Tute is a trick-taking game most often played with four players in partnerships. Originating in Italy as Tutti (meaning all), it spread to Spain, where it became one of the country’s most popular games. In Tute, only aces, 3s, and face cards matter—none of the lower cards carry any sort of point value!
Object of Tute
The object of Tute is to score the highest number of points in cards taken in tricks. Players may also score points by holding K-Q combinations and by taking the last trick.
Tute is played with the Spanish 40-card deck. To form such a deck from a standard 52-card deck like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, simply remove the 8s, 9s, and 10s. You’ll be left with a 40-card deck with aces, face cards, and 7s through 2s in each of the four suits. (In the Spanish deck, the face cards are King, Knight and Knave; these are functionally equivalent to the English deck’s king, queen, and jack.) It may also be helpful for having something to compute scores—a calculator or pencil-and-paper will do.
Determine partnerships by whatever method is preferred—either some way of determining it randomly, or through plain mutual agreement. Players should sit across from their partner, so that as the turn of play proceeds around the table, players alternate in taking turns.
Shuffle and deal ten cards to each player, which distributes the entire deck. Reveal the last card dealt (which belongs to the dealer). The suit of this card becomes the trump suit for the hand. (The dealer adds this card to their hand as usual after everyone is aware of the trump suit.)
In Tute, the cards rank in their usual order, with aces high, with one exception. The 3 is elevated to rank just below the ace. That means that the full rank of cards is (high) A, 3, K, Q, J, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2 (low).
All of the face cards, aces, and 3s also carry a point value. Aces are worth eleven points, 3s are worth ten points, kings four, queens three, and jacks two. The number cards other than 3s are worth nothing in terms of points.
Tute is played counter-clockwise, so the player to the dealer’s right leads to the first trick. Continuing around to the right, each player in turn plays a card to the trick. Players must always follow suit, if possible. Additionally, they must head the trick if they can. That means that if the player can follow suit, they must; if they can’t follow suit and they can trump, they must do so (and overtrump if possible). Only if a player has no cards of the suit led or the trump suit can they play a card from one of the other two suits.
After all four players have contributed a card, the player who played the highest trump, or the highest card of the suit led if no trump was played, wins the trick. That player collects all four cards and places them into a won-tricks pile in front of them called a baza. (Each player shares a baza with their partner.) The individual player that won the first trick then leads to the second one.
After a player wins a trick, but before leading to the next one, they may make a declaration for any marriages they hold. The two possible declarations are las cuarenta (the 40) for holding the king and queen of trumps, and las veinte (the 20) for holding the king and queen of any other suit. When making a declaration, the player must reveal the two cards. If a player has multiple such combinations, they may only declare them one at a time (they must declare any additional marriages after winning a later trick).
If a player holds las cuarenta, it must be the first declaration made; once las veinte has been declared, las cuarenta may no longer be declared. Of course, upon declaring las veinte, if the player holds any additional veintes they can still be declared on later tricks.
Holding all four kings is a special combination called a tute. If a player holds a tute, they may declare it as usual after winning a trick. Making such a declaration instantly wins the hand for the player holding the kings.
After all ten tricks have been played, each team looks through their baza and totals up the point value of the cards they have collected in tricks. To this they add:
- 40 points for las cuarenta
- 20 points for each veinte
- 10 points for taking the last trick
Whichever partnership has the higher total score wins the hand.
If a longer game is desired, play a pre-determined number of hands. Whichever team wins the majority of the hands wins the overall game.
Pitty Pat is a simple card game for two to five players. Players compete to get rid of cards in their hand by matching them with the top card of the discard pile. The game is quite popular in the Central American country of Belize, and has been described as that country’s national card game.
Object of Pitty Pat
The object of Pitty Pat is to be the first player to get rid of all of your cards by forming them into pairs.
Pitty Pat is played with one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If you want to give your players the best possible gaming experience, and avoid sticky, bent, or torn cards, you’re going to want to use a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.
Shuffle and deal five cards to each player. Place the deck stub in the center of the table, forming the stock. Then, turn the top card of the stock face up; this card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.
The player to the dealer’s left goes first. They compare the upcard with the cards in their hand. If they hold any card of the same rank as the upcard, they discard that card. They may then discard any other card they wish (which becomes the new upcard), and the turn passes to the player to their left.
If the player doesn’t have any cards that match the rank of the upcard, they turn over a new card from the stock. If they can match this new upcard, they discard the matching card and any other card from their hand, as before. Regardless of whether they can play or not, the turn then passes to the left. The next player then tries to match against the new upcard, and so on.
Game play continues until one player runs out of cards. That player is the winner.