Cinch, derived from the Spanish word cincha ("saddle girth"), came to mean a firm hold or a tight grip because of the physical object used in securing a horse saddle. It then became an American idiom for something sure and's a cinch!

Cinch is also used as a verb, both meaning "to fix a saddle securely" and in more widespread usage, "to make secure; to tighten" (for example, if I were to "cinch my belt" I'd be a happy camper because it probably meant I lost weight and could now tighten my belt further *grin*). thanks, anotherone

Cinch is also a cool card game very popular in parts of North-Western Pennsylvania. Other wierd versions (i.e. not what I'm used to) are popular in other parts of North America. It is kinda like Euchre or Pedro.

In cinch, two teams of two sit across from each other. Nine cards are dealt. Bidding starts to the left of the dealer. Players bid 1-4 based on how many of the following they think they can get in some suit:

  1. High of trump(usually the Ace)
  2. Low of trump(usually the 2)
  3. Jack of trump
  4. Game - game is made up of trump and non-trump 10s and face cards as follows:
    Aces - 4 points
    Kings - 3 points
    Queens - 2 points
    Jacks - 1 point
    10s - 10 points

Whom-so-ever bids the highest (individually, partners bids are not added as in some other games) selects the trump. There is no conferring allowed between partners on how to bid. All players throw away non-trump and the remaining card are distributed until everyone has 6. Bidder leads the first trick, after that whomever won the previous trick leads.

After all tricks are played you count to see who has High, Low, Jack and Game. It is possible that the Jack was not dealt or that there is a tie for Game, in which case no game point is awarded.

If the bidding-team makes their bid or higher they go up by the amount that they bid, if they don't make their bid they go back the entire amount that they bid. The non-bidding team goes up by as many points as they made regardless.

It is also possible to shoot the moon declaring that you will take all four points. If you make your shooter, you get 8 points otherwise you go back 8. The dealer can over-shoot also for 8 points. Some players allow you to blind-shoot before looking at your cards for 16 points - you can look at you card to choose the suit however.

Games go to 15 or 21 points.

Cinch (?), n. [Sp. cincha, fr. L. cingere to gird.]


A strong saddle girth, as of canvas. [West. U. S.]


A tight grip. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913

Cinch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cinched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Cinch"ing.]


To put a cinch upon; to girth tightly. [Western U. S.]


To get a sure hold upon; to get into a tight place, as for forcing submission. [Slang, U. S.]


© Webster 1913

Cinch, v. i.

To perform the action of cinching; to tighten the cinch; -- often with up. [Western U. S.]


© Webster 1913

Cinch, n. [Cf. cinch a girth, a tight grip, as v., to get a sure hold upon; perh. so named from the tactics used in the game; also cf. Sp. cinco five (the five spots of the color of the trump being important cards).]

A variety of auction pitch in which a draw to improve the hand is added, and the five of trumps (called right pedro) and the five of the same color (called left pedro, and ranking between the five and the four of trumps) each count five on the score. Fifty-one points make a game. Called also double pedro and high five.


© Webster 1913

Cinch, v. t.

In the game of cinch, to protect (a trick) by playing a higher trump than the five.


© Webster 1913

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