Appendix C: Additional Rules

0. Preface

Classical Bavarian Sheepshead was codified in the Official Sheepshead Regulations at the 1st Bavarian Sheepshead Congress that was held December 17, 1989 in Munich. A number of unofficial variations developed over Sheepshead's long history and in a variety of locations enrich and enhance the game, however.

1. Solo Variations

1.1. Jacks Suit Games

In this game, the Jacks and a suit selected by the Soloist are the trumps. The Queens return to their respective suits between the King and the 9.

1.2. Queens Solo

Only the Queens are trump in this game. The Jacks return to their respective suits between the King and the 9.

1.3. Queens Suit Solo

In this game, the Queens and a suit selected by the Soloist are the trumps. The Jacks return to their respective suits between the King and the 9.

1.4 Jacks-Kings Solo

The four Jacks and the four Kings are trumps in this version. The Queens return to their respective suits. Diamonds (Hearts) now take on the role of a fourth side suit. The rank of the cards in the side suits is:

1.5 Queens-Jacks Solo

Only the four Queens and Jacks are trump. Diamonds/Hearts are treated as a fourth side suit. Card ranks are:

In this version all of the Queens rank higher than the highest Jack.

1.6 Jacks-Queens Solo

As above 1.5, but the rank of the Jacks and Queens is reversed, i.e., the lowest Jack captures the highest Queen.

1.7 Kings Solo

Only the four Kings are trump. Both the Jacks and the Queens return to their respective side suits. Diamonds/Hearts act as a fourth side suit. The rank of the cards in the side suits is:

1.8 Queens-Jacks-Kings Solo

All Queens, Jacks, and Kings are trump and are ranked in that order. The remaining Diamonds/Hearts behave as a fourth side suit. The rank of the cards in the side suits is:

1.9 Straight Suit Solo

All cards of a selected suit are trump. The Jacks and Queens return to their respective suits and hold no special significance. Suit ranks are:

1.10 Null (Begging)

Null (begging) is a game in which the Soloist may not take a single trick. Card points are not counted and there are no trumps. In the four suits, the cards rank:

2.0 Rank of all Solo Games

The Solos discussed above rank as shown below. This ordering determines whose bid take preference when two or more players want to announce a game.

2.1. Auction (Available in Program Version 3.0 or later)


In addition to the rank of the Solos discussed above, there is another method for determining who is the Soloist when two or more players want to announce a game: auctioning

When a player announces a game, another player bidding after the announcement can say, "Seventy," meaning that s/he will capture more than 70 card points. The person announcing first can then respond, "Have it too" or "Pass." If 70 is held, the bid can be raised further to 80, 90, 100, 110, or 120.


Should a third or even a fourth player wish to announce a Solo in the same game, players bidding later must overbid those who bid first. For example, suppose that the second bidder has overbid the first by saying, "Eighty." A bid of 90 must be made by a third player in order to overcall the previous bids.


A bid of "Seventy" means that the bidder must capture 71 or more card points in order to win the game (see Appendix A, section 4.1.2). Higher bids do not disturb the normal rules for Schneider. Twenty-nine card points or less for the defensive side or Thirty cards points or less for the offensive team still counts Schneider.

2.5 Variations on Call Games

2.5.1. Renounce (Available in Program Version 4.0)

Renounce permits a player who is otherwise restricted (see Appendix A, section 2.3.2) to nontheless announce a call game. Holding all four Aces, s/he announces , "I play Renounce with the ... Ace" naming one of the Aces held.

3. Variations when All Pass

3.1 Ramsch

A Ramsch game is played when all players pass and the last bidder announces, "Ramsch." The last bidder can additionally announce "Pot" (see section 3.2 below).

In a Ramsch game, each player plays for him or herself and attempts to capture the fewest possible card points or even no tricks at all. The trumps are as in a normal Call Game, all Queens, Jacks, and Hearts.

Whoever captures the most card points loses the Ramsch game. If two or even three players have the same total, the loser is the one who took the most tricks, or if these are also the same, the most trumps in tricks. Should even this number be the same, then the loser is the one who among these captured the highest trump card.

In the event that one player can capture all of the tricks, s/he has "shot the moon" and wins while the other three players lose.

3.2 Pot

If all players pass, the last bidder can announce, "Pot." In this case, each player contributes one unit to a pot which is held and paid out as a bonus in the next hand.

The Pot can be collected only by the winners of a partnership (call) game, however. If the next hand is another game type (Solo, or Ramsch), then the pot is not distributed. Additionally, the pot is won by the player on the offensive side who actually announced the game, not the partner.

If the offensive side wins a call game, the pot is paid in addition to the normal score for that game. Should the call game be lost, however, the losing side loses the regular score and the player announcing the Call Game must, in addition, double the pot personally. This enhanced pot is held over until the next hand in which a call game is won. Doubling and re-doubling of the pot continues until the pot is won.

3.3 Forced Games

This rule is an alternative to Ramsch games. If no player is willing to announce a game, the holder of the Club Queen is obligated to play a call game. A solo is not permitted.

If the forced player is restricted because s/he holds all four Aces, a missing 10 must be called. Failing that, a missing King is designated, and so forth.

If a game is forced, no doubling by other players is permitted.

3.4 Leasters (American rules)

This is like a ramsch game except that the player with the lowest point total wins rather than the highest point total losing.

If two or three players have the same (lowest) point total, the winner is the one who took the fewest tricks. If this is also equal, then the lowest number of trump cards captured decides. If even this is the same, then the holder of the lowest trump card wins.

4. Additional Variations

4.1. Bock Rounds

A Bock Round is a specific number of hands that are played for double score. Such a round takes place when certain criteria are met (optional):

- after a game played Schwarz
- after a lost solo game
- after a lost contra game
- always after contra/re-contra are announced.

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