In belote games, when both teams achieve the exact same score, there is a tie. Don’t worry, it remains the exception and the official rules of belote even cover such situations to make sure the four players sitting at the table continue to enjoy playing together in such a case. You will find more explanations below.
Tie and point counting in a game of belote
First, you have to count the points for the tricks taken by each team: accepters vs defenders.
In belote, the total number of points in a game is 162, including the bonus points for taking the last trick (10 of der).
Let’s start with a little reminder of good practices for counting points.
In a game of classic belote, the accepting side must make their contract. It means that they must reach at least 82 points. If they don’t, they go down.
To get the score of a team in a game, you need to add the value of each card taken by each partnership.
Here is the value of all the suits you can find in a deck of cards in belote.
Trump cards don’t have the same value as the other cards of the deck.
- 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 7 and 8 are of equal rank and are not worth anything.
- 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.
By adding up the tricks taken by each team (plus 10 points to the team winning the last trick), you get their final score. And there is a tie when both teams have equal scores.
You will find out how to defuse any conflict and stay good friends right here in this article ☺
How do you break the tie in belote?
The rules of belote clearly mention ties and explain what to do when it happens in a game.
The exact meaning of a tie
Here are the official rules from the French Belote Federation (FFB):
If the teams have the exact same score (e.g. 81 all out of the 162 points in total), there is a “tie”.
Such a situation can also happen after the bonus points for melds (square, tierce, hundred, fifty) and announcements (belote rebelote, capot) are accounted for.
In any case, as soon as the accepters and their opponents end up with the same score at the end of the game, they “tie”.
So, what should you do in such a case in belote or coinche?
The rule to follow in case of a tie in belote
Here is the rule to follow, still according to the FFB:
In case of a tie, the defenders score their points but those of the accepting side are “hanging” and will be given as bonuses to the winners of the next deal.
Got it? In case of a tie, the team which didn’t take the trump suit scores the points they have achieved in the game, whereas the points that the accepting side should have scored will be added to the points achieved by the next accepting side provided that they make the contract announced, of course.
As you can see, a tie adds spice to the game! Deprived from their points, the accepting side will be doubly motivated on the next deal! And they have every interest in taking, even if it is risky with bad hands…
Tie in belote: a practical case study to better understand how it works
To make it clearer, here is a practical case.
In a game of classic belote, four players are divided into two teams: the team led by the Jack of Clubs, Lancelot, facing the team led by the Queen of Clubs, Argine.
The dealer distributes the cards. Five cards (3+2) are dealt out to each player.
After the first round of dealing, the face-up card designating the trump suit is placed in the middle of the table and can be seen by all players.
Each player has 5 cards in hand and the bidding phase begins.
Lancelot’s partner is the first player to speak. He decides to take the face-up card and wins the bidding.
Argine’s team becomes the defense.
The players receive three more cards each and the game proceeds.
The points are counted up and both teams score exactly the same number of points, i.e. 81 each. This is a tie.
In that case, Argine’s team adds 81 points to their total score and Lancelot’s team scores 0 since their 81 points are “hanging”!
On the next round, Lancelot and his partner, who really want to score these 81 extra points, are the accepters again.
At the end of the game, there are two possible scenarios:
- Lancelot’s team wins. They score their points (according to the bid contract) + 81 points from the previous game.
- Lancelot’s team goes down. Argine’s team gets 162 points for this game + 81 points from the previous one, i.e. 243 points in total!
Is there any other way to deal with a tie in a game of belote?
Why not… Anyway, think about agreeing the rules on this with the other players at the table before starting a game!
Indeed, there are official rules. Make sure that all participants are aware of them and follow the same rules to avoid any issues while playing. There is nothing worse than debating the rules in the middle of a game of belote, causing disagreements and arguments…
Feel free to lay your cards on the table from the beginning and share your rules. But stay open-minded about other practices! You will learn new things to improve your play and get a chance to test your skills. You should always enjoy playing belote with others, whether they are beginners or experienced players.
If you take part in belote contests held by a club or online, make sure you read the rules sheet before you start playing. You will avoid nasty surprises!
And if you don’t want to deal with ties, why not play a game of online belote? Our FunBelote app will calculate the score of each participant sitting at the table and follow the official rules!
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See you soon on FunBelote!