Skat: Everything you need to know about the different types of taxes and fees in Denmark
Skat: The King of German Card Games
Have you ever heard of skat, the most popular card game in Germany? If not, you are missing out on a fascinating and challenging game that combines luck, skill, and strategy. Skat is a three-player trick-taking game that involves bidding for the right to declare a contract, choosing a trump suit or playing without trumps, and trying to win or lose tricks according to your goal. Skat is not only fun and exciting, but also mentally stimulating and rewarding. In this article, you will learn about the history, rules, strategy, variations, and online options of skat.
Skat was developed by the members of a local Tarock club, the Brommesche Tarok-Gesellschaft around 1809 in Altenburg, in what is now the State of Thuringia, Germany. Skat is based on the three-player game of Tarock (German for Tarot) and the four-player game of Schafkopf (forerunner of the American game Sheepshead). It has become the most loved and widely played German card game, especially in German-speaking regions. In the years that followed the game spread more and more, especially among the students of Thuringian and Saxon universities and was soon popular in large parts of German-speaking Europe. The earliest recorded rules for "Scat" date to 1835, by when it was already popular in the Kingdom of Saxony, especially in the Duchy of Altenburg and the surrounding area. The first book on the rules of Skat, Das Scatspiel: Nebst zwei Liedern, was published in 1848 by one of its inventors, secondary school teacher J. F. L. Hempel. Nevertheless, the rules continued to differ from one region to another until the first attempt to set them in order was made by a congress of Skat players on 7 August 1886 in Altenburg.
Skat is played with a 32-card deck. There are four suits: Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and Clubs. Each suit consists of eight cards: 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. In the English deck, the Jack, Queen, King and Ace are represented by the letters J, Q, K, A. If the authentic German pack is being used for the game, the rank of the cards is as follows; Ace, 10, King, Over Knave (marked with a U), Under Knave (indicated by a O), 9, 8, 7. If the French deck is being used, the cards in each suit are ranked as follows (from high to low): Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack, 9, 8, 7. In addition, the four suits also have their own ranking with regards to the bidding. The ranking of these suits, from high to low is: (For the German Deck; Acorns, Leaves, Hearts, Bells) (In the French Deck; Clubs, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds). In most hands, a trump suit will also be designated by the highest bidder. When a trump suit is used, the top four ranked cards of the Trump suit are the four Jacks, in the order of Clubs, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds. The remaining cards of the trump suit follow the normal ranking. For example, if Hearts are trumps, the ranking of the cards is: J, J, J, J, A, 10, K, Q, 9, 8, 7. Deal
The dealer shuffles the cards and lets the player to his right cut the deck. The dealer then deals a batch of three cards to each player, starting with the player to his left and proceeding clockwise. Then he places two cards face down in the center of the table. These two cards are called the skat and belong to the eventual declarer. The dealer then deals another batch of four cards to each player, followed by a final batch of three cards to each player. Each player should have 10 cards in hand and there should be two cards in the skat. The deal rotates clockwise after each hand.
The auction is a bidding process that determines who will be the declarer and what contract will be played. The auction starts with the player to the left of the dealer, who is called the forehand. The forehand can either pass or make a bid. A bid is a number that represents the minimum value of a contract that the player is willing to play. The minimum bid is 18 and the maximum bid is 264. The bids increase in increments of one. If the forehand passes, the next player in clockwise order, who is called the middlehand, can either pass or make a bid. If the middlehand passes, the dealer can either pass or make a bid. If all three players pass, the hand is not played and the next dealer deals a new hand.
If at least one player makes a bid, the auction continues until only one player remains. The player who makes the highest bid becomes the declarer and has the right to pick up the skat and declare a contract. The other two players become the defenders and try to prevent the declarer from fulfilling his contract. The declarer's opponents may challenge his bid by saying "yes" or "hold". This means that they are willing to play for that amount or higher. The declarer can either accept the challenge by saying "yes" or "hold" as well, or raise his bid by saying a higher number. The auction ends when one player says a number and both opponents pass.
A contract is a combination of a game type and a multiplier that determines how much each point is worth. There are four game types: suit game, grand game, null game, and ramsch game. Each game type has its own rules and scoring system.
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In a suit game, one of the four suits is chosen as trumps by the declarer. The declarer can choose any suit he likes, but he must have at least one card of that suit in his hand. The declarer can also choose to play with or without the skat. If he plays with the skat, he picks up the two cards from the skat and discards any two cards from his hand face down. These two cards will count towards his tricks at the end of the play. If he plays without the skat, he leaves the two cards in the skat face down and does not look at them. These two cards will not count towards his tricks at the end of the play. The declarer's goal is to win at least 61 points out of the 120 points available in the deck. The defenders' goal is to prevent him from doing so.
The value of a suit game is calculated by multiplying the base value of the chosen trump suit by the multiplier. The base value of the trump suit is determined by its rank: Diamonds = 9, Hearts = 10, Spades = 11, Clubs = 12. The multiplier is determined by counting the number of matadors (Jacks) that the declarer has in uninterrupted sequence from the highest ranked Jack (J) downwards. For example, if the declarer has J, J, and J in his hand or in the skat, he has three matadors. If he does not have any Jacks, he has zero matadors. If he has J and J but not J, he has negative one matador. The multiplier is equal to one plus the number of matadors (positive or negative). For example, if the declarer plays a suit game in Hearts with three matadors, the value of the game is 10 x (1 + 3) = 40. If he plays a suit game in Clubs with negative one matador, the value of the game is 12 x (1 - 1) = 0. Grand game
In a grand game, only the four Jacks are trumps, and the other suits follow their normal ranking. The declarer can choose to play with or without the skat, as in a suit game. The declarer's goal is to win at least 61 points out of the 120 points available in the deck. The defenders' goal is to prevent him from doing so. The value of a grand game is calculated by multiplying the base value of 24 by the multiplier. The multiplier is determined by counting the number of matadors, as in a suit game. For example, if the declarer plays a grand game with two matadors, the value of the game is 24 x (1 + 2) = 72. If he plays a grand game with negative two matadors, the value of the game is 24 x (1 - 2) = 0.
In a null game, there are no trumps and no card ranking. The declarer must play without the skat and try to lose every trick. The defenders' goal is to win at least one trick. The value of a null game is fixed and does not depend on the multiplier. There are three types of null games: null (value = 23), null ouvert (value = 46), and null ouvert hand (value = 59). In a null ouvert game, the declarer must expose his hand before the play. In a null ouvert hand game, the declarer must expose his hand before the auction.
A ramsch game is played when all three players pass in the auction. In a ramsch game, there are no trumps and no card ranking. Each player tries to avoid taking tricks, as each card taken counts as negative points according to its face value. The player who takes the most points loses the game and pays to the other two players. If one player takes all the tricks, he performs a schneider and pays double to each of the other players. If