A traditional Italian card game for two players
Use either a traditional Italian 40-card deck, or a standard 52-card deck with 8s, 9s, and 10s removed.
Object: At the end of the game, players total up the points in the tricks they have taken. Points are: A=11, 3=10, K=4, Q=3, J=2 (other cards count zero). The player who scores more than 60 points wins. Players usually play 'best of three', but obviously any odd number will do, depending how much time you've got.
Deal: Players cut for first deal: highest card wins. Dealer deals three cards to his opponent, then three to himself. He turns up the next card, places it face up on the table, and lays the rest of the pack face down on it so that its suit and value remain visible. The suit of the upturned card determines trumps ('briscola').
Play: Non-dealer plays first, laying a card face up on the table; dealer follows. The trick is taken by the player who plays the highest card of the suit led, or the highest trump. It is not obligatory to follow suit. Cards ranks as follows (high-low): A 3 K Q J 7 6 5 4 2.
After each trick, players take another card from the pack. The player who wins a trick takes a card first, and leads off for the next trick.
Hint: It is often a good idea to lose the penultimate trick, since the last card you pick up will always be a trump!