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Video:Card Games: How to Play Pitch

with Jade Broadus

Pitch is a fun card game that's perfect for family game nights. Watch this how-to video from About.com for tips on how to play Pitch.See Transcript

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Transcript:Card Games: How to Play Pitch

Hi, this is Jade with About.com. Today we're playing the card game pitch, using instructions from About.com's Game site.

Set-Up for Pitch

Pitch is an easy-to-play point-based card game. You'll need: a deck of playing cards, with the jokers removed, pen and paper to keep track of the points, and a few friends. This game can be played with two to six players, but is best suited for four players.To play, shuffle the deck and deal each player six cards. To play traditionally, deal each player three cards at a time, clockwise. Note that cards not dealt are not in play.

Bit to Start Pitch

Once the cards are dealt, players bid on the number of points they expect to win. Starting to the dealer's left and moving clockwise, each player may bid pass, 1, 2, or 3 based on the points they believe they'll win in the following round. The highest bidder is known as the "pitcher". If no players bid, the dealer must bid at least two, and if bidding players haven't bid four the dealer must 'steal the bid' by bidding the same as the highest bid. A bid of four is called "pitching" and is done by the player placing a card from his or her hand in the middle of the table, face-up, thus establishing the trump suit. If no one pitched with a bet of four, then the pitcher lays down the first card, which establishes the 'trump suit'.

Play Pitch By Playing Tricks

Each 'trick' is played, proceeding clockwise from the player who lays down the first card. Each player lays down a single card, and the winner of each trick is either the player who throws the highest card in the suit of the hand or the highest trump card. The winner of the hand takes the thrown cards for tallying later. Once all the dealt cards have been thrown, the round is over and points are counted.

Points in Pitch

Before establishing the "Round Score", the game score must be tallied by adding the "trick points" awarded to the players who have more of the following cards than any other player.

  • 10 trick points for each 10
  • 4 trick points for each Ace
  • 3 trick points for each King
  • 2 trick points for each Queen
  • 1 trick point for each Jack

Once the game score has been established, players can determine the round score -- the score that accumulates throughout the entire game. For the Round Score, one point each is award to a player for:

  • winning the game score
  • winning the highest trump card in play
  • winning the lowest trump card in play
  • winning the Jack of trumps (if in play)

If only one trump card is in play, the player who wins it is awarded points for winning the highest and lowest trump card in play. If the sole trump card is a Jack, the player is awarded three points.

How to Tally Points and Win Pitch

If the pitcher wins at least as many points at they bid, they are awarded their total round score. If they fail to make their bid, their bid total is subtracted from their overall score. All other players are awarded their total round score. Points are written on the piece of paper and playing proceeds by the player to the left of the dealer becoming the new dealer. The first player to have at least seven overall points at the end of a round in which they were pitcher wins the game.

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