Skat am Stammtisch: Das beste Kartenspiel für Ihren PC
How to Play Skat: A Beginner's Guide
Skat is a card game for three players that originated in Germany in the early 19th century. It is widely considered as one of the most complex and rewarding card games in the world, combining elements of strategy, logic, memory and luck. Skat is also Germany's national card game and has a large and active fan base around the world.
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If you are looking for a new challenge or a way to improve your mental skills, Skat might be the perfect game for you. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to start playing Skat, from its history and rules to its tips and tricks. Let's get started!
A Brief History of Skat
Skat was developed by a group of friends in Altenburg, a town in Thuringia, Germany, around 1810. They were members of a local Tarock club, a card game similar to Tarot. They wanted to create a new game that would combine the best features of Tarock, Schafkopf (a German trick-taking game) and L'Hombre (a Spanish bidding game).
The result was Skat, a game that soon became popular among students, soldiers, nobles and workers alike. Skat was also adopted by many German immigrants who brought it to other countries, especially the US. Today, Skat is played by millions of people worldwide and has many variations and tournaments. The International Skat Players Association (ISPA) was founded in 1951 to promote and regulate the game.
The Basic Rules and Objectives of Skat
Skat is played with a standard 32-card deck, consisting of four suits: clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds. Each suit has eight cards: ace, king, queen, jack, ten, nine, eight and seven. The cards have different rankings and point values depending on the game mode chosen by the declarer.
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The declarer is the player who wins the auction, a bidding process that determines who will choose the game mode and play against the other two players (the defenders). The declarer can choose from three game modes: suit, grand or null.
In suit games, one of the four suits is chosen as trump. Trump cards beat non-trump cards of any suit. The four jacks are always the highest trumps, followed by ace, ten, king, queen, nine, eight and seven of the trump suit. The declarer's aim is to win at least 61 points out of 120 in tricks.
In grand games, only the four jacks are trumps, forming a separate suit of their own. The other suits rank from ace to seven as usual. The declarer's aim is to win at least 61 points out of 120 in tricks.
In null games, there are no trumps or card points. The cards rank from ace to seven in each suit. The declarer's aim is to lose all the tricks, while the defenders try to win at least one trick.
The deck used in Skat consists of 32 cards, divided into four suits: clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds. Each suit has eight cards: ace, king, queen, jack, ten, nine, eight and seven. The cards have different rankings and point values depending on the game mode chosen by the declarer.
The card ranking in Skat varies according to the game mode. In suit games, one of the four suits is chosen as trump. Trump cards beat non-trump cards of any suit. The four jacks are always the highest trumps, followed by ace, ten, king, queen, nine, eight and seven of the trump suit. The other suits rank from ace to seven as usual.
In grand games, only the four jacks are trumps, forming a separate suit of their own. The other suits rank from ace to seven as usual.
In null games, there are no trumps or card points. The cards rank from ace to seven in each suit.
The card points in Skat are used to determine the score of each trick and the outcome of each round. Each card has a point value that is independent of its rank or suit. The point values are as follows:
Nine, Eight, Seven
The total point value of all the cards in the deck is 120. In suit and grand games, the declarer needs to win at least 61 points to win the round. In null games, there are no card points and the declarer needs to lose all the tricks to win the round.
The deal in Skat is done in a clockwise direction, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. The dealer shuffles the cards and lets the player to his right cut the deck. Then he deals three cards to each player, followed by two cards face down in the middle of the table. These two cards form the skat, which belongs to the declarer and can be used to exchange cards from his hand.
The dealer then deals four more cards to each player, followed by another three cards to each player. Each player should have 10 cards in his hand and two cards should be left in the skat. The deal is done and the auction begins.
The auction in Skat is a bidding process that determines who will be the declarer and what game mode he will choose. The auction starts with the player to the left of the dealer (the forehand) and proceeds clockwise until only one player remains (the declarer).
The players bid by announcing a game value, which is the minimum number of points they are willing to risk for playing a certain game mode with a certain trump suit and a certain number of matadors. A matador is a consecutive top trump in one's hand, starting from jack of clubs (the highest trump) and going down in order.
The game value is calculated by multiplying the base value of the game mode by the multiplier. The base value depends on the game mode and the trump suit, as shown in the table below:
23 (hand), 35 (ouvert), 46 (hand ouvert)
The multiplier depends on the number of matadors in the declarer's hand, plus or minus one. For example, if the declarer has jack of clubs, jack of spades and jack of hearts in his hand, he has three matadors. If he also has the skat, he can add or subtract two more cards to his hand, increasing or decreasing his number of matadors. The multiplier is then equal to the number of matadors plus one.
The lowest possible game value is 18, which corresponds to a suit game with diamonds as trump and no matadors. The highest possible game value is 264, which corresponds to a grand game with all four jacks and ace, ten, king, queen and nine of clubs in hand and in the skat.
The players bid by announcing a game value that is higher than the previous bid or passing. The forehand can start with any game value he likes, or pass. The middlehand (the player to the left of the forehand) can either bid higher or pass. The rearhand (the player to the left of the middlehand) can either bid higher or pass. If both the forehand and the middlehand pass, the rearhand can either bid or pass. If he passes, the round is annulled and a new deal begins.
If only one player remains after the bidding, he becomes the declarer and picks up the skat. He can then exchange two cards from his hand with the skat and place them face down on the table. He then announces his game mode and trump suit, based on his g