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Bezique is a game for two players. The piquet pack of thirty-two cards is used, but in duplicate, two such packs of like pattern being shuffled together.

The players cut for deal, the highest card having the preference. The rank of the cards in cutting (as also in play) is as under: ace, ten, king, queen, knave, nine, eight, seven. Eight cards are dealt (by three, two, and three) to each player; the seventeenth card being turned up by way of trump, and placed between the two players. The remaining cards, known as the "stock," are placed face downwards beside it. Should the turn-up card be a seven, the dealer scores ten.

The non-dealer leads and the dealer plays to such lead any card he pleases. If he play a higher card (according to the scale above given) of the same suit, or a trump, he wins the trick; but he is not bound to do either, or even to follow suit. Further, he is at liberty to trump, even though holding a card of the suit led. If the two cards played are the same (e.g. two nines of diamonds), the trick belongs to the leader.

The winner of one trick leads to the next, but before doing so he marks any points to which his hand may entitle him, leaving the cards so marked on the table, and draws one card from the top of the stock. His opponent draws a card in like manner, and so the game proceeds until the stock is exhausted.

The holder of the seven of trumps is entitled to exchange it for the turn-up card, at the same time scoring ten for it. The holder of the duplicate seven of trumps scores ten for it, but gains no further benefit thereby.

The game is usually 1000 up, but, as the score proceeds by tens or multiples of ten, this number is pretty quickly reached.

At the earlier stage of the game, the player scores for the cards he holds in his hand; certain cards or combinations of cards, duly "declared," entitling him to score to many points, as under:--


For the seven at trumps, turned up by the dealer, or declared by either player . . 10 For the second seven of trumps . . . . . 10 For the last (i.e. thirty-second) trick . . 10 For a Common Marriage, i.e. king and queen of any plain suit, declared together 20 For a Royal Marriage, i.e. king and queen of the trump suit, declared together . . 40 For Single Bezique (queen of spades and knave of diamonds) . . . . . . . . 40 For Double Bezique--the same combination again declared by same player with fresh cards. . . . . . . . .(additional) 500 For Four Knaves (of any suits, e.g. two knaves of spades and two of hearts), duly declared. . . . . . . . . . . . 40 For Four Queens, duly declared . . . . . 60 For Four Kings, duly declared . . . . . 80 For Four Aces, duly declared . . . . . . 100 For Sequence of five best trumps--ace, ten, king, queen, knave . . . . . . . . 250 Brisques--aces or tens in the tricks won by either player, each . . . . . . . . . . 10

In order to score, the cards composing the given combination must be all at the same time in the hand of the player. A card played to a trick is no longer available (unless a brisque) to score.

A player can only "declare" after winning a trick. Having won a trick, he is at liberty to score any combination he may hold, laying the cards forming it face upwards on the table. If the cards exposed show two combinations he may declare both, but must elect which of them he will score, reserving the other till he again wins a trick. Thus, having king and queen of spades and knave of diamonds on the table, he would say, "I score 40 for Bezique, and 20 to score." When he has again won a trick, having meanwhile retained the needful cards unplayed, he can then score the second combination (Marriage).

A card which has once scored cannot be again used to form part of a combination of the same kind, e.g. a queen once used to form a Marriage cannot again figure in a Marriage, though it may still score as part of a Sequence, or as one of "Four Queens." In like manner, a card which has once figured in "Bezique" cannot be used to form part of a second Bezique, though it may be used to score Double Bezique. Neither can a card which has been declared in a given combination again be declared in a combination of an inferior order; e.g. if a king and queen have been declared as part of a Sequence, a Marriage cannot afterwards be declared with the same cards--though their having figured in a Marriage would be no bar to their subsequent use as part of a Sequence.

The declared cards, though left face upwards on the table, still form part of the hand, and are played to subsequent tricks at the pleasure of the holder.

When no more cards are left in the stock, the method of play alters. No further declarations can be made, and the only additional score now possible is for the brisques (aces or tens) in the remaining tricks (scored by the winner of the trick), with ten for the last trick, as before stated.

The mode of play as to these last eight tricks is according to Whist rules. Each player must now follow suit, if he can; if not, he is at liberty to trump.