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The meaning of «zwanzigerrufen»

Zwanzigerrufen or Zwanz'gerrufen is the leading trick-taking card game of the Tarock family in many regions of eastern Austria. Its rules are simpler than the game of Königrufen which is more widely played in the whole of Austria. As is common in Tarock games, the cards have various point values – the primary goal in an individual game is to win the majority of points.

Zwanzigerrufen is played with 40 cards taken from the 54-card deck used for Königrufen (the so-called Industrie und Glück deck). The resulting deck consists of 20 tarocks as trumps and 20 plain suit cards.

The tarocks are numbered with Roman numerals from I to XXI, in addition there is the unnumbered Sküs or Gstieß. Tarocks II and III are removed in Zwanzigerrufen. The tarocks each count as 1 point; only the Trull cards - I (Pagat), XXI (Mond) and Sküs - each count as 5.

In the suit cards are the King (5 points), Queen (4), Knight (3), Jack (2) and a so-called Baldy (Glatze) as a set in each suit. The Glatzen usually comprise the 10 of Spades, 10 of Clubs, the Ace of Hearts and the Ace of Diamonds; these score 0 points. Other cards may be used as Glatzen - the 4 of Hearts and 4 of Diamonds have the advantage of being easier to recognise.

In scoring at the end of the game the values of the cards won (in tricks) are simply added. There is no splitting of the points into thirds or deducting/adding of points per trick as in Königrufen. The total value of all the cards is 88. To win the game, a team or player must score more than half the total, to wit: 45 points.

The dealer shuffles the cards and the player to his left cuts the deck. Then each player is dealt 10 cards in two packets of five, starting with forehand to the right of the dealer. There is no talon. Instead of cutting, the cutter may 'knock' - in this case the dealer places 4 stacks of 10 cards each on the table. Players can then choose one stack at a time, starting with forehand.

When all the players have picked up their cards, forehand begins the auction. For a normal game (see below) she calls for "den Zwanziger" (in Vienna also called der Oide), the Tarock XX, whereupon the player holding the XX in his hand becomes her partner. If forehand herself has the XX, she can call for the XIX (vulgo Gartenzaun = "Garden fence"), if she also has this, the XVIII and so on up to the XVI. If forehand has all the tarocks from the XX to the XVI in her hand, she cannot announce a normal game, but must play a solo. The called player does not have to declare his possession of the called card, but may reveal himself as a partner by various game declarations.

Forehand must at least call for a Tarock held by another player who then becomes her partner. If she doesn't want to make any more bids, she says "next" or "pass" (Weiter), and the other players may bid in turn. Further declarations may be made in turn until all players in a hand have just said "next".

Forehand always leads. Players must follow suit (Farbzwang) and, failing that, play a trump (Trumpfzwang or Tarockzwang), but do not have to head the trick even if they could (i.e. there is no Stichzwang). When a suit card is played, all players must follow this suit. If a player does not have a matching suit card (any more), he must play a tarock. If he does not have a tarock either, he can discard any other suit card. Tarocks can be played at any time, except in Suit Solo, when a tarock may only be played if a player no longer has any suit cards in his hand. A tarock must be followed by a tarock, as long one is still held - if no tarock is held, it must be followed with a suit card.

Choice of words

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