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Pinochle Card Rules

Pinochle Card Rules

Pinochle, you can say it like pinocle or penuchle too, is a very liked card game. If this game captures your attention, continue reading to understand its history before learning about pinochle card rules and how to play.

Card Game Pinochle

Pinochle is a card game where players collect tricks and combine cards in sets. Also, you can read more about the best card games for 2 people.

In this one players get points by combining cards together to win tricks. This card game belongs to the group where you trick and combine cards, and it happens in three parts: first bidding, then combining cards together, followed by playing tricks.

Most people now play a version where teams bid against each other, which is called partnership auction pinochle.


It is often played by four people in teams of two, which we call partnership pinochle, or it can be three players each playing for themselves, known as cutthroat pinochle. 

The game uses a deck of 48 cards that has two series from nines to Aces. There are six parts in one round: giving out the cards, players making bids, swapping cards, showing card combinations, playing tricks and then counting points. 

Players earn points during two parts of the game – one is when they are combining cards, known as melding phase, and the other is while taking turns to play cards to win tricks, called trick-taking phase.


The purpose of the game is to collect tricks by combining cards into high-point groupings, aiming to tally up the points from cards won in those tricks.

Card Ranking & Values

A deck for pinochle with 48 cards contains Aces which are the highest, followed by 10s, Kings, Queens, Jacks and then 9s as the lowest in every suit.

Each card appears twice in this set. Occasionally players might play using double decks that have a total of 64 cards where you also get to use number 8 and number 7 cards.

Cards Values

  • Aces – 1 points
  • Tens – 10 points 
  • Kings – 4 points 
  • Queens – 3 points
  • Jacks -2 points each.
  • Last Trick – 10 points.
  • Nines, along with eights and sevens in a 64-card deck, do not hold any point worth.


To start the game, we choose who will deal by giving out one card to every player from a mixed pack of cards. The person who gets the card with the biggest number or value takes on the role of dealer.

The person who is giving out the cards mixes them and then gives each of the four players 12 cards, doing so in groups of three at a time, and passing them around to the right.


When each person holds 12 cards, the auction part begins with the one sitting to the left of the card distributor. It then goes in a circle-like way.

People say how many points they believe their group will earn during this part, and it should be at least 20 or more. 

Each player has to offer a bid that is more than the one before, adding at least 10 or 20 points, or they must choose to pass.

The final bid which no other players overtake sets the game’s contract and allows the person who gave this bid to select the trump suit. 

The group who created the agreement also swaps three cards with one another before starting the game.

The Play

Someone not a dealer starts each trick, and the person who wins that trick goes first in the next one. If someone begins with a trump card, they win unless another player puts down a trump card of more value.

When a player plays a card from a different suit and no one else can play a higher card of that suit or any card from the trump suit, then they get to win that set.

It is not required to follow the same suit in the game; so, the person who leads can start with any card they choose, and then the other player may also play whichever card they prefer.

When the trick is over, every player begins with the one who won and takes a card from the top of the stack until they hold 12 cards.


In the game of Pinochle, every player combines their cards to score points. There are three types of combinations that can be made with the cards, and a single card may belong to various combinations across different types but only one combination within the same type.

For example, a Queen of Hearts is suitable for use in a first-class combination known as ‘Hearts Marriage’ and can also be part of the third-class group called ‘Queens Around’, but it is not allowed to be included in a first-class sequence named ‘Run’.

Players create groups of cards by putting them open on the table, and these cards stay there until the player wants to use them or when all cards from the pile are used up.

Melding Rules:

  • A player can make only one meld in one turn.
  • For each meld, a card from the hand is needed to be put down on the table.
  • You can meld a combined card once more if you do it in another class or for better points in the same type of meld.

The score for each team in that round gets higher when the value of all melds is calculated and included.



During the part where we take tricks, everyone puts their cards down trying to have the highest one and get the trick.

The player who agreed to the contract starts by putting down a card first, then everybody else must play a card of that same type going around in a circle from left to right. 

If a player is unable to match the suit, they are required to play a card from the trump suit. 

Should they not have a trump card either, then they can choose any card from different suits to play. Players have to play a card with more value compared to the last played card. Whoever wins the trick starts the next one.


After the joining and card play parts are finished, the groups calculate their total points together. If the group that promised a certain score does not meet it, we take away those promised points from their overall score. 

The team to get 1500 points first will be the winner of the match. But, if both teams get 1500 or more points in that round, then victory goes to the team which created the contract.

Card Game Pinochle History

The game of pinochle, which is enjoyable to play, started around 150 years back and it is thought that there are two places where it could come from. 

It might have been developed from the card game Bezique or perhaps it began in Switzerland before turning into Binokel, a version played in South Germany that also comes from a game called Bezique.

The game made its way from Europe to the United States during the 19th century.

The name is for glasses or a pair of eyes and it points to a story that the game came from playing cards where the Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades were shown with just one eye each

Conclusion of Pinochle Card Rules

To put it simply, understanding Pinochle card rules  is very important for enjoying the game. 

The main aim for participants is to reach 1500 points before anyone else through creating melds and strategically deciding on which cards to discard.


What is Pinochle❓

Pinochle is a classic card game where players form combinations of cards to score points and aim to reach 1500 points before their opponents.

How many players can play Pinochle❓

Pinochle can be played with 2, 3, or 4 players, with 4 being the most common setup.

What is the main objective of Pinochle❓

The main objective is to score 1500 points before your opponents by forming specific combinations of cards.

What are main pinochle card rules❓

The primary Pinochle card rules involve scoring points through card combinations, aiming to reach 1500 points first. Key aspects include understanding card values, team setup, dealing, and strategic discarding.

What are the rules for the card game Pinochle in simply❓

In Pinochle, you try to win tricks and score points with melds. You bid on points, play cards to win tricks, and earn points from melds.

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