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PLAYING THE GAME
Shuffle and deal out four cards in a square (two side by side, two below them) face up in center of table.
Deal each player 3 cards. 2,3 or 4 players works out fine. Four is traditional and then the two people opposite each other are in squadra
Player to dealer’s left goes first putting down one single card form his/her hand. A card must leave your hand every time it is your turn.
Only one. But one every hand. Pick up card/cards from the table equal to points on a card in your hand. That is a trick you have won. Set
your card and the card/cards that match it you have taken from the table face down in front of you. Make a line out of these overlapped
tricks as you win them. It is beneficial to get as many cards as possible and to get 7s. IF YOU DO NOT MAKE A MATCH, YOU MUST
STILL PUT DOWN A SINGLE CARD!
BUT, if for example, you play a king from your hand and there is a king on the board you must take it even if there would be, again for
example, a three of money and a tasty setto bello. Sorry, it the rule, pecatto. If an equal count is available you must take it before taking
When all three original cards are gone from all players’ hands, dealer deals three more cards apiece. This goes on until there are no cards
in anyone’s hands.
During Play — Scopa! In addition to trying to get money (aren’t we all?) sevens, and especially sette bello — you are always scheming
how to “sweep” the table clean. Take all the cards. If you do, that is “scopa” and you take that trick and put it in line with your others, but
face UP. Kind of to rub it in with other players and to remind you to count it later. The next player then obviously to play has no chance of
making a point that hand. Nice going. (note: there is a bit of art in making sure you don’t leave convenient potential scopas out there for the
next guy. Tricky business.
Last player to win a trick in a game gets cards left on table at end of game. This is often a big deal and game decider.
THIS IS THE CRAZY PART. BUT, FUN. SEEMS TOTALLY BIZZARE AT FIRST AND STRANGELY NATURAL SHORTLY
SCOPA: one point for every trick where you swept the table
CARTE: number of cards. One point for the person/team that has the highest total number of cards.
DENARI: The gold coin money cards. One point for person/team with the most money cards
SETTE BELLO: one point for having this card in hand
PREMIERA: one point for whoever has the most sevens, usually. You are taking the highest card you have, one from each suit. Sevens
count the most 4 x 7 = 28 which is the max, so if you have all the sevens its easy, you get the point for premiera. If you have 2 sevens and
2 sixes and I do too, it’s a tie (pari par-ee) and nobody gets a point. Too bad.
But often BECAUSE THERE MUST BE ONE CARD FROM EACH SUIT, one player will have 2 sevens and 2 sixes and the other will
only be able to come up with 2 sevens and 2 fives for example. Sevens are best. They count, wait for it … 7points. Sixes count six. See a
Wait again! Aces are 5 and one half, 5.5 points. Strange, but true. This 5.5 points for aces don’t fly everywhere. Face cards count
Someone must get a point in a hand if nothing other than from sette bello. This is the only guaranteed point in the game. All the others can
result in Pari (tie). Since there is only one sette bello someone gets something.Scores can get going pretty good if the scopas start falling into
Ok, play to some pre-agreed upon number of points and enjoy.
IN BOCCA AL LUPO! In the wolf’s mouth is how they say Good Luck!
CARD VARIATIONS : Veneto (region around Venice) cards look tall and skinny and totally different. Most cards are “Dal Negro” brand
from Treviso. Veneto cards are very twisted and hard to tell Clubs from Spades. They have one card the fante di spade (8pt card) that they
affectionately refer to as “la veccia” the old lady. No points or anything but gets mentioned everytime it comes up.
RE BELLO. They also give a point for the “pretty king” the king of money.
SCOPA CON ASSO MANGIA TUTTO.
OK, this is fun too. Play scopa in a second version “Scopa with aces eating everything” In this variant, if you have an ace in your hand, you
can clean the board with that ace. No scopa points but you can get a boat load of fancy points and then the person next to you has to put down a
card and your partner has a fine chance to actually scopa. Fun twist. There is also a game popular with very young people called ASSO PIGLIZ
FUN WORDS TO SAY WHILE YOU PLAY:
ACHI TOCCA?: key toke ah. Whose turn?
TOCCA A ME: toke ah may. My turn?
TOCCA A TE: toke ah tay. Your turn.
LET'S PLAY SCOPA !!!