Tips from the FunBelote ambassadors: Alexandre and belote contrée

Interview of Alexandre: belote player and ambassador of our online belote app

At the heart of our FunBelote app, we have real players who are passionate about belote and coinche! Meet Alexandre, who has been a belote player for many years and is an active member of the FunBelote community. For this reason, it seemed clear to us that he should become an ambassador for FunBelote by sharing his tips and tricks with you.

We made the most of this by asking him some questions about his favorite card game: belote contrée… 

Alexandre, you’re our new ambassador! Could you tell us your belote story?

Hello to the FunBelote community! My name is Alexandre, I’m French and, as you can see from the video I’ve posted on the @FunBelote Facebook account, I started playing belote when I was 6 years old! It was my grandfather, an experienced belote player, who taught me the official rules and gave me my first taste of the game. He also taught me how to play tarot but having three, four or five players at the table will always make belote my favorite game!

So your passion for belote has never left you?

No, never! In fact, it’s quite the opposite! At first, I only played as a family with my father, brother and grandfather until I moved to Lille, where I went to business school.

My student friends and I realized that we all enjoyed this card game and belote quickly became a regular part of our evenings. After class, as soon as one of us started to ask “Who’s up for a game of belote?”, we would need to respond “Me!” very quickly, as spaces were short. Because belote is a four-player game, there would only be three available spaces each time. And everyone wanted to play!

Whenever we had eight players, that would be perfect for making up two tables. And so on… The more participants, the more tables!

And I remember some mini-tournaments that we organized between us. We were 16 players, therefore making up 8 pairs. We moved up and down the tables depending on how well we were doing and, I tell you, it was tense. When one of us played the wrong card or one team took a capot, it was war. Although I’d started playing belote from a young age, it was here that I started playing seriously and becoming a real competitor.

Anyway, even though we liked to win, the whole thing stayed friendly! A true little student club for belote, complete with drinks ☺

Now, 10 years after finishing business school, when I meet up with my belote-playing friends, there is never a card game too far away. And, honestly, there’s nothing better than a game of belote with friends.

What do you like about belote?

Well, I like belote because it’s anything but a game of chance! You must count the cards, without fail, in order to know which card to play next. It’s a real game of logic.

But the feature I like most about classic or coinche belote is that you play as a partnership. Belote is the only card game (aside from bridge) where you have a partner.

This teamwork aspect brings more strategy and communication into the game. And this is even more true of coinche, since you can communicate more easily via the bidding and implement a game plan.

After more than 20 years of playing traditional belote, I discovered belote contrée when I made my debut in Parisian tournaments just over 2 years ago. And it was at that moment that the game took a new turn for me.

Can you define belote contrée in a few words? 

Basically, it’s like coinche but without announcements and with the ability to double the accepting side if you think they won’t be able to make their contract. Apart from that, the rules are exactly the same as those of traditional belote: order and value of the cards, trump suit, no-trumps, bidding round, point bonuses, etc.

Belote contrée is, in my opinion, unquestionably much more exciting and strategic than ordinary belote. It’s in this variant that playing as a team makes the most sense! The fact that you know all the cards and that you can bid allows you to really communicate with your partner. 

You really are a fan! Is that what pushed you to become an ambassador for our online belote app?

Right away, I liked that FunBelote gives the opportunity to experienced players to share their opinions, organize a tournament and create a community of players… And, what’s more, to be able to be part of the development of this mobile app! It’s great to be able to have a hand in something you use every day!

I often play in tournaments with other players in Paris, at the Maison Bistrot in the 19th arrondissement. That’s nice for meeting new friends and there really is a social, friendly side to it. But as well as that, I also like online belote! In fact, I have been keen on belote apps for smartphone and tablet since 2014.

But to be completely honest, no app is truly realistic… And my favorite thing is when you can play against real players by using the multiplayer game mode. That’s why I didn’t hesitate for a single second when I auditioned for becoming the ambassador of FunBelote. This app is bringing together all of the essential game modes such as the duplicate and challenge modes, daily belote competitions and, of course, multiplayer mode! It must also be said that Lancelot is an AI that far surpasses its competitors. It plays almost like a real human and is the big strength of FunBelote. My adventure began in December 2020. I was very proud to be chosen as a FunBelote ambassador and to be able to share the tips and tricks of a passionate belote and coinche player!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to speaking to you about different combinations and strategies like the “small-game80 or the “2 ace 80” in a later article.

Any final words as ambassador to conclude this interview with?

I would like to end this first article by telling you that playing belote or coinche is a form of entertainment whereby you can converse with and meet your opponents in a friendly atmosphere. And this game can be played by anyone, as all you need is a set of 32 cards to hand. I don’t know whether any other games with 32 cards exist that are as simple as this, with rules that, in the end, are not very complicated; but for me, this is the one and only – and that’s what gives it its charm.

Yours belotely

(and looking forward to seeing you soon on the FunBelote mobile app and social media!)

Alexandre, alias Captain_Hook21