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Reform Tarock

Reform Tarock



During the last few weeks of WWII, some Austrians at an air raid shelter under Vienna City Hall created the rules to to Reform-Tarock, which were intended to be satirically convoluted and complex. The first part of the rules are the "laws" of the game, while the second part explains game play and all the weird and wonderful bids and contracts.

My Austrian German is non-existent, so I couldn't translate the rules from Weiner Zeitung. However, Google Translate seems to handle Swedish better than German, so I was able to get through Stockholms Wirasällskaps. I then inserted all the unusual rules from Reform Tarock into the rules for Königrufen found on the Pagat website.


Five suits; 8 each of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds; and 22 tarocks (trumps), of which the highest, the Sküs, looks rather like a Joker. The second highest tarock (XXI) is called the Mond and the lowest tarock (I) is called the Pagat. The black suits rank from highest to lowest: King, Queen, Knight, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7. The red suits rank from highest to lowest: King, Queen, Knight, Jack, 1, 2, 3, 4.

Cards are worth points as follows:

Kings 4-1/3 each
Honours – Sküs, XXI (Mond), and I (Pagat) 4-1/3 each
Queens 3-1/3 each
Knights 2-1/3 each
Jacks 1-1/3 each
All other cards 1/3 each

The total value of the pack comes to 70 card points. In a positive contract, the declarer's side wins if they make at least 35-2/3 of the 70 points.

Actually, Reform Tarock counts points by subtraction; see Counting card points in Tarot games. With this method, honors and Kings are worth 5 points, Queens 4, Knights 3, Jacks 2, and all other cards 1. For each set of three cards, you add up their values and subtract 2. If helps if you rearrange the cards such that each group contains one valuable card and two empty cards (cards that are worth only 1 point). If, at the end of counting, you have one or two cards left over, you subtract 2/3 from the value of those leftover cards. Each 1/3 point is a "card". So, in a positive contract, the declarer's side wins if they win at least 35 card points and 2 cards (or 2/3 points). The use of the term "cards" makes more sense if, when counting cards, you rearrange them such that the one or two left over are empty cards.

This is different than how Königrufen scores leftover cards: If you have two cards left over, you subtract one point from the sum of the values. If you have one card left over, you subtract one point from the value. This yields the same result as using fractional card values and rounding to the nearest whole number.

The Contracts, a Summary

These are listed in ascending order, with their scores. Further details of the contracts are given later.

The first six are only available to Forehand (the player to dealer's right), in the case that "Mein Spiel" is passed out.

The rest of the contracts are available to all players.

The value in the columns Points won and Points lost are in game points. These are not to be confused with the cards points in your tricks which you count to find out whether you have made your (positive) contract.

Game Type Points won Points lost Lead Call king? Talon Requirements
Rufer Mein spiel, Positive 4 4 F yes 3 35-2/3
Wald und Wiese Mein spiel 4 4 F no Last one out
Klostergeheimnis Mein spiel ½ × the value of the game chosen 1½× the value of the game chosen F ? ? ?
Sechserdreier Mein spiel, Positive 6 20 F no 6 35-2/3
Trischaker Mein spiel, Negative 4 4 F no Not to win the most points
Böhmischer Trischaker Mein spiel 12 minus number of tricks you won 12 minus number of tricks each opponent won F no Not to win the most tricks
Solorufer Positive 8 8 F yes 35-2/3
Eisenbahner Other 9 9 F no 35-2/3
Bettel Negative 10 10 D no Talon not used Zero tricks
Piccolo Negative 10 10 D no One trick
Amerikaner or Prämieamerikaner Negative 10 10 D no –/3 Exact number of tricks
Spezi or Wechselspezi Other 10 10 D no Only look at talon Win first and last trick
Dreier Positive 10 10 F no 3 35-2/3
Hausierer Other 11 11 F no ≤ 6 Run out of cards
Pagatrufer Positive 12 (4 + 8) 12 (4 + 8) F yes 3 35-2/3
Uhurufer Positive 20 (4 + 16) 20 (4 + 16) F yes 3 35-2/3
Kakadurufer Positive 28 (4 + 24) 28 (4 + 24) F yes 3 35-2/3
Artist Other 8 or 16 8 F no 3 Have three or four face cards of the same rank left in your hand
Oberdreier Positive 15 15 F no 3 35-2/3
Eisenbahner ouverte Other 18 18 F no 35-2/3
Bettel ouverte Negative 20 20 D no Zero tricks
Piccolo ouverte Negative 20 20 D no One trick
Farbensolo Positive 20 20 D no 35-2/3
Amerikaner or Prämieamerikaner ouverte Negative 20 20 D no –/3 Exact number of tricks
Spezi or Wechselspezi ouverte Other 20 20 D no Only look at talon First and last trick
Pensionist Other 20 20 D no 6 Don't head the trick
Solodreier Positive 20 20 F no 35-2/3
Solopagatrufer Positive 24 (8 + 16) 24 (8 + 16) F yes 35-2/3
Solouhurufer Positive 40 (8 + 32) 40 (8 + 32) F yes 35-2/3
Solokakadurufer Positive 56 (8 + 48) 56 (8 + 48) F yes 35-2/3
Apotheker Other 24 24 F no Opponnents win an "average" number of points
Fahrt ins Blaue Other 27 27 F no 35-2/3
Diskreter Dreier Positive 30 30 D or F no 3 35-2/3
Volatrufer Positive 32 32 F no 3 All tricks
Pensionist ouverte Other 40 40 D no 6 Run out of cards
Sautanz Other 45 45 D no Least cards remaining in hand
Juwel Positive ≥ 114 ≥ 114 F no 3 35-2/3


These are additional ways of winning game points in positive contracts.

Bonus Silent Declared Description
Trull 2 Win all three honours.
Fyra kungar 2 Win all kings.
Königfang 2 The opponents capture the king which the declarer called to determine the partnerships.
Mondfang 2 Capturing an opponents' XXI with the Sküs.
Pagatfang 1 Win opponent's Pagat.
Rufkönig lassen 1 If declarer finds the called king in the talon but chooses to play alone and picks the part of the talon not containing the king.
Single ultimo 10 Win the last trick with a non-face card in a side suit.
Naturstich 10 Win a trick that contains no Tarocks and no face cards.
König ultimo 2 4 Win the last trick with the king called by the declarer.
Pagat ultimo 4 8 Win the last trick with the Pagat.
Uhu ultimo 8 16 Win the second-last trick with the II.
Kakadu ultimo 12 24 Win the last trick with the III.
Marabu ultimo 16 32 Win the last trick with the IIII (part of Königrufen, not Reform Tarock)
Sürtaxe 1½× Declarer's side: Win at least 45-2/3 points. Opponent's side, 44-2/3 points. In the negative games Bettel, piccolo, Amerikaner and Prämieamerikaner, opponents win if declarer loses by more than one trick. Called Gramerboy when declared.
Black out Win the game by the first seven tricks. The bonus is announced when the seventh trick is won without the declarer counting his or her points won in tricks. Card points from cards exchanged with the talon are included. The game still continues after the seventh trick.
Volat Win all tricks.

Bonuses apply only to positive games.

Notice that most bonuses can be announced in advance, and are then worth twice as much. All bonuses score double the amounts given above if the contract is Solorufer, Solodreier, Solopagatrufer, Solouhurufer, Solokakadurufer, Diskreter Dreier, or Juwel.

The tarocks I, II, III and IIII, and the bonuses for winning particular tricks with them are called birds.

Scores for the game and bonuses are independent of each other, so that a player may have conflicting objectives during a hand. It is quite possible to win the game and yet lose money because the bonuses were worth more than the game.

Bonuses except that for Volat are not available in Farbensolo.

Most of these bonuses are worth double if you announce the intention to achieve them during the announcements phase (see summary table of bonuses), but in this case failure to achieve the bonus scores minus. They are all scored independently of each other and of the game.

These bonus scores are doubled in Solo and Solodreier, on top of any doubles for being announced beforehand and for kontras.

Many players do not allow Kakadu and Marabu, as they are thought to introduce to great a random element into the game.

Notes on bonuses involving winning a particular trick with a particular card (Pagat Ultimo, Uhu, Kakadu, Marabu, King Ultimo)

For king ultimo, it is good enough for either partner to win the last trick with the called king in it.

For Pagat, Uhu, Kakadu, and Marabu the card named actually has to win the trick - if not the bonus is lost, even if the trick is won by the partner of the person playing the card. If the bonus is not announced, but you play one of these cards to the relevant trick, you are deemed to be attempting to get the bonus, and you score minus the appropriate bonus if the card fails to win the trick (or if your side fails to in the case of King Ultimo).

An announced bonus of this type can be lost in four ways:

If the bonus is announced, the side making the announcement is obliged to keep the card until the relevant trick and play it then if possible. e.g. having announced Uhu the player must hold onto the II until the penultimate trick (if possible) and must play it to that trick if it is legal, even though it may have become clear that the II will not win the trick.

Playing Procedure

The game is played anticlockwise. The first dealer is selected randomly, and the turn to deal rotates anticlockwise after each hand. There are only four active players in each deal. If there are five players at the table, the dealer deals no cards to herself and takes no part in the hand.

The sequence of events on each deal is as follows:


Dealer shuffles, gives the cards to the player on her left to cut, then deals in packets of six cards, starting on her right, one packet to each player, then one into the middle of the table (the 'talon') then finally another packet of six cards to each player. If there are five players, the dealer deals to the other four players only.

Instead of cutting, the player to dealer's left is allowed to "knock", or tap the pack of cards. They must then be dealt as follows: the first six cards to the talon, then four packets of 12 cards. Each player in anticlockwise rotation, starting with the player to dealer's right, chooses whether they will have the first, second, third or fourth packet.


The auction then starts. The player to dealer's right ("forehand") may reserve her bid by saying "Mein Spiel." Each player in turn after that must either bid by naming a contract or pass. Once having passed a player may not re-enter the auction. The auction continues until three players have passed consecutively, and the last player to have bid becomes declarer. If the only bid was "Mein Spiel" the first player now names any contract - this is the only case in which the top six contracts in the list can be played.

During the bidding there is an order of priority, starting with forehand (highest) and continuing anticlockwise round the table to dealer (lowest). When bidding a contract, if you have lower priority than the previous bidder you must bid a higher contract or pass, but if you have higher priority than the previous bidder it is sufficient to bid an equal or higher contract.

Example: (the players in anticlockwise order are A (forehand), B, C and D) A says "mein Spiel"; B bids "Solo", C passes. Now if D wants to bid, the minimum bid is "Bettel", because B has priority over D. If D passes then A is allowed to bid "Solo", which overcalls B's Solo, because A has priority over B.

[However, I believe the bidding is like in Hungarian Tarokk: If you have already bid, but another player has subsequently bid higher, you may hold, which means that you make a bid equal to the highest bid so far; there is no order of priority. A bid can only be held once: if the last positive bid was a hold, you cannot also hold but must bid higher or pass.]

Buying the Game

If the declarer chose a game in which the declarer plays alone against the other three, then one of the declarer's opponents may immediately buy the game from the declarer and become the new declarer. [I'm assuming that the cost is a mutually agreed upon price between declarer and purchaser.] All players vote whether that opponent gets to buy the game from the declarer. If the vote is tied, then Forehand decides whether or not the the purchase goes through. If the new declarer loses, then the new declarer pays only 50% of the value of the game to the opponents.

Calling a King

If the contract is one in which declarer gets a partner, declarer now names a suit. The holder of the king of that suit becomes declarer's partner but does not tell anyone who they are. The partnerships are sometimes not discovered until quite late in the hand.

It is legal to call your own king. In this case you play on your own against the other 3 players in partnership, but they will not realize at first that they are all on the same side. You also play alone if the called king happens to be in the talon.

If a declarer entitled to call a king for a partner holds three kings in her hand, he or she may call "The fourth king" without naming its suit. This is normally a good idea.

If as declarer you have all four kings and find yourself playing a contract in which you are allowed to call a king, you have no option but to call yourself. Incidentally, you are not allowed to try to confuse matters by calling "the fourth king" in this case.

Exchanging Cards with the Talon

When declarer is entitled to exchange three cards with the talon, the talon is now exposed in two sets of three cards. Declarer chooses one of the sets, and gives the other to her opponents (actually they are put in a separate pile from the opponents' tricks, since some of the players do not yet know who is on which side). After taking the chosen three cards into her hand, declarer then discards three cards face down into her trick pile. Kings and Trull cards (Sküs, XXI, I) may never be discarded; other tarocks may only be discarded if there is no choice, and they should be discarded face up.

Mortgage: You can exchange more cards with the talon than you're entitled to; for each extra card, the value of the game drops by 20%. Conversely, you can exchange less cards with the talon; each card not exchanged raises the value of the game by 20%.


There is now a round of announcements. Beginning with the declarer, each player can pass or make one or more announcements on behalf of her side. An announcement is a statement that you are going for some bonus, or a kontra of something said by the other side. The round of announcements continues until three players have passed consecutively.

Bonuses, with the exception of Sürtaxe, are only available for contracts where the requirement is to win at least 35-2/3 points in tricks. Pagat ultimo, Uhu ultimo, Kakadu ultimo, König Ultimo, Single Ultimo, Black Out, and Volat cannot be announced for Eisenbahner or Eisenbahner Ouverte. If Volat is declared, neither Black Out nor Sürtaxe must be declared.


During the round of announcements, a member of the defending side may double the score for the game or for any announced bonuses (independently of each other) by saying for example "kontra the game" or "kontra the king ultimo". After this either member of the side which originally made the announcement may say "rekontra" to that bonus, in which case the opponents can double again with "subkontra". Some players allow the doubling to continue further with "hirschkontra" and "mordkontra", by which time the original score for that feature has been multiplied by 64 (announcement and five doubles).

A player may only make a bonus announcement if they are declarer's partner or if it is already known which side they are on. (e.g. declarer's partner holding the Sküs and the XXI may announce trull and this demonstrates that he is her partner; alternatively a defender holding both Sküs and XXI may be pretty sure of making the trull, but may only announce it if he or she also makes some kontra, for example "Kontra the Pagat ultimo; trull" might be appropriate).

Selbstkontra, veto, or self-kontra: You can self-kontra, or kontra your own side. This halves the value of the game or the bonus. You cannot self-kontra a game or bonus your opponents already kontra'd. Your opponents cannot kontra a self-kontra'd game or bonus.

Protest: If your partner kontras a bonus or a game, you can protest, which means that you will no longer participate in the doubling of that particular bonus or game.

Resigning or Schleifen

Either side (declarer's side or defending side) may resign and pay a 10% discount of the value of the game to the other side. If the declarer resigns a Rufer contract because the called king is in the talon, the discount is 50%.

The Play

In positive contracts the player to dealer's right (Forehand) leads to the first trick no matter who is declarer.

In negative contracts and Farbensolo, Declarer leads to the first trick.

You must follow suit if you can. If you cannot follow suit you must play a tarock. The trick is won by the highest card played of the suit led, unless it contains a tarock in which case the highest tarock wins (exception: Farbensolo).

Additional rule for negative contracts (Trischaken, Piccolo, Zwiccolo, Bettel, Piccolo Ouvert, Bettel Ouvert): You must beat the highest card on the table if possible.

Further additional rule for Trischaken only: you are not allowed to play the Pagat until it is your only tarock.

Optional rule for all contracts - The Emperor trick: If the three trull cards, the Sküs, the XXI (Mond) and the I (Pagat) are all played to the same trick, then that trick is won by the Pagat. The bonus for capturing the Sküs only applies if the Sküs is captured by an opponent.

The Scoring

The hand is counted and scored. The scoring system is designed for people who score by pushing money across the table at the end of each hand. In contracts with two players on each side, each player on the losing team pays one of the players on the winning team the game score. When one player plays against the other three, he or she is paid by (or pays) the score to each of them, so the value to declarer of such contracts is three times as much.

Solidarity of partnerships applies throughout. If a player wins (or loses) a game or bonus, all players of that partnership win (or lose) equally.

Contracts Available Only to Forehand


Declarer chooses a partner by calling a king, and gets to change three cards with the the talon.

If there are no announcements or kontras, the cards are not played, but the game is paid for as though it had been won without bonuses, i.e. declarer and partner win 4 each and the opponents pay 4 each. If the called King is in the talon, then the declarer has two choices:

Wald und Wiese (Forest and Meadow)

Can only be played if the called king is in the talon. Everyone plays for themselves. The objective is to be the last player with cards in hand. Forehand leads and plays to the first trick. A trick doesn't necessarily end once each player has played one card. Players keep on adding cards to the trick, in turn, until one player cannot follow suit: If a player leads with a suit card, the trick ends when a player plays a tarok; if a player leads a suit card, the trick ends when a player plays a suit card. [I'm not sure what happens if all players hold exclusively all tarocks or all suit cards; I'm assuming the trick keeps on going until all but one player run out of cards. I'm also assuming that this last trick is awareded to the trick winner.] The highest tarock wins the trick; if no tarocks have been played, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The trick winner leads to the next trick. If the king and queen of the same suit are played by two consecutive players, then the first player is eliminated and cannot win; it doesn't matter whether the first card is a king or queen. If the same thing happens with a king and queen of different shuts, then the first player takes the talon and adds it to his or her pile of cards won in tricks. No more cards may be played once the second-last player plays his or last card. The winner is a non-elimiated player who still has cards in his or her hand. The other players add up the number of cards remaining in their hand and the number of cards they won in tricks. The player with the highest total loses and pays the winner 4 points.


You look at the talon and pick any game that's at the Solorufer level or higher. You don't name the game; you only say enough information so that your opponents can play legally (whether the game is whether it's positive or negative; announce any other special trick-taking rules; and call a king, if required by the game). You then exchange with the talon according to the game that you chose. Your opponents can't kontra Klostergeheimer but can kontra any announcements.


You play alone against the rest. Draw six cards from the talon. Your discards count towards you.


The four players play as individuals. The object is to take as few points as possible. The player who plays after Forehand decides whether players must head the trick, if possible. If you hold the Pagat, you may not play it unless it's your last tarock. The points in the talon count toward the winner of the last trick. The player who won the most points in tricks loses and pays 4 points to each of the other players. If one or more players take no tricks (virgins), then the loser instead pays 12 divided equally among the virgins. [The Swedish account has tie breaking rules: Among tied players, the loser ps the one who won the most tricks, then Forehand. Otherwise, all tied players lose.] If you're Forehand and you lost, you have committed suicide and pay double. After each Trischaker, each player receives a Hölzel or a Radl. If you have a Hölzel and are declarer, all game values and announcements are doubled. You lose your Hölzel when you win a game.

Böhmischer Trischaker

All players play for themselves. The player who plays after Forehand announces whether players must must head the trick, if possible, and which suit is trump. Suits rank as follows from highest to lowest: Trump suit, Kings through Jacks, tarocks, then the rest of the number cards. If a trump card was played to a trick, then the highest trump card wins the trick. If no trump cards have been played, but one or more face cards have, then the highest face card wins the trick. Among tied face cards, the first played wins. If no trump or face cards were played, then highest tarock, otherwise, the highest number cards (a black 10 is equal to a red 1 and so on). Players must still follow suit and play a tarock if unable to do so. If you won the most tricks, then you lost and must pay each opponent the difference between 12 and what each opponent won. Among tied players, Forehand loses, otherwise all tied players lose and must pay other opponents. Afterward, all players receive a Hölzel.

The Positive Contracts

In all these contracts, declarer's side has to take at least 35-2/3 card points in their tricks plus their part of the talon to win the game.


All bonuses count double. Declarer chooses a partner by calling a king, but does not change cards with the talon; the talon is put aside, unseen until the end of the hand. If it turns out that the called king was in the talon, then the declarer has been playing alone against all three players and kontras don't apply. [I don't know if rekontras also don't apply.] Note: In Königrufen, the talon is added to the defenders' tricks at the end of the hand unless the king was in the talon; in this case, the talon is added to the declarer's tricks instead for compensation for playing alone.


Play alone; 3 cards from talon; take 35-2/3+ points


Like Rufer, except you must announce Pagat Ultimo. If the called card is in the talon, then you can do one of the following:


Like Rufer, except you must announce Uhu Ultimo (win the second-last trick with the II).


Like Rufer, except you must announce Kakadu Ultimo (win the third-last trick with the III).


You first discard three cards, then you take three cards from the talon. [I'm not sure if you have to discard three before seeing the cards in the talon]. Opponents may freely discuss among themselves but cannot reveal their cards. Declarer plays alone and the talon goes unseen to the opponents' tricks. All bonuses count double.


Part of Königrufen but not part of Reform Tarock. Original game value is 5. Declarer plays alone against the other three players with the object of winning at least 35-2/3 points in tricks, but the tarocks function as an ordinary suit. The declarer leads to the first trick. A player unable to follow suit is still obliged to play a tarock, but the tarocks do not win – the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. It is illegal to lead tarocks until you hold nothing else. When a tarock is led, players must follow with tarocks if possible and the highest tarock wins. In Farbensolo, all six cards of the talon go unseen to the opponents' tricks. The only bonus available is for making Valat.


Like Solorufer, but you must announce Pagat Ultimo (win the last trick with the Pagat).


Like Solodrier, but you must announce Uhu Ultimo (win the second-last trick with the II).


Like Solodrier, but you must announce Kakadu Ultimo (win the third-last trick with the III).

Diskreter Dreier

You take half the talon (three cards), then discard three cards. Your closest opponent, in turn order, takes the other half of the talon, discards three, and gives those discards to the next opponent in turn order. Repeat this until each opponent has a chance to exchange cards. Declarer may lead to the first trick or let forehand lead to the first trick. You play alone. All bonuses count double.


Your partner is the first one who volunteers to do so. If no one volunteers, you call any tarock and the player who holds it becomes your partner and the value of the game is multiplied by 6. If the called tarock is in the talon, call another tarock. Exchange 3 cards with the talon. You partner can give up, or veto, before the opponents have won a trick. A partner who vetoes neither pays or receives payment. One of the two remaining opponents may become your new partner. That partner exchanges three cards with the rest of the talon. (This second partner cannot veto.) [Assumption: the value of the game is multiplied by six if you call a partner by tarock, end up playing by yourself if your partner vetos, or if a second partner volunteers.]


Highest bid in Reform Tarock. Played like Diskreter Dreier, but the last opponent passes three cards to the first opponent, enabling that player to improve his or her hand. The value of the hand (in game points) is ((card points × 3)2)/100. Don't round card point values. No extra bonus is awarded for Sürtaxe/Gramerboy, Black out, or Volat. If you do win Volat, then the three cards discarded by the first opponent are credited to you, and your score is 2102 / 100 = 441.

The Negative Contracts

In all of the negative contracts Declarer leads to the first trick, rather than the player on dealer's right. The rules of play are different in negative contracts: when it is your turn to play, you are forced to beat the cards already played if you can.


Play alone, lose every trick.


Play alone, win exactly one trick.

Amerikaner or Prämieamerikaner

Bridge-style trick taking (you are not forced to trump, nor are you forced to beat all cards played to the trick if able). You must announce in advance exactly how many tricks you will win. Multiple players can play this. Can be played as Prämieamerikaner: Exchange 3 cards with the talon. Declarer plays against all other players. Only the declarer is forced to trump. [Or is it the opponents are forced to trump? The former makes more sense as the declarer has the advantage of exchanging cards with the talon] The declarer leads to the first trick. Unlike Amerikaner, only the declarer can play this.

Bettel ouverte

A contract to make no tricks, but with all four hands exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick.

Piccolo ouverte

Exactly one trick, with all hands exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick.

Amerikaner ouverte

Amerikaner (or Prämieamerikaner), except all hands are exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick.

Contracts unique to Reform Tarock

Eisenbahner or Railwayman

You play alone against the other three. You don't exchange with the talon. Declare a suit. Your objective is to have only cards of that suit in your hand. Ordinary tarock rules apply until all the cards in your hand are of the suit you announced. When this happens, at the end of the trick, you announce "Departure for all passengers." If you win this last trick, take all the cards from that trick. If you lose this last trick, you may take the cards that were played after the card that you played. You then take the rest of the talon. You must win at least 35-2/3 points in tricks. If you weren't able to have a hand that contained only cards of the suit you announced, you're considered a passenger and you win or lose double the amount of this game. If an opponent manages to have a hand of cards that only consist of one suit, then this opponent "has taken the express train" and you lost. Players instead must pay this player as if he or she were the declarer. Kontras are ignored if an opponent has taken the express train, nor is a silent Sürtaxe (opponent winning at least 44-2/3 points) scored. If you believe that someone else is about to take the express train, you can "pull the emergency break" and renege by playing a tarock. You lose all remaining tricks, including the trick to which you reneged, but you still win if you have won at least 35-2/3 points. If a player believes he or she can achieve the single-suited hand objective, then that player can declare that he or she will "take the bus" [I don't know when a player has to declare this. I'm assuming before the first trick has been played?] In this case, the value of the game is tripled and payment occurs only between the declarer and player taking the bus. If someone is taking the bus and you pull the emergency break, then the game reverts to the regular payment schedule.

Spezi or Wechselspezi

You look at the talon but don't exchange any cards. You play alone and lead to the first trick. The objective is to win the first and last trick; you must declare the suit of the last trick before play. If you win a trick, you may choose who leads the next trick. You can play this as Wechselspezi. Like Spezi, but after the first trick, players must play the lowest card of the suit led. Normal tarock rules apply (you must trump if you cannot follow suit).


You draw up to six cards from the talon without discarding. You must have at least one card of each side suit or else you lose automatically. Forehand leads. You can play any number of cards of the same suit (or any number of Tarocks) simultaneously to each trick while your opponents play just one card per trick as usual. Your objective is to run out of cards before the other players. You lose if you cannot follow suit. The Sküs is a wild card; you can play it with other cards. It can only win a trick if played by itself or with other Tarocks. If you win, the game is worth 11 points for every unplayed trick. If you play to the last trick, it's a draw. If you lose because you ran out of cards of a suit, then you pay 11 points plus 11 points for each unplayed trick. If you lose but were always able to follow suit, then you pay 11 points for each card you have left.


Declarer exchanges three cards with the talon. Declarer must have three or four picture cards of the same rank. You win if these picture cards are your only remaining cards. If you (or any other player?) holds the Sküs, then it can be played anytime. Game is with 8 if you win with a three-of-a-kind, double with a four-of-a-kind.

Eisenbahner ouverte

Eisenbahner, except all hands are exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick.

Spezi ouverte

Spezi, except all hands are exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick.


You take the talon, discard six, then play alone against the other three. You lead. A trick doesn't end once each player has played one card to a trick. When playing to a trick, players must head the trick -- play a card higher than the highest card already played to it. If unable, players must pass. Players keep on playing to the same trick until no one can head the trick. Once everyone has passed, the trick is put to the side, and the player who last played to the trick starts the next trick. You lose if you are able to play a card immediately after the player before you. You don't lose if you're able to play a card and player immediately before you couldn't because that player ran out of cards, unless you're able to play a card on top of your own previously played card. If you last for 25 rounds/tricks [I don't know how they got that number] you become a Jubelpensionist and don't have to pay anything if you lose.


You play alone against the other three and don't exchange with the talon. All other players must take between 17-1/3 points and 35-2/3 points; declarer can distribute cards from the talon among opponents to achieve the required balance. If any opponent wins no tricks or wins all the tricks, you must pay that opponent 10 additional game points.

Fahrt ins Blaue

Same as Eisenbahner except you arrange the cards in your hand in the order that you will play them them during the entire round. If you fail to follow suit or trump, you lose. The value of the game is 3 times the value of Eisenbahner.

Pensionist ouverte

Pensionist, except all hands are exposed as soon as a card has been led to the second trick, and declarer may play a card immediately after the player before him or herself once without losing.


You can play this only if you hold no kings or tarocks. Players play against each other. The length of the game is limited to a specific duration (such as 3 minutes). Leader of a "trick" plays a card face down to a pile and announces a suit (which need not match the actual suit of the played card). Next player either plays another card that should match the announced suit or calls the bluff of the previous player. If the accuser is correct, the accused picks up all the cards that have been played, adds them to his or her hand, and starts the next pile. If not, the accuser picks up the cards instead and the accused starts the next pile. Once a player runs out of cards, he or she is out of the game. Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game pays 45 to each player. However, players who have not made an accusation throughout the game don't pay. [Or, players who have not made an accusation throughout the game do not receive payment.] Among tied players, the player who declared Sautanz pays. If that player is not among the tied players, then all tied players pay.