Belote and its many variants are among the most popular card games around the world, alongside tarot, bridge and poker. Learn the official rules of classic belote, download our FunBelote app and play online belote!
THE BASICS OF CLASSIC BELOTE
First, you will need a deck of 32 playing cards, from the 7 up to the Ace in each suit (Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and Clubs).
You will also need a partner since belote is played by four players divided into two partnerships sitting face-to-face at the table: North/South vs East/West. The distribution of the cards, bidding and card play are carried out counterclockwise.
HOW DO YOU PLAY A GAME OF BELOTE?
A game of classic belote is made up of several deals. A deal consists of 8 tricks (the number of cards held by each player).
The accepting side must make 82 points in order to fulfil their contract. Points add up game after game. The first team to reach the final score of 501 points wins the game.
Belote is divided into two main phases called “bidding” and “card play”.
The aim is to determine who will be the accepters and have to make their contract by reaching 82 points.
The cards are distributed in two goes. A player is chosen at random to become the “dealer”. In the first round of dealing, he gives 5 cards to each player.
Then one card is placed face-up in the middle of the table. This “face-up card” designates the trump suit.
The players take turns to speak, starting with the first player to the right of the dealer. They can either pass or decide to take the face-up card if the suit designated is of interest to them and they think they can achieve 82 points. He who takes that card is called the “accepter”. He and his teammate are then committed to making their contract.
The suit of the card collected becomes the trump suit for the duration of the game. It will always beat the other three suits.
The second stage is carried out with two extra deals dealt to the accepter (he who collects the face-up card) and three extra cards to the other players. Each participant should have a total of 8 cards in hand.
If no player has taken, the players speak in turn and can take and designate the trump suit they would like based on their own hand.
Again, if no player has taken, the round is over. The player sitting to the right of the dealer becomes the new dealer and is, in turn, charged with dealing the cards. And so on.
Card play starts once the bidding is over. A distinction must be made between the trump suit and the other suits. The trump suit will always prevail over the other three suits in the trick.
The order and value of the cards differ according to whether they are trump cards or non-trump cards.
In the trump suit, the Jack is worth 20 points, the 9 is worth 14 points, the Ace is 11 points, the 10 is 10 points, the King 4 points and the Queen 3 points. The 8 and 7 are not worth anything.
Non-trump cards don’t have the same value. The order of the cards is different too.
In No-Trumps, the Ace is worth 11 points, the 10 is 10 points, the King 4 points, the Queen 3 points and the Jack 2 points. The 9, 8 and 7 are not worth anything.
CLASSIC BELOTE: A FEW RULES TO FOLLOW
The aim of the game is the same for the accepters and the defenders: taking as many tricks as possible that will be added up when counting the points at the end of the game.
Card play: how do you score points in classic belote?
The player to the right of the dealer leads with the card of his choice. It can be a trump or a non-trump card. It is called the “lead”. The players must play a card of the same suit as the lead. The highest card wins the trick and the winner plays the first card to the next trick.
If a player can’t play a card from the required suit, he has to play a trump. He “trumps”.
If a player can’t follow suit or doesn’t have any trump, he can play whichever card he wants. He “discards”.
If the required suit is the trump suit, the players must play a higher-ranking card. If you don’t have any trump in your hand or your partner is already winning the trick, the game rules allow you to play a lower-ranking card.
End of deal: how points are counted in classic belote?
The deal is over when the players have played their 8 cards.
In order to determine if the accepting side has fulfilled their contract, you need to count the points scored by each team. They score points for each card won, plus possibly “bonus points”.
As a reminder, the accepting side must reach a total of 82 points. If they don’t, the opponents get 162 points and the accepting side is said to “go down”.
10 OF DER
The team that takes the last trick gets a 10-point bonus called “10 of der”.
BELOTE AND REBELOTE
When a player has the King and Queen of Trumps, he can play them in the order he wants and must announce “belote” and “rebelote”. His team will score extra points. This 20-point bonus cannot be taken away. The team announcing belote rebelote always gets it.
If one side wins all of the tricks on a deal, they make “capot” and score 252 points.
When both teams have equal scores on a deal, the points are “hanging”. The opposing side scores their points but those of the accepters are “hanging” and added to the points scored by the winners of the next deal. These points add up in case of another tie and hang over again to the next deal.
End of the game in classic belote
The first team to reach 501 points wins the game.
If both teams pass this treshold at the same time, the one with the highest score wins the game.
If there is a tie, both teams play a last deal to determine the winners.
You have made progress and you now want to learn the rules of coinche or belote contrée? You want to know more about the announcements, bidding systems and melds in these variants? Go to our funbelote.com site and consult our pages dedicated to the variants of classic belote!
Beginner or advanced player, join the large community of FunBelote players and play online belote or coinche for free! Download our mobile app, enjoy our free and unlimited “practice” mode and start a game of belote or coinche against Lancelot, our AI system. Batches of chips are offered each time a player account is opened or on referral to a friend. Come play against real players in multiplayer belote games, daily tournaments and duplicate challenges!
Try out this new game experience with FunBelote, the official app for all games of online belote! App available for mobiles and tablets (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) on the Google Play and Apple stores.