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Basic 3 Tarot Card Game

Description of Play

  • based on 15th century game using a tarot deck of 78 cards
  • 3 players
  • no bidding
  • meld (3,5,7-card sequences, low trump, high trump, "tarot" trumps)
  • score = highest hand score - second highest hand score
  • 6-card kitty available to the dealer
  • deal and play is counter-clockwise
  • must beat high card - must follow suit - must trump when no suit
  • "Fool/Excuse/trump 0" can be played at any time and has no play value

Description of Deck

  • 78 cards (21 trumps + Fool, 14 cards in each of four suits)
  • trumps are numbered 21 to 0 (high to low play value)
  • suit court cards are King, Queen, Knight and Jack (high to low play value)
  • non-court cards - black suits (Spades and Clubs) 10 to ace (high to low play value)
  • non-court cards - red suits (Hearts and Diamonds) ace to 10 (high to low play value)


  • Kings =4, Queens=3, Knights=2 and Jacks=1
  • trumps =1
  • trick = 1
  • Ace and 21 of trump=4

Playing Tips

  • dealer gets a great advantage with 6 cards to pick from kitty
  • beware, the dealer is most likely to trump suits early
  • choose your kitty cards to increase meld
  • play the Fool (if you have it) to protect a winning card
  • 21 trumps is a lot, the game depends on how trump is played
  • cash in your high court cards early in the hand
  • when you have a poor hand, try to get the other two players to similar scores to minimize the hand count

b3t Source Notes

The program was written in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) in Visual Studio 2010. The animations and some GUI elements where created in Expression Blend 4. References are .NET 4.0. The only internal resource is a game icon. The card images and window backgrounds are loaded from a sub-folder (/images) early in the program execution. Three sets of trump card images are included. Playing sounds during the game is a settable option.

Last edited May 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM by rjnorwich, version 2


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