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Rules of the Belote game

How to play?

Belote is a card game for 4 players (two teams of two players). It is played with a 32 cards deck(bridge deck from which are removed all of the cards from 2 to 6). Players arrange themselves in a way that partners are sitting against each other. The game has four phases:

1. Dealing.

Each player is first dealt 3 cards in a counter-clockwise direction, and then two additional cards. That way, at the end of this phase each player has 5 cards in their hands.

2. Bidding.

The idea of the bidding is to determine the contract of the game. These are the contracts:

Trump color.

In this variant, one of the colors is determined trump color, and the others are equal. The rank of the cards of trump color is as follows (in descending order): J; 9; A; 10; K; Q; 8; 7. The cards of other colors are ranked as follows: A; 10; K; Q; J; 9; 8; 7. A card from a trump color dominates any card from a non-trump color, despite rankings.

No trumps.

In a "No trumps" game there is no dominating color. The ranking of cards is: A; 10; K; Q; J; 9; 8; 7, regardless of color.

All trumps.

In a game of "All trumps" all colors are trump colors, meaning the card ranking of each color is: J; 9; A; 10; K; Q; 8; 7. Again, there is no dominating color.

Contract bidding: The player to the right of the dealer bids first. They can offer one of the contracts, meaning a color, "No trumps" or "All trumps" game. If they cannot offer one of the contracts, they can announce a "pass". The next player can offer either a higher contract or "pass". The ranking of contracts is as follows:

  • Clubs
  • Diamonds
  • Hearts
  • Spades
  • No trumps
  • All trumps

When the last valid bid was made by an opponent, a player may bid "double" . This means that the player who announced it plans to win the game, playing on the contract an opponent offered. In this case, the result is doubled. The opponents may answer with a "redouble" . Then the result is quadrupled. In a game of "double" or "redouble" all of the points are given to the team who won the deal. The bidding ends when three players consecutively announce "pass" after a valid contract has been offered. Then each player is dealt another three cards. If the bidding ends, without a valid contract (all players "pass"), then all of the cards are returned to the deck and the next player (to the right of the dealer) deals.

3. Play.

The player to the right of the dealer begins the game by playing a card. Every other player must play a card from the same color. The hand is won by the player who played the highest card (or trump card). The player who won the hand, collects the cards and begins the next round, by playing a card of their choice.

Trump color game.

Each player must play a card of the same color, as well as raise on trump color. If the player doesn't have a card of the same color, and the highest card belongs to the opponents, they must play a trump card. If the opponents played a trump card, then the player must put a trump card of a higher rank. If they don't have such a card, they can play a random card instead.

No trumps game

It is played like a trump game, but there is no trump color and the only mandatory rule is to respond to the played color.

All trumps game

Unlike a "No trumps" game, all colors are trump colors, so playing cards of the same color is mandatory, as well as raising (playing a card of a higher rank than the other played cards), regardless of which team has the highest card.

4. Score.

At the end of the game, each team counts the points they accumulated from winning hands, where each card has a certain value:

Card Trump color Non-trump color
7 0 0
8 0 0
9 14 0
10 10 10
J 20 2
Q 3 3
K 4 4
A 11 11

After that, to the accumulated points are added premiums. In a game of "No trumps" points earned in such a way are doubled, where the only premium that is not doubled is the valat one. If the team who declared the contract of the game has more points than their opponents, then the team is "outside". If the points of both teams are equal, then the game is "hanging". If the team who declared the contract has less points that their opponents, than they are "inside".

When the team is "outside", each team receives the points they have, divided by 10 and rounded.

When the team is "inside", the opponents receive all of the points (including those of the team that is "inside"), divided by 10 and rounded.

If the game is "hanging", the team who declared the contract does not receive points. They remain for the winner of the next dealing. However, the opponents receive their points (divided and rounded). If the next dealing also is "hanging", the points stack up for the next and so on.

When "double" has been announced, the team that accumulated more points, receives doubled score for an "inside" game, regardless of who announced it (In addition, all premiums are doubled, including the valat one).

When "redouble" has been announced, the team that accumulated more points, receives quadrupled score for an "inside" game, regardless of who announced it (In addition, all premiums are quadrupled, including the valat one).

When a "double" or "redouble" has been announced and the game is "hanging", then all of the points (doubled or quadrupled) go to the team that wins the next dealing.

The game ends when one of teams accumulates 151 or more score. If both teams reach that amount at the same time, the one with higher score wins. If they have an equal amount of score, then they continue to play, until someone wins.

A game cannot be won with a valat. If a game ends with a valat, then another dealing must be played until a game is won without a valat.


A player who has these card combinations and announces them when playing their first card (regardless of whether the card is included in the combinations or not), may earn their team the respective points:

Combination Announce Points
Three card sequence of same color Tierce 20
Four card sequence of same color Quarte 50
Five card sequence of same color Quint 100
Four of a kind (10, Q, K, A) Square 100
Four nines (9) Square 150
Four jacks (J) Square 200

The card order for sequences is: 7; 8; 9; 10; J; Q; K; A.

In "No trumps" games, the players can not announce their combinations. That means they won't receive any premiums, except for valat or last 10.

If the same card is part of a Square and a sequence (tierce, quarte, quint), the player chooses which to announce.

If both teams announce sequences, premiums are given only to the team that announced the higher sequence. If both sequences are of equal length, higher is considered the one that contains higher rank cards. If both sequences are equal, than neither team receives premiums.

If both teams announced Squares, premiums receive only the team who's Square rewards more score (trump color).

Premiums for card sequences are given even if the other team has a Square.

Premium for "Belot": If one of the players has Q and K of trump color (whichever color on "All trumps" game) and announced it, wins 20 points for their team. The announcement of "Belot" happens when the player plays the first of the two cards, if one of these rules apply: first card of this trick; replying to color; playing trump color.

Premium of 10 points is given to the team who won the last trick of the dealing (last 10). If the team won all other tricks of this dealing (valat), the team gains additional 90 points.

Game The total amount of points, including last 10 is:
162 (16) in trump color game
260 (26 after doubling) in “No trumps” game
258 (26) in “All trumps” game
In "All trumps" game, scores which end with 4 are rounded up by the team with less points.

In "No trumps" game, rounding is done after the score doubling.

In a trump color game or "All trumps" game, if one of the teams has premiums of 50 or 150, that may generate a score of 154-154 in "All trumps" or 106-106 on trump color game. The "hanging" points are rounded up. So the team that did not announce "All trumps" receive 15 and they "hang" 16, and in a game of trump color, they will receive 10 and "hang" 11.