Rules of Pidro
Pidro is a team game played by four persons - two team members sitting opposite to each other compete against the other team.
On a high level the overall idea of Pidro is similar to Bridge meaning that the game consists of two phases
- Bidding to be able to choose the important suit. The high bidder gets to choose
- Playing the bid and either succeeding or failing and failing comes with a penalty
The structure of the game
The game structure is the following:
- Each player is dealt nine cards, three at a time. The cards are held in the hand.
- The player left from the dealer is the first one to bid. There is only one round of bidding going clockwise from the first person. The dealer is the last one to bid.
- The objective is to bid the minimum points the team shall take. The highest bidder gets to choose the suit. If a player can not bid higher he has to pass.
- The minimum bid allowed is 6 and the maximum is 14 (as there are only 14 available points per round). If a person bids 14, you can top this bid by also bidding 14.
- If everyone passes, the dealer has to play the game as if he would have bid 6.
- After the round of bidding, the person with the highest bid selects the suit to play.
- All cards other than the chosen suit are discarded and laid down face up onto the middle of the table.
- Every player is dealt new cards so that he will have six in total. The dealer takes the rest of the deck.
- The dealer keeps six cards out of these in his hand.
- If now somebody has more than 6 cards in the selected suit, he has to discard cards so that only 6 cards remain. The discarded cards may not be a card with a point-value (please see the following table). The discarded card is laid face up onto the middle of the table and is declared “out-of-the-game” (or dead).
- The highest bidder starts to play out a card. Only the chosen suit can be played. Other cards are meaningless in this phase. They should only make it difficult for others to see how many cards of the chosen suit a player has.
- If a player does not have a card in the chose suit to play when the player should play a card, he lays all his remaining cards face up onto the middle of the table. This player is now “cold”.
- The highest card of each round wins all the points played during the round*. The played cards remain face up on the table in front of each player.
- The player with the highest card of the round starts the next round.
- Repeat last step until all cards of the chosen suit are played.
- If the points are higher or equal to the bid the team is credited with the taken points. If not, the team will suffer a penalty equal to the bid. The defending team keeps all the points it got in either case.
- Repeat until one team gets 62 points.
- If both teams happen to simultaneously get more than or equal to 62 points, the team that bid highest that round wins (even if the points are less than the other team).
*the player who owns the card with the lowest rank – the “2” – always gets one point.
The game is played with a normal 52-card deck without jokers. However, each suit has 14 cards. This is possible since the 5 is counted in both suits of the same color, i.e. the 5 of hearts counts both in hearts and diamonds and the 5 of clubs counts both in clubs and in spades. A 5 is called a ”Pidro”.
The ranking of the cards in the suit:
A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, Right 5, Wrong 5, 4, 3, 2
The ”Right 5” is the 5 of the same suit as the played suit, i.e. if hearts was chosen then the 5 of hearts is the right 5 and the 5 of diamonds the ”Wrong 5”. This means that the right 5 can take the wrong 5.
Each suit has 14 points, distributed like this: (Card, Point(s))
- A = 1 point
- J = 1 point
- 10 = 1 point
- 5 = 5 points
- 5 = 5 points
- 2 = 1 point
Since there are 14 points in a suit 14 is the maximum bid. The minimum bid is 6. If everybody passes the dealer has to play a bid of 6. Only the number of points is bid, the suit remains unknown until the highest bidder announces it (unlike Bridge where both the number of tricks and the suit are bid).
Some sample bids, x describing any card in the suit:
- A - bid 6 since you will get your partner’s Pidro if he has one, 1 + 5 = 6
- x x x x 5 5- bid 10 since your hand is long and probably nobody will be able to take the Pidros from you
- A Q x- bid 7 or 8. Start with the x and you have a fork to take the two next rounds and that hopefully will give you either two fives or a five and two points
Playing the bid
After the bidding the highest bidder chooses the suit. All other cards are discarded face up on the table. Each person is dealt new cards so each player ends up with six cards in his hand
The dealer combines the rest of the deck and his own cards and keeps six cards out of these in his hand. He knows how many cards of the suit each person had but nobody knows how many he had. In the case that some player has more than six cards of the suit he has to ”kill” one or more cards so he will have only six cards left. Killing means putting them face up onto the table and declaring that they are not part of the game. Cards worth points can not be killed.
The highest bidder chose the suit and starts playing the round. The highest of the round starts the next round.
The highest card of the round will take all the points in the trick, except the 2. The 2 is called the ”low”. The one point from the low is credited to the team playing the low. In other words it can not be taken. Don’t bid 14 without it…
If you have no more cards in the chosen suit you lay your cards face up onto the middle of the table. This fact you are only allowed to reveal on your turn. For example if you have two hearts, you are only allowed to throw your cards on your turn on the third round.
The team with cards left after everybody else has thrown their cards can keep all the points of the cards it has left.
Some tips for playing:
- If you have brutal cards, play brutally (A K Q etc.)
- Always play the Pidro if your partner has played the highest card available
- Block any attempt from the opponents to get a Pidro across (= you start low, opponent plays Pidro, your partner should play as high as possible not to let the other opponent cash in the Pidro)
- In a long hand leave the Pidro to the end, probably nobody has enough cards to take it from you. A Pidro as the fifth card is relatively safe.
- With a fork (A Q x) play low and let your partner take control so you can wait
- You will have only one or two chances to pass a Pidro across. As the person playing after the high bidder, play the Pidro if the opener gives you the chance (unless you have five cards)! The king does no good in your hand if you can not take a Pidro with it. A king played before the bidder is probably useless since the bidder is likely to have the ace. So play the K as second if you have it.
- In other words, as second play maximum high or Pidro if you get the chance. The chance will not come again.
- If the opener plays brutally there is nothing to do but to stay low and hope that he runs out of ammunition.
The points are recorded for each team. If the team got more than or equal number of points as the bid, the team is credited with the full amount of these points. If the team did not succeed to get as many points as the bid it will suffer a penalty equal to the bid. This is called ”to hole”. The defending team keeps all the points it got in either case.
The points from the play are added to (subtracted from) the cumulative points of the previous plays.
The team who first gets 62 points wins. However, in a situation where both teams reach 62 or more, the team who bid (and chose the suit for) the last play wins.
Whilst Pidro is not such a well known card game there are number of other more well known card games which people can try first to become familiar with playing cards. A popular choice is blackjack which you can now play online. This site here – has some nice resources for people wanting to try their hand at online blackjack including this guide for beginners as well as reviews of well established casinos such as Royal Vegas
A useful web portal that offers links to sites that offer blackjack games is www.casinoenligneclub.net, should you wish to play for free or real money then be sure to visit them first.
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