Cöch – learn how to play on

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Let’s Play Cöch!

Cöch is an exciting card game for four players. You’ll be playing in teams of two, with your partner sitting across from you. The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible. To do this, you’ll need to win specific cards during each round.

Getting Started

To begin, we’ll choose a random dealer. The dealer will change each round, with the responsibility passing to the player on their right. Once the dealer is chosen, they’ll shuffle the deck and deal 10 cards to each player, distributing them in sets of 5, going counterclockwise. As soon as everyone has their cards, the game can begin!

Card Rankings and Scoring

Did you know that a deck of cards is made up of two different suits? There are the figure cards and the joker cards. Each suit has 10 cards, making a total of 20 cards per suit. The figure cards are marked with Roman numerals from 1 to 10. The higher the Roman numeral, the higher the rank of the card.

On the other hand, the joker suit is marked with unique illustrations that represent each card. These illustrations help identify the rank of the card. The joker cards have a specific ranking order, starting from the lowest-ranked card called Matto, also known as the Fool. The ranking order continues with Mascherone, also known as the Great Mask, Secchia or the Bucket, Nulla or Zero, XI Osteria or Inn, XII Gatto or Cat, XIII Cavallo or Horse, XIIII Bragon, XV Cucco or cuckoo, and finally the highest-ranked joker, the Brescia or Lion.

Did you know that each card in Cöch has a value associated with it? It’s true! Let me break it down for you:

The cards from 5 to 9 are worth half a point each. Easy enough, right?

The 10 card carries a higher value and is worth a full point. Keep an eye out for it!

But that’s not all! The jokers, which are known as XI, XII, XIII, XIIII, XV, and the Lion, also have a value of one point each. Don’t overlook them!

As for the other cards, they don’t have any point value at all.

In total, there are 19 possible points waiting for you to collect in the deck. Make sure to keep track of them while playing!

Now, let’s talk about gameplay.

In Cöch, there are no trumps to worry about, so winning each trick is quite simple. All you have to do is play the highest card of the suit led. It’s as straightforward as that!

However, if there happens to be a tie between the highest cards, the first card that was played will be the winner. So timing is everything!

Let me explain how the game works. It’s pretty simple, really. The game starts with the player to the right of the dealer, and then it goes around in a circle, going anticlockwise. The first player gets to play any card they want. And then, the other players have to follow suit if they can. But if they can’t, they can play any other card they have. The winner of the trick gets to lead the next trick. And this keeps going until all the tricks are won. When a player wins a trick, they take all the cards from that trick and put them in a pile next to them, face down. We’ll use those cards for scoring later.

Now let’s talk about scoring.

Once all the tricks are won and the round is over, you and your team can combine your piles of cards and start scoring. Here’s the thing: the team that has 10 or more points is the winner. They scored the majority, so they win the round.

If both teams finish with 9 and a half points, we need to reassess the scoring. This time, 5s and 10s won’t earn any points. Instead, 1s, 4s, and 6s will each be worth 1 point. 2s, 7s, and 12s will be worth 2 points each. 3s, 8s, and 13s will be worth 3 points each. 4s, 9s, and 14s will be worth 4 points each. 15s will be worth 5 points, and the Lions will be worth 6 points each. With these changes, a total of 82 points will be up for grabs. If a player scores 42 or more points, they will be declared the new winner. In the event of another tie, no winner will be declared.


The team that scores the most points will win the game.

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