Pitch Card Game Rules, Variations & How to Play (2024)

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Pitch is an interesting and unique game that is played with a regular deck of 52 cards, and can be enjoyed by four players in two teams, but can also be played with three or five players. If you have never played a Pitch game before, learning the ropes can seem daunting. However, once you get the hang of it, it is truly a fun and enjoyable game for all ages!

Pitch is an American trick-taking card game that was inspired from the English game of ‘All Fours’, which dates back to the 17th century. It's easy to learn and can be played by anyone in just minutes. Plus, it's perfect for parties or get-togethers because it doesn't require any special equipment

When you play a Pitch card game online, you must attempt to score four points namely: High, Low, Jack, and Game, hence the alternative name "All Fours." Other popular names of the game are Setback, Auction Pitch, Cinch, Seven Up and High Low Jack

How to Play the Pitch Card Game Online?

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It is necessary to select an initial dealer before the Pitch game starts. And for this, every player receives a card from a deck, and the person with the highest card becomes the first dealer. Then, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals six cards to each player

The order of the number of cards dealt by the dealer should be one, two, then three. After the cards are dealt, have a look at their values, which are as follows: The value of a 10 is equal to 10 points, an Ace is worth 4, a King is worth 3, a Queen is worth 2, and a Jack is worth 3 points

Bidding

The bidding is initiated by the player seated to the left of the dealer as per the Pitch card game rules and then, the game proceeds clockwise around the table. During the bidding process, players will bid on the number of points they think they can take in the gamePlayers can wager as little as 2 points also known as ‘Sticking it to the Dealer’, and the bid must either increase their previous offer or pass. For instance, the opposing player cannot bid two if someone else has already bid 3 points.

Any player that bids 4 points is known to "smudge," and that person cannot have their bid forcibly taken. The player who bids the most points wins the auction and becomes the declarer owing to the high low jack rules

High of trump, Low of trump, Jack of trump, and Game are the possible points in pitch

High: highest trump card dealt

Low: lowest trump card dealt

Jack: Jack of Trump

Game: How many face cards do you possess

Selection of the Highest Trump

The player who makes the highest bid will choose the trump card. The first trick is played by all players and the suit played in this first round is declared as the trump suit for the rest of the game. The gameplay then proceeds clockwise around the table.

If you are playing with 3 players, the declarer leads the first trick and the other two players follow suit. If no one has any cards of the led suit, they may play any card according to the Pitch card game rules. The highest trump played wins the trick in a Pitch game, or if no trump was played, the highest card of the led suit takes the trick. The winner of each trick leads the next round

The game proceeds until everyone is out of cards and the cards are tallied to score points. The Pitch card game aims to score more points than your opponents

Scoring Criteria

Since there are several variations of free online Pitch games, scoring varies depending on the type of game you are participating in. Points are basically awarded for High, Low, Jack, and Game.

According to the Pitch card game rules, the points owed to each player are tallied after all six tricks have been played

Remember, only the trump cards in this card game are worth points. The point totals for each card are as follows:

  • 3 points are awarded for the trump suit ranking three
  • Ace, Jack, Jick, High Joker, and Low Joker carry 1 point each
  • Game earns one point which is a player having the highest number.

Each team's points are calculated, and the game is won by the first team who accumulates 32 points as per the high-low jack rules. If the team who won the bid, fails to acquire the requested number of points, the sum bid is deducted from their final score. Teams that receive a negative score due to not obtaining a bid are said to be "in the hole".

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Pitch Card Game Rules

  • A conventional 52-card deck and 2 additional Jokers are used to play Pitch card games online.
  • The ranking order of cards: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2(low)
  • The Jokers are separated into high and low Jokers and are used as trumps in this game
  • Use the strong cards in your starting hand to determine your bid in a free online Pitch game. A bid of two is an excellent bid if you have the Ace and a 2 or 3.
  • The dealer gets to add one additional point to his total if he won the number of points he predicted owing to the game rules.
  • If there is no trump card, the player who played the highest card in the lead suit wins the trick. If there is a trump card, the trick is won by the person who played the highest card.
  • Getting all 10 points is known as shooting the moon. In the event that the bid is ‘shoot the moon’, the bidding team's score is increased to 32 if it was higher than zero or down to zero if it was less.
  • The team that made the bid wins the game if both teams get the same number of points at the completion of the game.
  • ·After each hand, players have the option to stay or depart. Depending on when the game concludes, or if a player departs, they get paid out.

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Pitch Card Game Strategy

Keep Practicing

The more you play, the better you will become at reading your opponents and making the right moves. If you can find a group of friends who are all experienced Pitch players, that would be ideal. But even playing against people who are just slightly better than you can help you learn and improve your game

Don’t overbid

Whenever you play Pitch,) you'll want to avoid overbidding. Overbidding is when you bid more tricks than you can reasonably win. This puts you at a disadvantage because you're likely to end up taking more tricks than necessary, costing you points

Have a mental calculation of points

In the game of Pitch, points are scored by taking tricks, and the number of points taken in a trick is equal to the number of cards in that trick. To make a mental calculation of points, simply keep track of the number of cards taken in each trick. At the end of the hand, the player with the most points is declared the winner.

Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to the winner’s circlee!

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Pitch Game Variations

1. Juniper Pitch: A three-team version of Pitch is called Juniper Pitch. The game doesn't include a redraw phase. However, when the trump suit is confirmed, all players completely dismiss 2 of their cards

2. Oklahoma 10 Point: The card game Oklahoma Ten Point Pitch involves trick-taking. Instead of 4, 1 is the required minimum bid. This Pitch card game online variant may be played in teams of two with four or six players. The objective of the game is to reach 21 points

3. Ten Points Pitch: Nine cards, in sets of three, are dealt to each player in this Pitch game variant instead of six. Teams get points by winning tricks that contain point cards. The game is won by the first team who reaches 52 points.

Pitch Card Game Rules, Variations & How to Play (2024)

FAQs

What are the different versions of Pitch card game? ›

There are two types of Pitch games: when players play in partnership with other players, it is called Partnership Pitch, and when players play individually for themselves, it is called Cutthroat Pitch. Although up to nine players can play the game, it is popularly played between three to five players.

What are the rules for the card game Pitch? ›

The bid winner leads the first trick and, going clockwise, players try to play the highest ranked card to win points. Only trump suited cards can be played. The winner of the trick takes the lead in the next round. Once a bid loser runs out of trump suited cards, they fold and gameplay proceeds clockwise.

How many tricks are played in Pitch? ›

When all six tricks have been played, the points due each player are tabulated. Usually a score is kept with pencil and paper. Each player except the pitcher scores whatever points they make.

What is shoot the moon in Pitch? ›

Another option to bidding is the "shoot the moon." Shooting the moon means taking all 10 points. If the bid is shoot the moon, the bidding team advances its score to 52 if its score was above zero or to zero if its score was below zero. Failure to score all ten points constitutes loss of game.

Is Ace high or low in Pitch? ›

Ace is always high and the highest playable card, but is not the most valuable. The Off-Jack is the non-trump Jack of the same color. For instance, if the trump suit is Spades, the Off-Jack would be the Jack of Clubs, Jack of Clubs will therefore be a Spade instead of a Club.

Can you trump at any time in Pitch? ›

In Pitch, you can always choose to play trump, even if you can follow suit. If you don't have a card in the suit played, you can play any card, including trump.

What are the rules of 4 point Pitch? ›

The highs deal, six cards per player with 28 left in the “blind.” Each hand consists of four points: High, Low, Jack, and Game. The player to the left of the dealer bids first by passing or indicating the number of points they hope to take. Two is the lowest allowable bid and four is a “moon” which ends the bidding.

Can 2 people play the card game pitch? ›

Pitch can be played with 2, 3, or 4 players using a standard 52-card deck with no joker with 6 cards dealt to each player.

How do you score a pitch game? ›

The game score is determined by seeing which player has a plurality of the following "trick points" (more than any other player, but not necessarily a majority): 10 trick points for each 10. 4 trick points for each Ace. 3 trick points for each King.

Can you burn a point card in pitch? ›

-No point value cards can be “burned” by the dealer to start the first trick.

How many cards are dealt in pitch? ›

While Pitch is played with your standard 52 card deck, at most only 24 cards will be used during each round. Choose one player to deal, they will then shuffle the deck and give out cards to each player. Under traditional Pitch card game rules, cards should be given 3 at a time.

What is the card game Pitch variation aka cinch? ›

Like Pitch, Cinch is a point-trick game, i.e. for winning the trick play one needs to maximize the total value of the cards won in tricks, rather than the number of tricks won. But in Cinch (and already in Pedro) the original card-points were abolished in favor of directly assigning game points to the cards.

Can you play Pitch with 2 people? ›

Pitch can be played with 2, 3, or 4 players using a standard 52-card deck with no joker with 6 cards dealt to each player.

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