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Fri 07/25/14 09:30 AM Clubhouse Men's Card Room
Mon 07/28/14 07:00 PM Clubhouse Men's Card Room
Wed 07/30/14 07:00 PM Clubhouse 4 Seasons Manalapan

Sentinel Newspaper Article Oct. 2009

Latest News

LESSONS AND TRAINING AVAILABLE AGAIN

We will make lessons avaialable again on an as need basis. Any new player or an existing player can come to a training session for a brush up, or explanation of play. These sessions will be held at 6 PM on Monday evenings on a request basis. Email pinochles@gmail.com BEFORE Monday to be invited to the next session.

HIGHEST GAME EVER 700+ AT STONEBRIDGE

See the 500+ games link on the menu above.

Oct 25, 2013 (3) RUNS IN THE SAME HAND

Steve Maltzman had a Run and Aces in one game and then on two consecutive hands of the same game.

2013-10-25 Marty Tobias Steve Maltzman Bid 450 Made 550 Murray Trachtenberg Al Birnbaum
2013-10-25 Marty Tobias Steve Maltzman Bid 450 Made 575 Joe Baudanza Tony Latona
2013-10-25 Marty Tobias Steve Maltzman Bid 450 Made 520 Murray Trachtenberg Al Birnbaum

We can go weeks even months without a Flush and Aces in a hand. On Friday Sept 30th there was a Flush and Aces in one hand and 4 other hands in different games one player had a Flush and his partner had Aces. In 5 games there was 5 Flush and Ace hands. This was never done before.

FRIDAY SEPT 30 HANDS

We can go weeks even months without a Flush and Aces in a hand. On Friday Sept 30th there was a Flush and Aces in one hand and 4 other hands in different games one player had a Flush and his partner had Aces. In 5 games there was 5 Flush and Ace hands. This was never done before.

SECOND MARATHON PINOCHLE SESSION

Sept 16 we had another Marathon Session

MONDAY NIGHT TIME

Monday games will start at 7 PM

FIRST MARATHON PINOCHLE SESSION

On Dec 10th Stonebridge held it's first marathon. The games started at 10 AM and ended at 11 PM for a 13 hour game. There were two breaks, one for lunch and one for dinner. One player played 20 games, 3 played 18 games and two played 14 games.

CONSISTANCY ACROSS TEAMS

This game was founded on the premise that teams would adhere to the rules set forth in the documentation. If teams use advanced bidding rules or lead back communication then unfair competition will exist. That will lead to weaker players always losing and eventually dropping out. This is the opposite direction we are trying to pursue. The bidding in our system is limited to 5 bids pointed out in the documentation at length. Lead backs are Q of a marriage indicates Ace is held - K indicates it is not, 9-J when Ace is played indicates a possible Ace is held. When trump is being played by your partner and you do not have any more, then the play is as follows:

10 means you hold no aces or cannot indicate that you do.
Q off a marriage is a definite Ace held
If a Q or K is played it is a strong indication that the Ace is held
If a J or 9 is played it is a strong indication that the AA is held or A 10 if one Ace in that suit is played.

The only bids acceptable are Open, 10 jump, 20 jump, 50 jump and asking for a push to the next level

Starting immediately we will question if any violations of these sequences are deliberately violated and action will be taken. If players want to play with a more complex game I suggest taking up bridge. We want to keep this game competitive and enjoyable and I will defend that concept fully.

Steve Birnbaum

RENEGE RULES IN EFFECT AUG. 10, 2010

The Pinochle Overview document was revised to clarify and simplify renege rules. I also updated the charts in the Overview to reflect the Run and Aces bid of 340

Download the new version.

Click Here

Reneges (Revised Aug 2010) If your play is outside the rules, that is, if you trump a card and you still have one of that suit, it is called a renege and the team reneging loses their meld, goes set for the bid and the other teams gets 250 pts., and an extra star. In the event that the reneging team had any stars they lose them and the other team gets double plus one. The same happens if you fail to play a higher trump that was led.

A renege must be called before the first card of the next round is dealt. A call of a renege that proves incorrect will not result in any penalty if the renege is not proven.

Cards are to be stacked in the order they were played. The first card played will be on the bottom of the four card stack. The second on top of that, then the third followed by the fourth, and then turned face down on top of the stack. During a dispute when the cards are turned up in groups of fours, it is clear who played what. If the cards are haphazardly picked and you cannot prove who played what during a dispute, the entire hand is discarded and played over and no further discussion takes place. Because this will be used as a rule it is important to pick them up in order. We should get used to dropping the card in front of you as opposed to the middle of the table. This way whoever takes the tricks can pick up the first card and use it to scoop up the cards in the order they were played.

Since there are two stacks taken, it will not be feasible in the case one stack is in order and the other one not, to penalize the team whose stack is out of order. Further, this only comes into play on a disputed renege, so keeping it simple will be the best way to handle this.

Interim Renege Rules

During the period that there are inexperienced players playing in the game, we will use two different sets of rules. Because inexperienced players often make mistakes, correcting those mistakes at the time they are made provides the best learning experience. We will use the following criteria as rules:

Relaxed Rules (In Effect By Default)Strict Rules (Must Be Announced Before The Game)
Card may be picked up before the first card of the next round is dealt. Once turned down it is considered a closed trick.Once a card touches the table it is considered played. It cannot be taken back and if a renege is caused by that play the renege stands.
Cards played out of turn may not be picked up at all and if a renege happens it stands. It is wise not to throw cards out of turnCards must be played in order if not a renege may called.

IMPORTANT: Unless announced Before the game starts, Relaxed Rules are in Effect

UPDATED ADVANCED STRATEGY DOCUMENTATION FEBRUARY 2010

There were a number of changes to the Avanced Strategy Documention. Replace your copy with the new one in the Documentation Link.

RULE CHANGES JAN 2010

If you don't take the bid you don't get the star for Aces.

There will be no extra star for a bate. You only get double the stars the game was bid on. Before we used to add one extra star for the bate. That extra star will not be counted.

DOCUMENTATION MODIFIED SEPT. 15, 2009

All the documentation was updated however, the section below was added to the renege section. You should download all the files for reference. This section was added to the Pinochle Overview Document.

Cards are to be stacked in the order they were played. The first card played will be on the bottom of the four card stack. The second on top of that, then the third followed by the fourth, and then turned face down on top of the stack. During a dispute when the cards are turned up in groups of fours, it is clear who played what. If the cards are haphazardly picked and you cannot prove who played what during a dispute, the entire hand is discarded and played over and no further discussion takes place. Because this will be used as a rule it is important to pick them up in order. We should get used to dropping the card in front of you as opposed to the middle of the table. This way whoever takes the tricks can pick up the first card and use it to scoop up the cards in the order they were played.

There is also a rule on which rules are in effect during a game and this must be declared prior to the game starting.

Since there are two stacks taken, it will not be feasible in the case one stack is in order and the other one not, to penalize the team whose stack is out of order. Further, this only comes into play on a disputed renege, so keeping it simple will be the best way to handle this.

MORE THAN A CARD GAME August 2, 2009

Pinochle is more than a card game. Because it is a partners game, the complexity of the game is far more than any single player card game, except maybe Bridge. The game is a detective game in that you are looking for clues to what is in your partners hand. Keeping track of trump, counting cards and remembering what was played is a great mind exercise. But, the subtlety of deductive reasoning increases that mind exercise to a much greater extent.

Pinochle, besides being a card game, is a game of communication. As the level of play increases. every card is played for a reason. What everyone else plays on that card is a clue to what is in their hands. When a pinochle players game level increases, and they play with players of similar experience a new level of enjoyment emerges. With that higher play level also comes the ability to deceive the opposition, with what may look like a mistake.

But, the most enjoyment comes when playing with a seasoned player against a team of seasoned players. That is the ultimate goal of every experienced pinochle player. Some players will never reach the higher level of play, but will still enjoy the game. This is a game the more you put in, the more you will get out and with a higher level of enjoyment.

TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER PLAYER June 13, 2009

There are a few rules that will help you become a better player. I will present them in the order of importance. Although you can learn them in any order, mastering them in this order will be of the most help. I will then go on to tips on rules.

Tips

Counting trump is the single most important tip. You have to know how many are still in the game. Along with this you should know which ones were played.

Determining what is in your partners hand is a key element in partner pinochle that is missing from auction, or 3 handed pinochle. People used to auction often have a difficult time adjusting to partner pinochle. Once they "see the light", their play improved dramatically.

When your partner names trump never try to control the game unless it is obvious you have complete control of the suit they named trump. One key element in the game is to communicate what is in your hand. It is your partner who is the one to determine how to use that message, not you.

Counting points is not as difficult as you think, if you practice. So, this tip is to practice. You cannot practice during a game. If you think you can play once or twice a week and not practice, you are mistaken. Mastering the game includes counting points. You will find there are many instances when you are left with cards in your hand and not know which to play. Counting points help you determine which one to play. Guessing will lead to incorrect play more than it will lead to a correct play. To practice, get a pinochle deck and throw cards 4 at a time and count. You will find it is not that difficult. During a game you count by saying to yourself the trump count followed by the card count. 4-15, 8-25, 10-40. If you need to slow the game up, do it. Ask to look at the cards then add the trump number to the first and the card number to the second. Although I count Trump-Points you could do it the opposite way, Points-Trump. I always repeat both even if there are no trump in the trick. Sqy there are 4 trump out and 25 points. I would say yo myself 4-25. If 20 mote points are on the table with no trump I would say 4-45, and so on. I actually say the count to myself.

This tip is related to the one above. Stop talking during the game. It is that simple, ignore all conversation and do not respond to others talking to you. Just put up your hand and they will understand.

Estimating what you can make is crucial. Estimating how much your hand is worth will help you develop a strategy on how to play the hand. Remember, easy hands can be played by anyone, hard hands are made by players picking the correct strategy. What makes this game so appealing is the fact that if you try to determine what your hand can make in points, there still is a good chance that a wide variance will occur. A proven method of evaluating is; if you have an Ace in trump, count each piece of trump as 20 pts. If you do not have the ace of trump count each as 15. Then count every outside ace (not trump) as 20 each. Then compare that number with counting every loser in your hand as 20. You will make somewhere in the middle between the two. If that number is more than 20 points short of what you need, I would suggest playing trump in every instance. Because, for you to make the hand it will have to come from your partner. In order for your partner to help you, your team will have to control trump. Even if you have 3-3-3-3, believe me, play trump.

If during the bidding you are confused - pass. Better to make the hand then go bate for a large number.

RULES

The tips above will definitely make you a better player. If you choose to ignore them you will at best be a mediocre player. You will have no chance raising your level of play above average. If you are going to play partners the rules we have documented must be followed. You may think that not playing by the rules in some instance will have a better outcome, and you may be correct, that one time. However, if your partner recognizes that you don't always follow the rules, they will not know when you will. So, they will not trust your bids or lead backs. Your team will be at a disadvantage to a team that adhears to the rules. When yo name trump play any way you wish. When your partner names trump follow the rules.

Lead backs are exactly what the words mean. They communicate what your partner can expect from you. Lead backs are valid at any time during the game. The documentation clearly spells out lead backs. Read them again if your are not sure. At this point I would say to pay particularly close attention to definite lead backs and potential lead backs.

PRACTICE

The evaluator program on the website can be beneficial in visualizing distribution. What is the likelihood someone has 4 trump when you have 5? You will find that likelihood is good. Further, the likelihood that your partner is not the one is even better. 2 to 1. So when you start playing trump you better be aware when to stop and go to a different strategy as you see the cards fall.

ARGUMENTS

This is not a game for the thin skinned. Arguments are part of the game. Most arguments are about how a hand is played. As you gain experience, you will call out poor play on your partner when it effects you. But, and this is a very good thing to keep in mind, much of pinochle is a GUESS based on logical assumptions. Many times those guesses prove incorrect.

Now, with the above in mind, if you get away with success when playing poorly, that does not make you a good player. The same situation with better players as opponents turns out quite differently. So know your limitations and don't think you are good because you won this time or that time. With different players as opponents the outcome will have been quite different.

For instance, good players will always make the bid, if the cards they hold have the possibility of winning. Conversely, good players will always set their opponents, if they cards they hold have the possibility of doing so. But, when poor players play poor players the game is turned into a game of mostly luck with some skill. Although luck plays a big part of pinochle, good players recognize the difference. Poor players generally do not. No matter what your level of ability is, just remember "one person's ceiling is another person's floor."

The allure of Pinochle is because of what I am describing here. In my 35 years playing Pinochle I have never met an "expert". And I never expect to. I have met very competent players who have the experience to logically come to a conclusion based on sound principles. Then play the hand given them to the best possible outcome based on those assumptions. This may or may not lead to a desirable outcome, however the satisfaction of the play is what keeps people playing this game. I once heard a saying that fits this discussion, "... One man's ceiling is another man's floor." Keep that in mind while learning this game and you will be fine.

General Game Information

This will be an open game everyone is invited to play. Two time slots are scheduled, one on Friday Mornings at 9:30 AM and one on Monday Evening at 7:00 PM; after the Monday game there is a trip to the Prestige Diner. There is a game on Wednesday either at Stonebridge or Four Seasons in Manalapan. There are also other games available in the area.
Lessons and Training is on Monday at 6:00 PM and is available on request to pinochles@gmail.com

If there are only the minimum, four players, we have the choice to either switch partners after each game or not. When there are more than four players, multiple games will be set up.

When there is an odd amount of players, we will alternate the players by cutting the cards for partners, with the losing team relinquishing their seats and two new partners will play.

We would like to have as many players as possible; this way a games may be available at pool side or in the card room outside of the normally scheduled games.

This game is Partnership Pinochle with the following general rules:
Dealer must take the bid at 190 if everyone passes.
The first bidder to the right of the dealer either passes, opens (200) or gives a meld.

Meld Bids are:
50 pt. jump over the last bid for a run (A 10 K Q J).
30 pt. jump over the last bid for a 4 Aces (AC AH AS AD).
20 pt. jump over the last bid for 100 pts. in meld.

Special Bid - an opening bid of 340 Bid indicates you hold a Run and Ace's

No extra points for double runs, Aces, Marriages or Pinochles

Scoring
Game is 1000 points. First one to reach 1000 wins. If bothe reach 1000 then the bidder wins. A star is awarded for a Run or Aces. Stars are awarded for 250 (1 star), 300 (2 Stars), 350 (4 Stars), etc. Doubling for each 50 level
In the event of a team not making the bid (bate, set), they lose their meld and are negative for that bid amount. The other team gets double the stars of the bid plus 1 extra for the set. If a team is negative when the other tream goes out the winning team gets double the money for the game and double the stars; while the team loses all their accumulated stars.


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