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Pidro rules

Pidro for three persons

Many have tried to play Pidro by three persons when the fourth has been missing. Most 3-person versions are quite poor, like the one where the dummy player plays his cards by random.

A three person version of Pidro that actually works quite well

The main idea of this version is that the highest bidder of the round plays with the dummy against the two other persons. The highest bidder will be the player that controls the dummy in the playing phase for that round. The dummy can not bid. All the dummy's cards are revealed when he plays his first card. Other than that the standard rules of Pidro are used with some modifications to the scoring.

Here is a short example how it plays out. The dealer deals cards normally assuming that the dummy sits on the position as his partner. The player to the left starts the bidding, lets say 8. The dummy does not participate in the bidding and nobody is allowed to look at his cards yet. The player on the right from the dealer bids 9 and the dealer passes. Hearts is chosen.

The highest bidder partners with the dummy. The dummy's hand is placed opposite to the highest bidder. And the two other players form a temporary team against the bidder and the dummy. Players now buy new cards normally. The player next in position after the dummy looks at the dummy's hand and discards all non hearts from the dummy's hand so it will be known to all how many hearts (but not which) the dummy had before buying new cards and completing his hand to six cards. The player after the dummy has seen the dummy's hand but he can not reveal this to anybody else. Since he plays after the dummy it does not matter that he has seen the dummy's hand. The rest of the players buy cards normally.

So now the bidder opens play. The player to the left of the bidder now plays normally. On the dummy's turn all the dummy's cards are revealed and the bidder decides which card the dummy plays. From here on the game continues normally, the bidder controlling how the dummy plays.


All three players score individually since the teams shift each round according to the bidding. In the example, lets say the bidder succeded in scoring more points than his bid say 12-2. The bidder then scores 12 points and both opponents score 2 points each. The aim is to collect 62 or more points as usual. However, to win you need to bid and succeed in taking your bid and as a consequence ending up with 62 or more points. Just having 62 or more points is not enough. You can not win without being the highest bidder even if you would have collected 90 points from your opponents' misfortunes and you can not win by bidding and not succeeding in taking your bid even if you would end up with 62 or more points after your negative score.

This winning condition can turn out to be quite tricky when all three players have a lot of points. Since bidding is the precondition for winning, the bids can rise very high at the end and lead to situations that are quite rare in normal pidro. This gives this version a specific flavor of its own.

Copyright 2018. Carl Stenholm, Niklas Indola

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