1902 Encyclopedia > Bezique


BEZIQUE, a game at cards (probably from Sp. besico, little kiss, in allusion to the meeting of the queen and knave, an important feature in the game). There is a group of card games which possess many features in com-mon. The oldest of these is mariage, then follow brn* quembille, l'homme de brou, briscan or brisque, and cinq-cents

Bezique (also called besi and besigue) appears to have been founded on these; it is, in fact, brisque played with a double pack, and with certain modifications rendered neces-sary by the introduction of additional cards.
In playing benque, two packs of cards from which the twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes have been rejected, are shuffled to-gether and used as one. The packs should have backs similarly coloured or ornamented.
The players cut for deal, and the highest bezique card deals. The cards rank as follows:—Ace, ten, king, queen, knave, nine, eight, seven.
The non-dealer cuts the pack to the dealer, who reunites the separated packets, and deals three cards to his adversary, three to himself, then two to each, and again three to each. The top card of those remaining (called the stock) is turned up for trumps. The stock is placed face downwards between the players, and slightly spread. The players then take up the cards dealt to them, and the non-dealer plays any card out of his hand, and the dealer plays a card to it from his hand, the two cards thus played constituting a trick. There is no restriction as to the card to be played; the second player need not follow suit, nor win the trick. If he wins the trick by playing a higher card of the suit led, or a trump, the lead falU to him. In case of ties the leader wins. "Whoever wins the trick leads to the next; but before playing again each player takes a card from the stock, and adds it to his hand, the winner of the trick taking the top card of those face downwards, and his adversary the next card. This alternate playing and drawing a card each continues until the stock (including the trump card or card exchanged for it, which is taken up last) is exhausted. The tricks remain face upwards on the table, but must not be searched during the play of the hand.
The objects of the play are—1. To promote in the hand various combinations of cards, which when declared entitle the holder to certain scores; 2. To win aces and tens; 3. To win the so-called last trick.
A declaration can only be made by the winner of a trick imme-diately after he has won it, and before he draws from the stock. It is effected by placing the declared cards (one of which at least must not have been declared before) face upwards on the table. Declared cards are left face up on the table ; but they still form part of the hand, and can be led or played just as though they had not been declared. A player is not bound to declare, although he may win a trick and hold scoring cards. A card led or played cannot be declared. More than one declaration may be made to one trick,
rovided no card of one combination forms part of another that is eclared with it. Thus four knaves and a marriage (see table of scores) may be declared at the same time ; but a player cannot de-clare king and queen of spades and knave of diamonds together to score marriage and bezique with those three cards. He must first declare one combination, say bezique; and when he wins another trick he can score marriage by declaring the king. A declaration cannot be made of cards that have already all been declared. Thus, if four knaves (one being a bezique knave) and four queens (one be-ing a bezique queen) have been declared, the knave and queen already declared cannot be declared again as bezique. To score all the combinations with these cards, after the knaves are declared aud another trick won, bezique must next be made, after which, on winning another trick, the three queens can be added, and four queens scored. Again, if a sequence in trumps is declared, marriage of the king and queen on the table cannot afterwards take place. To score both, the marriage should be declared first, and after win-ning another trick the remaining sequence cards should be added. Lastly, a card once declared can only be used again in declaring in combinations of a different class. For example : the bezique queen can be declared in bezique, marriage, and four queens ; but having once been declared in single bezique, she cannot form part of another single bezique ; having been married once, she cannot be married again ; and having taken part in one set of four queens, she cannot take part in another.
The seven of trumps may be either declared or exchanged for the turn-up after winning a trick, and before drawing. When ex-changed, the turn-up is taken into the player's hand, and the seven put in its place. The second seven is, of course, declared, as it would be absurd to exchange one seven for another. A seven when declared is not left on the table, but is simply shown.
Table of Bezique Scores.
Seven of trumps, turned up, dealer marks 10
Seven of trumps, declared or excnanged, player marks... 10
Marriage (king and queen of any suit) declared 20
trump suit depend on the first marriage declared. The turning up
Boyal marriage (king and queen of trumps) declared 40
Bezique* (queen of spades and knave of diamonds) de-
clared id
Double bizique (all the four bezique cards) declared 600
Four aces (any four, whether duplicates or not), declared 100
Four kings (any four) declared 80
Four queens (any four) declared 60
Four knaves (any four) declared 40
Sequence (ace, ten, king, queen, knave of trumps) de-
clared 250
Aces and tens,* in tricks, the winner for each one marks 10
Last trick, the winner marks 10
The winner of the last trick can declare anything in his hand (subject to the limitations with regard to declaring already ex-plained). After this all declarations cease. The winner of the last trick takes the last card of the stock, and the loser the turn up card (or seven exchanged for it). All cards on the table, that have been declared and not played, are taken up by their owners. The last eight tricks are then played, but the rules of play alter. The winner of the last trick leads. The second player must follow suit if able, and must win the trick if able, and. if not able to follow suit, he must win the trick if he can by trumping. The winner of the trick leads to the next. The tricks are only valuable for the aces and tens they may contain. If a player revokes in the last eight tricks, or does not win the card led, if able, the last eight tricks belong to his adversary.
When a deal is over, the non-dealer in the previous hand deals, and so on alternately until the game is won by one of the players reaching 1000. All the scores are reckoned by tens, but there is no reason why they should not be reckoned by units, the game in that case being 100 up. The score may be kept by means of a bezique board and pegs, or by a numbered dial and hand, or by counters.
PENALTIES.—If the dealer gives too few cards the number must be completed from the stock, or the non-dealer, not having looked at his cards, may have a fresh deal.
If the dealer gives his adversary too many cards the player who has too many must not draw until his number is reduced to seven.
If the dealer gives himself too many cards the non-dealer may draw the surplus cards and add them to the stock, unless the dealer has looked at his hand, when he is liable to the penalty for playing with nine cards (infra).
A card exposed in dealing gives the adversary the option of a fresh deal.
If a player draws out of his turn, and the adversary discovers the error before he draws, he may add 20 to his score, or deduct 20 from his adversary's.
If the winner of a trick when drawing lifts two cards, the adver-sary may have them exposed, and take Ms choice. If the loser of a trick lifts two cards, the adversary may look at the one improperly lifted, and at the next draw that card and the next are turned face up, and the player not in fault has his choice of them.
If a player plays with seven cards his adversary may add 20 to his own score, or deduct 20 from the offender's. The player with a card short must take two cards at his next draw.
If at any time during the play of the hand one player is found to hold nine cards, the other having but eight, the adversary of the player with nine cards may add 200 to his own score, or deduct 200 from the offender's. The player with nine cards must play to the next trick without drawing.
8 When clubs or hearts are trumps, the bezique cards are queen of spades and knave of diamonds. When spades or diamonds are tramps, the bezique cards are queen of clubs and knave of hearts. Some players object to this alteration, but it is a great improvement to the game.
* If single bezique is declared first, and then the two other bezique cards added, 500 is scored in addition to the 40 already scored ; but if all four are declared together only 500 can be scored, and not 540.
4 The winner of a trick containing two aces or two tens, or one of each, of course marks 20. The best plan is to score aces and tens immediately they are won ; but some players only score them at the end of the hand. When this mode is adopted, the winner of a trick con-taining an ace or ten takes the tricks on the table and turns them face downwards in front of himself, and after the hand is over looks through his packet to ascertain the number of aces and tens it contains. When scoring in this way it occasionally happens that both players can score out, in which case precedence is given to the winner of the so-called last trick.
5 The so-called last trick is the last before the stock is exhausted. When two cards of the stock, viz., the trump and another card, remain on the table, the player winning the trick is said to win the

When a card is led out of turn, if all the other players play to it, the error cannot be rectified.
THKEB AND FOUR HANDED BEZIQUE.— When three play, three packs are used together. All play against each other. The dealer deals to his left; the player first dealt to has the first lead. The rotation of dealing goes to the left. A second double bezique, counting 500, may be declared to a bezique on the table, which has already been used for double bezique. Triple bezique scores 1500. All the cards of the triple bezique must be on the table at the same time and unplayed to a trick. All may be declared together, or a double bezique may be added to a single one, or a third bezique may be added to a double bezique already declared. The game is 2000 up. In play-ing the last eight tricks, the third hand, if not able to follow suit, nor to win the trick by trumping, may throw away any card he pleases.
When four play, four packs are shuffled together and used as one. The players may score independently, or they may play as partners. A second double bezique or triple bezique may be scored as before ; to form them the beziques may be declared from the hand of either partner. A player may declare when he or his partner takes a trick. In playing the last eight tricks, the winner of the last trick and the adversary to his left play their cards against each other, and then the other two similarly play theirs.
HINTS TO PLATERS.—The following hints, which merely touch on the elements of the play, may assist the beginner :—
The lead is, as a rule, disadvantageous. Therefore do not win the trick unless—(1) you want to declare ; or (2) you wish to make an ace or ten of the suit led ; or (3) an ace or a ten is led which you desire to win.
Sevens, eights, and nines in plain suits are valueless. In trumps they should be kept to obtain the lead with. It is very important to keep one small trump in hand if possible. Knaves also are of but little value (except bezique and trump knaves), and may be thrown away freely.
It is of more importance to win aces and tens or to make tricks with them than at first sight appears. Experienced players prefer a number of small scores to sacrificing them for the chance of a large one. Therefore it is not considered good play as a rule to go for four aces unless you have three, and are in no difficulty as to your play. Rather make tricks with the aces, and especially capture tens with them. Whenever you are second player, and can win a trick with a ten, take it, except in trumps, of which the ten is kept for sequence.
When in difficulties, lead an ace or a ten in preference to a king or queen. As a rule, if you try for aces, you have to sacrifice some other score, and are pretty sure to lose some of the aces after declar-ing them.
I f driven to lead an ace or a ten, and your opponent does not win it, lead another.
Endeavour to recollect in what suits the aces and tens have been played, so that, when leading, you may choose suits of which the most aces and tens are out. Similarly, if your adversary declares aces, avoid leading the suits of the declared aces ; and, in discard-ing, retain those cards which are least likely to be taken by aces and tens.
Having a choice between playing a possible scoring card, or a small trump, or a card that you have declared, generally play the last so as to conceal your hand.
Do not part with a sequence card early in the hand, even if you have a duplicate, as playing it shows that you are likely to hold the duplicate, and you thus free your opponent's game, as he will im-mediately use his trump sequence cards to win all the aces and tens you lead.
Also, do not part with bezique cards until near the end of the hand, even after declaring bezique, because by so doing you give up all chance of double bezique. If you draw or hold a third bezique card, sacrifice everything, even sequence cards, for the chance of a double bezique.
Avoid declaring combinations which show your adversary that he cannot make sequence or double bezique. By keeping him in the dark you hamper his game, and are very likely to cause him to refrain from trumping your aces or tens. For example, if early in the hand you hold two trump queens and two bezique queens, you should postpone declaring them as long as possible, or even sacrifice the score altogether.
You may often judge during the play of the hand what combina-tions your adversary is going for. Thus, if he discards kings he is probably strong in queens, and vice versa. If in doubt as to whether you should keep kings or queens, you of course choose the combina-tion he is not trying for. With attention and experience it is surprising how much may be inferred as to your adversary's game, and how gTeatly your own line of play may be thus directed.
It is as a rule right to win the last trick, in order to prevent the adversary from declaring, for which purpose lead the ace of trumps. When within a few tricks of the end of the hand, you may often prevent your opponent from scoring sequence by leading out your high trumps.
In playing the last eight tricks your object is simply to make as many aces and tens as you can, and to win those of your adversary.
POLISH BEZIQUE (also called Open Bezique and Fild-niski) differs from ordinary bezique in tbe following par-ticulars :—
Whenever a scoring card is played, the winner of the trick places it face upwards in front of him (the same with both cards if two scoring cards are played to a trick), forming rows of aces, kings, queens, knaves, and trump tens (called open cards). Cards of tne same denomination are placed overlapping one another lengthwise from the player towards his adversary to economise space. When a scoring card is placed among the open cards, all the sevens, eights, nines, and plain suit tens in the tricks are turned down. Open cards cannot be played a second time, and can only be used in de-claring. Whether so used or not they remain face upwards on the table until the end of the hand, including the last eight tricks. A player can declare after winning a trick and before drawing again, when the trick won contains a card or cards, which added to his open cards complete any combination that scores. Every declara-tion must include a card played to the trick last won. Aces and tens must be scored as soon as won, and not at the end of the hand. The seven of trumps can be exchanged by the winner of the trick iontaining it; and if the turn-up card is one that can be used in declaring, it becomes an open card when exchanged. The seven of trumps when not exchanged is scored for by the player winning the trick containing it.
Compound declarations are allowed, i.e., cards added to the open cards can at once be used, without waiting to win another trick, in as many combinations of different classes as they will form with the winner s open cards. For example : A has three open kings, and he wins a trick containing a king. Before drawing again he places the fourth king with the other three, and scores 80 for kings. This is a simple declaration. But suppose the card led was the queen of trumps, and A wins it with the king, and he has the following open cards—three kings, three queens, and ace, ten, knave of trumps. He at once declares royal marriage (40); four kings (80); four queens (60) ; and sequence (250) ; and scores in all, 430. Again: ace of spades is turned up, and ace of hearts is led. The second player has two open aces, and wins the ace of hearts with the seven of trumps and exchanges. He scores for the exchange, 10 ; for the ace of hearts, 10 ; for the ace of spades, 10 ; and adds the aces to his open cards, and scores 100 for aces ; in all, 130. If a declara-tion or part of a compound declaration is omitted, and the winner of the trick draws again, he cannot amend his score.
The ordinary rule holds that a second declaration cannot be made of a card already declared in the same class. Thus : a queen once married cannot be married again ; a fifth king added to four already declared does not entitle to another score for kings.
The fundamental point to be borne in mind is, that no declara-tion can be effected by means of cards held in the hand. Thus: A having three open queens and a queen in hand cannot add it to his open cards. He must win another trick containing a queen, when he can declare queens.
Declarations continue during the play of the last eight tricks just the same as during the play of the other cards.
The game is 2000 up. After each deal it is advisable to shuffle thoroughly ; otherwise a number of small cards will run together in the stock, and impair the interest of the game. It is also advisable to adopt the change in the bezique cards recommended for ordinary bezique, otherwise the scores of one hand may run very high, and of the other very low, which spoils the game. The lead is even more disadvantageous than at ordinary bezique. It is important not to lead cards that can be won by bezique cards. It is often advisable to win with a high card though able to win with a low one ; thus having king, nine of a suit of which the eight is led, if you win the trick, you should take it with the king. It is not of so much consequence to win aces and tens (especially the latter) as at ordinary bezique. It is a difficult point in the game to decide whether to win tricks with sequence cards, on the chance of eventually scoring sequence, or to reserve trumps for the last eight tricks. As a rule, if the hand is well advanced, and you are badly ofl in trumps, win tricks with sequence cards, and especially if you have duplicate sequence cards make them both. If badly off in trumps towards the end of a hand, and your adversary may win double bezique, keep in hand an ace or ten of the bezique suits, as when it comes to the last eight tricks (in which suit must be followed), you may prevent the score of double bezique.
GRAND BEZIQUE (also called Chinese Bezique) is played like ordinary bezique, except as follows :—
Four packs are shuffled together and used as one, and nine cards are dealt to each player, by three at a time to each. When a com-bination is declared, and one of the cards composing it is played away, another declaration can be completed (after winning a trick) with the same cards. Thus: A declares four aces, and uses one to win a trick, or throws one away. A has a fifth ace in hand and wins a

trick, he can add it to the three remaining declared aces, and score
four aces again, and so on. Marriages can be declared over and over
again ; thus king, queen of hearts are declared, and the player draws
another king of hearts. He plays the declared king and wins the trick,
he can then marry the queen again. Some players object to this,
calling it bigamy ; but if only permitted after the declared king is
played, it is not bigamy, but the marriage of a widow. Bezique
follows the same rule : if, say, the knave is played away, another
knave makes another bezique ; and so on with double and triple
bezique, if the former declared cards which remain unplayed can be
matched from cards in hand to make the requisite combinations.
Sequence can be declared over and over again, and compound
declarations made among the declared cards are now generally
allowed. The sevens of trumps do not count, nor does the last
trick, oi at all events these only count by agreement. The game
is 3000 up. The great points to aim at are to declare four aces or
sequence, which can then be declared over and over again, if fresh
aces or sequence cards are taken into hand (the duplicate sequence
cards being first played away). "With fair chance of sequence every-
thing else, even aces or chance of double bezique, should be sacri-
ficed. (H. J.)


Some players do not turn up a card for trumps, but make the
rule is the best.
last trick, notwithstanding that there are still eight tricks to be played.

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-21 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries