Rules of belote contrée

How do you play belote contrée according to the official rules of the game?

Wrongly associated with coinche, belote contrée is a full variant of belote. Dealing of the cards, accepting phase, contract, trump, double and redouble, card play and counting of points… You will find all the details right here in this article. 

Starting a game of belote contrée

To play a game of belote contrée, you will need a deck of 32 playing cards, from the 7 up to the Ace in each suit (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs).

As in many variants of belote, contrée is played by four players divided into two teams. At the table, the accepters are sitting facing their opponents.

A game of belote contrée is made up of deals consisting of several phases: distribution, accepting phase, card play and

announcements.

The aim is to score a total number of points higher than that of the opposing side.

How a game of belote contrée progresses

The dealing of the cards

The cards are necessarily shuffled before being dealt out.

The dealer takes the playing cards, shuffles them, shows the deck face down to the player on his left who cuts the cards. Then the dealer collects the cut cards and places them on the top of the deck.

The first player designated to distribute the cards is selected at random.

The dealing is carried out counterclockwise as follows:

  • 3 cards are dealt in the first round of dealing, 2 more in the second round and again 3 cards in the last round of the table (the order may be different). Each player must have a total of 8 cards in hand.
  • Distributing 1 or 4 cards in one go is strictly prohibited.

The bidding and contract

The players each speak in turn, starting with the one to the right of the dealer.

Each player can:

  • either pass,
  • or make a bid between 80 and 160 or announce a capot.

In case a team announces a capot, they will have to win all of the 8 tricks.

Each player can raise the previous bid by 10 minimum. Once a contract has been bid, it cannot be cancelled.

First, you announce the value of the contract (80, 90, 100…), then the suit (Spades, Hearts…). For instance, “80 Spades”.

The players each receive 8 cards from the start. So there is no face-up card designating the trump suit. Here it is designated by the team bidding the highest contract.

Note that there is an implicit communicative code allowing players to communicate with their partners during the bidding phase in order to tell them that they have a good hand or not. To find out more, read our article “Everything you need to know to play belote contrée well“.

Order and value of the cards in the trump suit:

20 points
14 points
11 points
10 points
4 points
3 points
0 point

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.

Order and value of the cards in No-Trumps:

11 points
10 points
4 points
3 points
2 points
0 point

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.

Bidding no-trumps or all-trumps

The players can also play either in No-Trumps or All-Trumps.

They can decide to take in “No-Trumps” rather than choosing a trump suit among all the suits.

No-Trumps

When you play a deal in “No-Trumps”, there is no trump card.

It is therefore impossible to ruff with a trump or announce “belote and rebelote”.

Value of the cards in No-Trumps:

19 points
10 points
4 points
3 points
2 points
0 point

The Ace is worth 19 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.

All-Trumps

Unlike in No-Trumps, when you play a deal in “All-Trumps”, all the cards that are played are considered trumps.

Again, it is therefore impossible to ruff with a trump. All the suits are the same value.

You can announce belote rebelote up to four times in a game played in All-Trumps and score up to 80 extra points.

Value of the cards in All-Trumps:

13 points
9 points
6 points
5 points
3 points
2 points
0 point

The Jack is worth 13 points, the 9 is worth 9 points, the Ace is 6 points, the 10 is 5 points, the King 3 points and the Queen 2 points. The 8 and 7 are not worth anything.

Double and redouble

Doubling your opponent’s bid is like daring the accepter to fulfil his contract. To double, you have to say “I double” and you can’t double without announcing it.

The accepter or his teammate can redouble if one of them thinks that he can make the contract announced in the bidding.

Extra points for a double:

  • Points achieved: In case a contract is doubled, when the game or tournament is played by points achieved, the double and redouble are worth 320 and 640 points respectively.
  • Points announced: In case a contract is doubled, when the game or tournament is played by points announced, the double is worth twice the value of the bid (if the bid is 120, both teams get 240 points).

The play of the cards

After the bidding, the accepter and his partner will try to make their contract.

The player to the right of the dealer chooses one card, which designates the suit for the trick.

If coinche includes several announcements (square, hundred, fifty and tierce), the only one you can make during a game of belote contrée is belote rebelote.

Once the points for announcements have been counted up, the play of the cards goes ahead according to the same principles as in classic belote.

As a reminder:

  • The values of the cards vary between the trump suit and the other suits.
  • You must play a card in the same suit as the one led or ruff with a trump if you do not have any.
  • The strongest card wins the trick.
  • When the led suit is a trump, the players must play a higher trump unless they do not have one or their partner is currently winning the trick.

End of the deal: how do you count up the points in contrée?

There are three ways to carry out the counting of points scored during a game of contrée: by points achieved, by points announced, and even by points achieved + announced.

Points achieved

  1. Contract fulfilled

The accepter scores the number of points achieved on the deal.

The accepting side must score more points or as many as bid.

Belote rebelote guarantees to make the contract.

Once counted up, the points are rounded down to the nearest 10 if the last figure is 1-4 and rounded up to the nearest 10 if the last figure is 5-9. (Rounded points don’t allow to make the contract. If a team announced 90 points and achieves 89, they go down.)

The defender scores the number of points achieved on the deal.

  1. Contract not fulfilled

If the team with the contract doesn’t fulfil it, they score 0 and the opposing side scores 160.

Belote rebelote is not guaranteed. It will go to the defenders if the team with the contract fails.

  1. Double and redouble

A double and a redouble are worth 320 and 640 points respectively. 20 points are added for belote rebelote, taking the value of a double and a redouble to 340 and 660.

  1. Capot

A non-announced capot is worth 250 points.
A capot which is announced and made or failed is worth 500 points.
A doubled capot is worth 1000 points.
A redoubled capot is worth 2000 points.

The team announcing a capot keeps their points for belote rebelote, no matter what happens.

The team announcing a capot but not making it loses their points for belote rebelote.

Points announced

  1. Contract fulfilled

The accepter scores the number of points announced during the bidding. If the number of points achieved is higher than the number of points announced, the extra points are not accounted for.

In case the contract is fulfilled, the defender scores 0 points.

  1. Contract not fulfil

If the team with the contract doesn’t fulfil their contract, they score 0 and the opposing side scores 160.

  1. Double and redouble

In case of a double, the contract value is doubled. In case of a redouble, the contract value is quadrupled.

Example: The contract is 90 to a suit. If it is doubled, the team winning the deal gets 180 points. If it is redoubled, they get 360 points.

  1. Capot

A non-announced capot is worth nothing more than the bid contract.
A capot which is announced and made is worth 250 points.
A doubled capot is worth 500 points.
A redoubled capot is worth 1000 points.

Points achieved + points announced

  1. Contract fulfilled

The accepter scores the number of points achieved on the deal + their contract points.

Example : 80 points announced + 110 points achieved = 190 points scored in total.

  • The accepting side must score more points or as many as bid.
  • Belote rebelote guarantees to make the contract.
  • Once counted up, the points achieved are rounded down to the nearest 10 if the last figure is 1-4 and rounded up to the nearest 10 if the last figure is 5-9. (Rounded points don’t allow to make the contract. If a team announced 90 points and achieves 89 points, they go down.)
  • The defenders score the points achieved on the deal.
  1. Contract not fulfilled

If the team with the contract fails, they score 0 and the opposing team scores 160 + the value of the bid contract.

  1. Double and redouble

If the accepter makes his contract, he scores (160 points + the points announced) x 2.

If he fails, the defender scores (160 points + the points announced) x 2.

  1. Capot

A non-announced capot is worth 250 points + the contract points.
A capot which is announced and made or failed is worth 500 points.
A doubled capot is worth 1000 points.
A redoubled capot is worth 2000 points.

The team announcing a capot keeps their points for belote rebelote, no matter what happens.

The team announcing a capot but not making it loses their points for belote rebelote.

You can also find the official rules of classic and coinche belote on our funbelote.com website!

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