How to play
All details of how to play multiplayer games are covered in the general ‘How to play’ instructions. In addition to the French and German card designs, you can now select the ‘Traditional French’ design. The selection can be made in the lobby via the settings symbol. The ‘Traditional French’ set was designed by David Bellot as a vector graphic and published under the GNU Lesser General Public License
When beginning a new game, the player can choose whether the game is played with or without declarations.
Belote is a card game for 4 players and is played with a deck of 32 cards.
The players facing each other form the two teams. The order of player is anti-clockwise. The aim of the game is to be on the team to reach the points total first (501 points in Belote Classic, 701 in Contrée).
Trump Selection (Belote Classic)
In order to determine the trump suit, each player receives 5 cards. The next card from the deck is placed face-up in the middle of the table. The forehand must then choose to take the card or not. If the forehand passes, the next players take it in turns to take the card or pass. If a player decides to accept the card, the suit of the card becomes the trump suit. If none of the players wish to take the card, a second round follows, whereby the players can call for the desired trump suit. If a player calls, he/she must take the card in the centre of the table. If none of the players call, the cards are reshuffled and a new round begins. The player after the forehand becomes the new forehand.
Once a trump suit is selected, each player is dealt 3 additional cards. The player, who took the card from the centre of the table, receives just two extra cards, meaning that every player has a total of 8 cards.
Trump Selection (Contrée)
Each player receives 8 cards. Each player in turn has the opportunity to call a trump suit. A game value and a suit must be called. If a subsequent player also wishes to call a trump, he/she must choose a higher game value. The game values range from 80 to 160 points and increase in blocks of 10 points. “Capot” can also be called. This signifies that all of the tricks have to be taken and that the game is worth 250 points. If a player does not wish to call a trump, he/she can simply pass. Once all of the remaining players have passed following a call the trump is fixed. The player, who selected the trump, can then decide whether he/she raises the value of the game again. The opponents then have the chance to challenge by calling ‘contra’ to double the game value. This can be countered with a call of ‘recontra’ by the player who selected the trump and his/her partner. This once again doubles the value.
Order of Play
Following the trump selection the forehand begins the game. The next player must follow suit. If a trump is played, the players must take the trick if possible. A player must also play a trump, if an opponent is winning the trick.
The highest trump card wins the trick. If no trump is played, the highest card of the played suit wins the trick. The following ranking applies: Jack, 9, Ace, 10, King, Queen, 8, 7 (for the trump suit) and Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack, 9, 8, 7 (for the other suits). The player, who takes the trick, begins the next.
Declarations in the game (Belote Classic, when declarations are allowed when beginning the game)
During the first trick, it is possible to make a call. Players may call either ‘sequences’ or ‘fours’. A sequence consists of at least 3 consecutive cards of the same suit. A four consists of four cards of the same value.
The points from calls are added to those from the tricks. However, only the team with the highest call can score points. The following applies:
- A four is always higher than a sequence.
- A higher four beats a lower four.
- The length of the sequence decides. If the length is equal, the higher ranking sequence wins. If the rank of the sequences is equal, the sequence made up of the trump suit wins. Otherwise, the sequence of the player closest to the forehand wins.
The declarations ‘Belote’ and ‘Rebelote’ apply in games both with and without declarations:
If a player holds the trump Queen and King, he/she can call ‘Belote’. As the first of these cards is laid, the player calls "Belote". As the second is played, "Rebelote" is called. Twenty bonus points are awarded to the team. The team that reaches 501 points first wins.
For each trick won, the total number of points within the trick is awarded.
The following applies for the trump suit:
The following applies for the other suits:
The following points are awarded for calls:
|Sequence of 3||20 Points|
|Sequence of 4||50 Points|
|Sequence of 5||100 Points|
|Four Jacks||200 Points|
|Four 9s||150 Points|
|Other ‘Four’||100 Points|
Points Calculation (Belote-Classic)
The points from the tricks and calls are totalled up for both teams. An additional 10 points are awarded for the last trick. If all of the tricks are won by the same team, 100 are awarded. If the team, which called the trump suit, wins, the total points won by both teams are added to give a grand total. If the other team wins, the team receives all of the trick points and the points of any calls made. If this is the case, the losing team wins no points.
Points Calculation (Contrée)
The points from all of the tricks are added up. Ten points are awarded for the last trick and 20 points for ‘Belote-Rebelote’. If the team, which called the trump suit, has reached the points total, the total points won by both teams are added to give a grand total. The team, which selected the trump, also receives the points for the game value. If, however the trump-calling team failed to reach the points total, all of the points go to the other team.