What is Piquet?
Piquet is a classic French card game for two players. Being around since the early 16th century is a testament to the Piquet’s popularity.
How to play Piquet?
Piquet is simple to set up, requiring only a deck of cards. A Piquet deck consists of 32-cards, made by removing the 2 – 6 cards from the deck. Each Piquet game lasts 6 rounds.
Each player draws a card, and the player with a higher card goes first. Each player draws 12 cards, and remaining cards are placed face-down. The dealer’s hand is the younger hand, and the other is the elder hand.
Piquet is about improving your hand to win. The phases are:
- Point Check
- Sequence Check
- Set Check
- Trick Stage
During this stage, the non-dealer goes first, and can exchange up to 5 cards from his hand with cards from the pile. The dealer then exchanges with the remaining cards.
The non-dealer goes first, and declares the highest number of cards from the same suit he possesses. The non-dealer then replies with:
- “Good” – has less cards fulfilling the check, dealer scores.
- “No Good” – has more cards fulfilling the check, non-dealer scores.
- “Equal” – has the same number of cards fulfilling the check.
Note that the suit is unimportant for the point check. If “equal” is called, each player calculates the score of their call as described in the Scoring section of the guide.
Sequence checking looks for straights of 3 cards or more from the same suit. An example being 3-4-5. The calls are then made to determine who scores. If “equal” is called, the person with the higher rank wins, i.e. 10-J-Q-K beats 6-7-8-9.
Set checks are based on the similar numbers from different suits. A♥ A♦ A♣ is a set of 3 and 6♥ 6♠ 6♦ 6♣ is a set of 4. The calls are made to determine the winner. If “equal” is called, the player with the higher card wins.
Before the trick stage, if the non-dealer has skipped any stage that the dealer can compete in, the dealer may claim those stages by calling his cards.
Each turn involves both players playing a card. The non-dealer goes first. The other player then plays a card in response. The winner of the trick leads the next trick. The cards are removed at the end of each trick. To win, the card must be:
- Of the same suit.
- Of a higher rank.
For example, the non-dealer plays 10, and the dealer plays a K. The dealer wins, and the dealer leads the next trick.
If the responding player does not have a card of the same suit, he must still play a card to pass the trick.
This continues until all cards have been played.
Each round ends with the dealer roles swapping.
The Piquet rules are:
- Each player draws 12 cards, and the remaining cards from the talon.
- The non-dealer exchanges up to 5 cards with cards from the talon.
- The dealer exchanges the remaining cards.
- The check stage proceeds.
- The trick stage proceeds, and the winner leads the next trick.
- Trick stage continues until all cards are played.
- Points are calculated.
Note that in the Piquet card game, Aces are raked higher than Kings.
Piquet scoring is done in the checking stage and the trick stage.
At the trick stage, if an “equal” is called at the point trick, the winner is determined by point total. The points are calculated by:
For example, a point call of 5 with the cards 7, 8, J, Q and A would have a point total of 46.
For the other checks, if equal is called and both players have the same rank, the suits are used to determine who scores. Suit order is ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠.
Piquet scoring is done as follows:
|Sequence||Sequence||Number of cards in sequence|
|Set||Set of 3||3|
|Set of 4||14|
|Trick||Leading a trick||1|
|Winning a trick||1|
|Winning last trick||1|
|Winning more tricks||10|
|Winning all tricks||40|
Example Piquet hands are shown below.
A♥ J♥ 7♥ A♠ J♠ 7♠ A♦ K♦ J♦ 10♦ 8♦ 7♦
This hand can call 6 in the point check with 6 diamonds, and 3 in the set check with 3 Aces. There are no sequences.
Bonus points are awarded for satisfying carte blanche, where you declare a hand of no face cards (Jack, Queens and Kings), awarding a bonus 10 points. This must be declared at the Exchanging stage.
♥6, ♥7, ♥8, ♥9, ♥10, ♠6, ♠8, ♠9, ♦8, ♦9, ♦10, ♣6
- Non-dealers have the advantage with larger exchange possibility.
- You gain points by leading tricks in addition to winning them.
- It is not worth exchanging face cards for carte blanche.
- If you have 8 cards from a suit, you can guarantee wins during the trick stage.
- As the dealer, win the first trick you can.
- When it comes to Piquet strategy, being the first dealer gives you the edge, as you will be the non-dealer on the final round.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Piquet be played with 3 players?
No, but a 3rd player can act as the judge during the check stages and keep score.
Is Piquet hard to learn?
Piquet is simple to understand but keeping score can be complicated without experience.
Is the dealer at a disadvantage?
Yes, but due to rotations per round, each player will be the dealer the same amount of times.
Should I always exchange the maximum number of cards?
Yes. By exchanging more cards, you limit the possibility that your opponent gets a good hand.