A card game which uses the Italian deck. This deck is made of 4 suits (Swords, Cups, Coins and Clubs). Each suit has cards numbered from 1-7 and 3 court cards: fante (pageboy), cavallo (knight), and re (king). In scopa, the court cards count as 8, 9 and 10, respectively.

An American playing card deck may be used if the 8s, 9s and 10s are taken out. The Queen takes the place of the cavallo, and Diamonds can be used for Coins.

  1. Each player is dealt 3 cards.
  2. After the initial deal, the next 4 cards are dealt face up in the play area.
  3. Play begins to the right of the dealer. The object of the game is to get as many cards as possible. But since some cards are worth more than others, a little strategy must be used!
    During a player's turn, that player must either capture card(s) in the play area with a card from his/her hand, or play a card onto the play area. Cards can capture their own kind (six takes six, king takes king) or a combination that equal it (a 6 can take a 5 and a 1, or 3, 2 and 1; a knight can take a 6 and a 3). If a card is played, and the same kind of card is in the play area, it must capture that card.
  4. Only one card may be played each turn. Captured cards are put face down in that player's capture pile.
  5. If all cards in play are captured by a player, that player gains a scopa. This move is typically achieved with a sweeping fluorish of the capturing card, scooping up all the cards. Scopa means "sweep" or "broom" in Italian. (Put the capturing card face up and perpendicular in your capture pile to keep track of your scopas for scoring.)
  6. Once all players' hands are empty, new hands are dealt. Game play ends once the deck has been used up.
  7. A player may not scopa with the last card of the game. You may capture all of the remaining cards if you are able, but it won't count as a scopa.
  8. The last player who captured gains the remaining cards in the play area after gameplay ends.

Each of these conditions gains a player 1 point.

  1. Getting a scopa.
  2. Having the settebello (7 of Coins).
  3. Having the most 7s. No point is given in a tie.
  4. Having the most Coins. No point is given in a tie.
  5. Having the most cards. No point is given in a tie.
  6. Having the best primiera. A primiera is a set of 4 cards made from your captures, one card of each suit. The point values (given below) are added up, and 1 point is awarded to the player with the highest value. No point is given in a tie.

    7s = 21
    6s = 18
    1s = 16
    5s = 15
    4s = 14
    3s = 13
    2s = 12

Source: http://a_pollett.tripod.com/scopa.htm

Scopa is the generator for a family of scopa-like games.

Differences abound in the scoring system. The points described before (known as scope and punti di mazzo, that's to say card-counting points), are recognized by everybody. Some people add the "re bello" (the king of coins). Others add a thing called "napoletana" or "napola", which I suspect has been borrowed from the tresette game. A "napoletana" consists of a sequence of Coins cards starting from the Ace; the minimum is Ace, 2, 3 and it is worth three points. Extra points are gained for each card in an unbroken sequence. So someone having Ace, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 of Coins scores only four points.

In other regional variants of the game (I know of one in Brescia called ciccia) you get points for picchiata ("smash"), that's to say capturing a card immediately after it has been played and piccole ("small cards"), which is capturing three or more cards at a time, like taking Ace, 2 and 3 with a 6.

Traditionally scopa (like briscola) is played in couples; the couples are formed like in bridge.

Another variant is scopa all'asso, in which any Ace clears the table and captures all cards, but it does not score a scopa.

Scopa is a game where luck and skill more or less balance. There are similar games where luck is squeezed out of gameplay, called scopone and its very challenging scopone scientifico form.

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