© 2019 The Italian Community of Akron, Inc., Le Radici | All Rights Reserved
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
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 multiple cards.
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.
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
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 pattern forming?
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
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 play.
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
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
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 TUTTO.
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 !!!