Game of Briscola


  • The game is done with a deck of traditional Italian cards, made by 40 cards, divided into the four suits of Denari (coins), Coppe (cups), Spade (swords) and Bastoni (sticks).
    Each suit has ten cards, going from 1 (Ace) to 7, then the Jack (8), the Horse (9) and the King (10).
  • There can be 2 to 4 players. When playing in 3 you must get rid of one of the cards, typically the 2 of Bastoni.
    When in 4, the game is one couple against the other. The two players that form a couple sit one in front of the other.
  • The dealer shuffles the deck, then lets the player at his left halve the deck. He gives 3 cards to each player, starting at his right, then puts face up the last card of the deck (at the bottom). This card will remain visible under the deck for the whole game.
  • The card put face up under the deck establishes which suit act as "briscola" in the current game, that is the suit having more value than the others, in capturing cards.
  • When beginning, plays first the player to the right of the dealer, then all the others.
    In the following turns plays first the player that did the last capture.
  • After each turn, each player, starting from the one that did the capture, gets a new card from the top of the deck, followed by the other players, always going to the right.
  • When the deck is over, the last 3 cards are played and the game is over.
  • The player in duty plays one of his cards, putting it on the table. This card establishes which is the dominating suit (except that of the briscola) in this turn.
    If the other players play cards of the same suit, the higher value card captures all the others.
    If a card of different suit is played, it will always lose (unless its suit is that of the briscola).
    If there is a card of the suit of briscola, it will win. Of course if more briscolas are present, the higher value will win.
  • When capturing cards, the higher value card is the Ace, followed by the 3, then all other cards, form 10 to 2.
    Complete order, from higher to lower: 1, 3, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2.
    Thus the Ace of the briscola suit is the only card that will win in any case.
  • At rhe end of the game the score is computed analyzing the captured cards of each player. When playing in 4, the two scores in each couple are added together.
  • How to compute the score:
    • Each Ace is worth 11 points
    • Each 3 is worth 10 points
    • Each 10 is worth 4 points
    • Each 9 is worth 3 points
    • Each 8 is worth 2 points
    • All other cards (7,6,5,4,2) do not have any value, they are worth zero.
    In a deck there are 120 points, so to win you must go over 60 points. A drew 60-60 is also possible.
  • Usually more than one game is played and the overall winner is the player winning 3 games.