5. Leading

You've learned a lot up to this point: how to evaluate your cards in order to figure the highest bid value, how one bids, and how the Soloist determines 2 cards to put away in the Skat. All of this is necessary to decide on what game to play and who plays against whom. Now it's time for the play to begin!

At this point, many players use a rule that is not allowed as part of the official regulations. When one of the non-Soloist players thinks that the Soloist cannot win the game that he or she announces, he may say "Double." Win or lose, double the game value will then be entered into the score sheet after the game is completed. The Soloist may respond by saying, "Redouble." This means that he or she still expects to win, the claim of the opponent notwithstanding. This doubles the score again meaning that the game value is quadrupled. As a beginner, you should handle doubling and redoubling very carefully, since much experience is required in order to predict how a game will go.

One limitation to this is that only those who themselves have bid at least 18 may say double or redouble.

One thing is consistent between all of the games. Whatever card is led, the suit must be followed by the others, if possible. The lead of a trump calls for a trump. It is the same with non-trump leads. One may throw off a card or use a trump on a non-trump lead only when unable to follow the suit led. This is one rule of Skat from which one may not deviate.

Not following a lead when it is possible to do so, results in an immediate loss for the side failing to follow.

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