Man, that definition
. Ecarté is a great (and very old) card game
. I think it's one of the best two-handers
. Here are the basic rules
Regular 52-card deck with all cards below 7 removed. Cards
rank, from high to low:
Shuffle thoroughly. Deal 5 cards each in batches of 2-3 or
3-2. Whichever order you use, you must stick to for the rest of your deals in that game. After dealing, turn up the next card from the stock to establish the trump suit. If the turn-up is a King, dealer scores one point.
Non-dealer may now request that cards may be exchanged ("Cards?"). Dealer may either agree or disagree. If dealer agrees, both players (Non-dealer first, then Dealer) discard some, all, or no cards from their hands face-down to a discard pile and replace the discards with cards drawn from the stock. Non-dealer may request further exchanges as long as Dealer accepts and cards remain; if the stock is depleted, play must begin anyways. Note: If non-dealer does not offer to exchange at least once, or dealer refuses the first such request, the stakes are higher. See the scoring for details.
Non-dealer leads to the first trick. Second to each trick must follow suit, or may trump or discard if void. Tricks are won by the highest card of the suit led, or the highest trump if any are played. Winner of each trick leads to the next.
The winner of the majority of the tricks scores 1 point for winning 3 or 4 tricks or 2 points for winning all 5. If there was no exchange of cards, the winner scores 2 points regardless of tricks won. First to 5 points wins the game.
This game was originally a casino game in its country of origin; as such, the house was obligated to play (no exchange) on certain hands (jeux de règle) and call for cards on the remainder. Playing this game well requires knowledge of those hands on which it is advisable to play without exchange and being able to assess this immediately.