Belote glossary: what to say, when and how
Learn to speak belote! You will find in this article the terminology common to all games of belote, but also specific terms used in the many existing variants.
Basic terminology used by belote players
You can’t start a game of belote without knowing the basic terminology or the expressions below. Here is a list of words you need to know before sitting at a table with experienced belote players!
10 of der
The last trick of a round. The team that wins it gets a bonus of 10 extra points, hence the name.
The player who took the previous trick must play the first card to the next trick. The player sitting at the dealer’s left starts the deal.
Belote is made up of the King and Queen of Trumps. The player who holds these two cards must say “belote” when playing the King and “rebelote” when playing the Queen.
In a game of coinche or belote contrée, each participant speaks in turn and decides whether he wants to take or not. If he takes, he has to announce a trump suit and the value of the contract. The player who makes the highest bid wins the bidding phase.
A signal sent to your teammate to tell him which suit you would like him to play. It may be “direct” (the player plays a card of the suit he wants to show preference for) or “indirect” (the player plays a card of the suit he wants to show discouragement for). Signaling is key to game tactics and understanding between the players of the same team.
Announcement by which you commit to taking all the tricks of a round.
A synonym of “contract amount”.
(1) Dealing of the cards: the deal is over when the last card is distributed according to the rules of the type of belote played. In some variants (coinche and belote contrée), the cards are dealt in one go, which differs from classic belote where a card is turned face up and each player decides whether to accept it as the trump suit or whether to pass.
The player who deals the cards at the beginning of the round.
Declarer, Accepter, Taker
The player who wins the accepting phase (or the bidding phase in coinche and belote contrée) and commits to fulfilling the contract he bid.
Opponents of the accepting side (defenders vs accepters).
Usually play proceeds in clockwise direction. However, some players agree to play in anticlockwise direction.
Discard, Pitch, Ditch, Shake
By extension, underruff: to ruff with a trump lower than one already played by the opposing side.
Card turned face up by the dealer once he deals the first round of cards. It determines the trump suit in classic belote.
A game of belote is made up of several rounds and lasts until one of the teams attains the final score set at the beginning of the game.
Go down, Be “inside”
When the accepting side fails to make its contract. The points go to the opponents.
The cards held by a player.
First card played to a trick.
To play a card that will bring in points when your teammate has master cards.
A suit in which four or more cards are held.
To commit to fulfilling a contract. To make its contract, the accepting side needs to attain a minimum of 82 points in classic belote or the number of points announced in coinche and belote contrée.
The order of the cards according to their value (i.e. the number of points each card is worth, whether it is a trump card or not).
To give up taking or bidding higher on the contract value announced by a previous player.
A unit by which the value of the cards, tricks, rounds and the total score of each team are evaluated. The values of the cards won by each team are added up to get the total number of points in a round. Announcements also bring in points depending on the variant played.
Bonus points given for capot or 10 of der at the end of the round.
When you fail to follow suit when able to. If this is a deliberate error, it is considered as cheating.
A round is made up of 8 tricks and ends when the 32 cards have been played.
(2) Can also refer to the order in which a player sorts his cards: in the normal way to assess his hand and make announcements or trump cards vs non-trump cards.
One of the three suits led – other than the trump suit – in a round.
A collection of four cards, one contributed by each player at the table. A trick is won by the player who plays the highest card of the suit initially led.
Belote is a trick-taking game. It means that it belongs to a group of card games where players put down one card in turn on the table. He who plays the highest card collects the other three, forming a pile that he raises and places in front of him.
With master cards, the trump suit prevails over the other three suits in a deck of cards. It is designated during the accepting phase either by the face-up card or by the accepter among the four suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, Clubs).
Belote glossary: specific vocabulary
You want to expand your belote vocabulary? Some words from the list below are only used in certain of the main variants of the game. Others are very specific and only known to experienced players.
According to the official rules of coinche and belote contrée, a player can bid in All-Trumps. All the cards are then played based on their order and value in a trump suit.
When a player announces the combinations he holds in his hand, allowing him to score extra points in belote games with announcements. A combination is made up of consecutive cards. For example, tierce, square, fifty, hundred.
In two- and three-player belote, name given to the last card of the remaining pile (i.e. after the cards have been dealt to the players and the face-up card has been shown) that is turned face up after the deal for information purposes.
Double (or coinche) / Redouble (or surcoinche)
These words are used in belote contrée (or coinche). A defending player can double the accepter if he thinks that he will not make his contract. The accepter can respond by redoubling, claiming again that he intends to fulfil his contract.
The attempt to gain power for lower-ranking cards and win a trick by taking advantage of the favorable position of higher-ranking cards held by the opposition.
A suit in which five cards are held. This expression can be adapted to the number of cards. For example, four-card suit.
To play a card of the same suit as the one led.
To play a card higher than those already on the table.
A non-master card protecting a higher card of the same suit.
According to the official rules of coinche and belote contrée, a player can bid in No-Trumps, in which case players have to play without a trump suit in the round.
(1) A synonym of “following suit”.
(2) To respond to a signal sent by your partner.
Play for the drop
This expression is used to refer to a play lacking subtlety based on leading directly the highest cards to draw trumps and establish the long suits.
Put back on lead
To play a low card intentionally to see the opponent take the trick and oblige him to attack.
Opener’s second bid made only after his partner has bid. Term used in coinche and belote contrée.
A suit is said to be self-sufficient when a player holds all the major cards in it.
Two or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order of rank.
(1) To count up the points of each team in a game.
(2) The way points are counted up in bridge.
A holding of one card in a suit.
(1) Tactics forcing your opponent to unguard by playing a master card to take it on the trick and to bump up your own score thanks to this discard.
(2) The action of squeezing a player.
A non-sequential holding. A combination of a high card and a lower card where the opponents hold the card(s) in-between.
When both teams have equal scores, the points are “hanging”.
On FunBelote, in that case, the opposing side scores its points but those of the accepting side are “hanging” and added to the points won by the winners on the next deal. These points add up in case of another tie and hang over again, and so forth.
Top cards have the highest value in a suit.
To underestimate your hand. This is often a rookie mistake!
When you are obliged to throw the guards protecting a higher card, though not a master card.
Vocabulary used by online belote apps
Since there are as many players playing face-to-face belote as players playing on a smartphone or a tablet today, here are some useful expressions to get familiar with this new way of playing belote! You will find below a selection of words used by belote apps to make your first online game on FunBelote easy.
Platform where you can download online game apps like FunBelote, which is available for Apple (iOS) as well as Android and Windows Phone devices from the Apple Store and the Google Play store respectively.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Algorithm developed to mimic human behavior. Lancelot, FunBelote’s AI system, plays with and/or against you depending on the game mode selected. Come try a new game experience against a robot!
Virtual currency used in the FunBelote app.
Every day pit your skills against other players from all over the world in a 10-deal tournament! The aim is to reach the top of the rankings.
Totally novel for an online belote game, the duplicate mode developed by FunBelote reproduces an identical setup for all participants: the same deals, same team and same seat at the table. It gives all players an equal footing in belote tournaments and challenges.
Covers the different ways a user can play belote. FunBelote offers several game modes: practice, multiplayer, challenges and daily tournaments.
Multiplayer belote games allow several human players to gather in an online game and play simultaneously.
The creation of an online account to be able to log in to the app and enjoy all the advantages of a personalized profile (saving your preferences, tracking your progress, playing on several devices…).
You want to play online belote? Download FunBelote, the official belote and coinche app, for free!
FunBelote is aimed at all players, whatever their level. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, join our community of players now and start a game of belote! You can practice, play a multiplayer game or a challenge in duplicate format.
Rank among the top 50 players of our daily belote tournaments (classic belote, coinche or belote contrée) and try to win free chips!
Sets of chips are on offer for any new player account or for referrals to your friends!