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Tressette, Rules, Link to Free PC Version






Cow Game



Tressette is a trick (the played cards- prese) collecting game without a trump card.  You win the trick by having the highest card played of a certain suit.  Tressette requires the players to follow the suit lead by the first player, and only when they have no cards of that suit, can they discard useless cards of the another suit. 


For 4 players, playing as two, two-man teams.


Carte Italiane, Italian card deck (mazzo) of 40 cards, or 52-card deck with 8s, 9s, 10s removed.


To take the cards played, with emphasis on the highest point earning cards (the Ace and the face cards), and the last trick.


The players cut the deck and the player with the highest card deals.  After one player deals, the deal then passes to the next player to his right.  The dealer (il mazziere o cartaio) distributes, five cards at a time, all the cards starting with the player to his right.  Each player ends up with 10 cards.  


The player to the right of the dealer begins by placing one of his cards face up in the center of play.  The play continues counter-clockwise with each player contributing one card until all the players have done so.  The cards played have to follow suit, unless the player does not have any of that suit, in which case he discards a card of another suit (usually a low one).  

The trick is won by the highest ranking card from the suit of the first card.  One player, from the team that wins the trick, takes the cards and places them in a stack, face down, before him.  The player who won the trick starts the next play by placing one of his cards face up in the center of play, and the game continues this way until the last trick is taken.   


The cards are cut before the start of of play and the players with the two highest cards pair up and the two with the lowest cards pair up.  No signaling to your partner is allowed in Tressette, and there is very little conversation during play.

Scoring and Winning: 

After the last trick is taken, each team adds up their points.  The team that takes the last trick gets an extra 1 point.  The team with the most points wins the hand.  If one teams takes all 11 possible points, they win the match immediately.  Otherwise, the hands continue until one teams makes a total of 31 points.  They can even end a hand at any point when they are sure they have won, by calling Out (Fuori).

Card Values:  

In descending order:  Ace-Asso (1 point), the Three, Two, King, Queen and Jack are all worth 1/3 of a point.  All the other cards have no value.  That comes to 11 2/3 points, but fractions are not considered in the total score.  When taking tricks, the strongest card is the Three, followed by the Two, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two.


One variation of the game is Tressette a chiamare.  No partners are determined before the deal.  After the cards are dealt, the player to the right of the dealer decides in which suit his cards are strongest, but in which he does not have the Three card (the strongest card in winning tricks).  He then Calls the Three of that suit and the player who has that card is his playing partner.  

The new partner does not reveal himself to anyone, but plays in a way to better he and his partnerís chances of winning.  Part of the fun is trying to guess who is playing with whom.  The game is over when a player gets a total of 41 points, as each playerís points are totaled not as a team, but individually. 

Site with Tressette rules in English with many variations:  Rules of Card Games.

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Here are direct links to for Italian playing cards (there are images at Amazon of all the products) and two old Italian Tarot card decks, for those interested in history.


Alida is an on-line store based in The Republic of San Marino.  They ship Italian playing cards (Tarot, Regional, Historical) all over the world.  The cards are reasonably priced, and shipping is fast (airmail) and very reasonably priced! 

They also sell special historical cards which I think  are too beautiful to play with and should all be framed!  I've purchased cards from them without any problems whatsoever, and an very happy with the GORGEOUS cards!

Visit my Playing Cards page