Pinochle Rules for Beginners - How to Play Pinochle Game!

 Kevin Brown
  Mar 19, 2019

Pinochle, also known as pinocle or penuchle is an Ace-Ten card game for two to four players. This game is played with 48- cards deck. This game is derived from bezique, a 19th Century French melding and trick-taking card game for 2 players. Therefore, it is considered as a part of ‘trick-and-meld’ category. Here we have shared the basic pinochle rules.

Pinochle Rules

Pinochle Rules

The below rules are for pinochle rules 4 player.

The Deck of Pinochle

The Deck consists of 2 copies of each 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace cards from all 4 suits (Aces always rank higher). It follows a non-standard ordering of cards. The standard order from highest to lowest is Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack and 9. This game can also be played with this standard ordering with a simple change to scores.

The Deal

The game is played with 48-cards deck and four players. One is the dealer. After the shuffle, the dealer will offer a cut to the player to his right, he then distributes the cards. All the cards are played in partnership. For odd numbers like three, there remains a ‘widow hand of cards’. The deal is given clockwise, with a group of three to four cards at a time. It starts with the player to the left, ending with the dealer. As the deal rotates clockwise, dealer’s left-hand player will deal next.


Melding means displaying specific combinations of cards to all players. Traditionally, this is done by arranging a combination of card, all faced up until all players have had an opportunity to look at them. After then, all players meld after the bid winner shows their meld first. There are different types of melds like “around”, “marriages”, “pinochle” and “flushes”.

A group meld containing four same face cards like Ace, King, Queen or Jack must include one card from different suits. Their scores are as follows: -

Name of Meld Example Point value Simplified
Run inside trump (A 10 K Q J) 150 15
Double run in trump (A A 10 10 K K Q Q J J) 1500 150
Marriage in trump (K Q) 40 4
Dix in trump (9) 10 1
100 aces (A♠ A♥ A♦ A♣) 100 10
1000 aces (A♠ A♠ A♥ A♥ A♦ A♦ A♣ A♣) 1000 100
80 kings (K♠ K♥ K♦ K♣) 80 8
800 kings (K♠ K♠ K♥ K♥ K♦ K♦ K♣ K♣) 800 80
60 queens (Q♠ Q♥ Q♦ Q♣) 60 6
600 queens (Q♠ Q♠ Q♥ Q♥ Q♦ Q♦ Q♣ Q♣) 600 60
40 jacks (J♠ J♥ J♦ J♣) 40 4
400 jacks (J♠ J♠ J♥ J♥ J♦ J♦ J♣ J♣) 400 40
Marriage in non-trump (K Q) 20 2
Pinochle (J♦ Q♠) 40 4
Double pinochle (J♦ J♦ Q♠ Q♠) 300 30

As these values are multiples of ten, one can arrive at simplified values by removing trailing zero from each point values.


Players bid to see how many total points can be made by their team from the melding and playing their cards. In a four-handed game, the first player to dealer’s left will be in for 250 points and then proceeds further to left. It usually takes place in increment of 10 points.

How to Play Pinochle?

The game begins when all the cards are picked up. The bidder (with an Ace) leads. The game continues to the left until everyone has played a card. Players must follow the suit until they are out of the suit. If they are out of the suit, they must trump. If a player has no trump, then any card can be played. A player should beat the previous high card as well. If he cannot beat the previous high card, he must follow the suit.

If there are no trump cards, the high card in the suit wins the trick. If trump cards were played, the highest card wins the game. The order of the cards to be followed is Ace- 10- King- Queen- Jack- 9. If two same high cards were played, the first player to play the card takes the trick.

After the play, both the teams count their cards. Each counter card is worth a point. Queens, Jacks and 9s count nil. If a team hadn’t pulled in any tricks with the counter cards, it loses any meld it had on that hand. And if a team that took no counters melded 9s, that points from 9s can be counted.

So these were the pinochle rules, kind of complicated but fun to play. Now you know how to play pinochle. There are different versions of this game available which can be played using 2 players, three players and even four or more. They are called two-handed, three-handed, four-handed and larger pinochle with different decks.

Pinochle Rules for Beginners - How to Play Pinochle Game!

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a journalist at his own start-up, born and residing in Seattle, Washington. He has a knack of reading up newspaper articles and coming up with summaries and points of view, hence taking up a profession similar to his interest. Simply covering events and activities is something he can do as good as a professional, but he seems to enjoy writing on events that needs view points and suggestions.

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