instructions for Play

2.1 Bidding


The function of bidding is to detrmine the offensive and defensive sides. Beginner with the player sitting to the left of the dealer, each player in turn says "Play" or "Pass (Continue)." "Play" means that a player believes that s/he can win with the help of a partner (see 2.2).


Even ofter one player has indicated a readiness to play, the remaining players must also make an announcement. Saying, "Continue (Pass)" indicates that they are not able or willing to announce a higher-valued game. Announcements cannot be withdrawn once made.


If a player wants to play a Jacks or Suit Solo, but a game has already been announced by another player, s/he announces, "Play too." Saying this implies a willingness to announce something more than a normal call game. After all players have made their bids, the first player who announced a game has the option of saying "Good" or simply announcing a game. Saying "Good" gives up the right to announce a game to the other bidder(s) who then specify a game. Announcing a game, requires a later bidder to name a higher-valued game in order to select the game type. Two equal-ranking bids are decided in favor of the player sitting closest to the dealer in clockwise rotation.


If no player announces a game, the cards are thrown in, shuffled, and re-dealt.

2.2 Calling a Partner


A player announcing a call game selects a partner by naming (calling) an Ace (Club, Spade, Heart, or Diamond) that s/he doesn't hold. At least one card of the called suit must be held. Whoever holds the called ace becomes the caller's partner. This is revealed only through the play of the cards, however, and may not be indicated any other way.


A player holding all Aces is barred from announcing a call game.

3. Game Mechanics

3.1 Following suit


The called ace must be played the first time the called suit is led. If 7 tricks are played without the called suit being led, the called ace is thrown off on the last trick.


If the partner leads to a trick and wants to lead the called suit, s/he must do so with the called Ace and not with a lower-ranking card. An exception is made in cases where three cards of the called suit are held in addition to the ace. In such a situation, a lower-ranking card may be led first. Once this has happened, the called Ace may later be played to a trick.

4.1 Strike and Counterstrike


Once a game is announced, an opponent who believes that the announced game cannot be won can "hit," that is, announce Contra which doubles the score. This must be done before the second card is played to the first trick (--> in our program, Contra must be announced before the first card is played.)


A member of the offensive team can answer a Contra announcement with Re-Contra. This must also be done before an additional card is played to the trick.


This process can be continued with a "Supra" announcement from the defensive team...


... and answered with "Re-Supra" which exhausts the possibilities.


Announcements of Contra, Re, etc. do not alter which side is the offensive and which the defensive team. In particular, 60 card points still suffices for the defensive side.

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