1000

This page was written by John Mcleod, based on information from Stanislav Kovchega, Vladlen Zeniukov, Jacek Zwolinski and others.

Introduction

This excellent three-player game is well known in several Eastern European countries, including Russia, Belorus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland and Lithuania. In Russian speaking areas it is known as Tysiacha (Тысяча) and in Poland it is Tysiąc - both words mean 1000, the target score for the game.

There are many slight variations in the rules of play between and within countries. A version played in Russia, Belorus and Ukraine will be described first.

Players and Cards

There are three active players, but as with many three-player games it is possible for four people to take part, with one player sitting out of each hand.

A 24-card pack is used. 1000 is a point-trick game: the aim is to win tricks containing valuable cards. There are just six cards in each of the suits Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades and their ranking from high to low and their point values are as follows:

    Ace11 points
    Ten10 points
    King4 points
    Queen3 points
    Jack2 points
    Nine0 points

There are therefore 120 card points in the pack altogether, and a player who holds both the king and the queen of a suit (a pair or marriage) can obtain additional points by declaring them as follows:

    King and Queen of Hearts100 points
    King and Queen of Diamonds80 points
    King and Queen of Clubs60 points
    King and Queen of Spades40 points

Deal

The deal, bidding and play are clockwise. The first dealer is chosen at random and the turn to deal passes to the left after each hand. The cards are dealt one at a time: seven cards to each of the three active players and three cards face down to the centre of the table. These three cards are known as the prikup (Прикуп); cards are dealt to the prikup one at a time during the first three rounds of the deal, usually between the second and third card of each round.

Bidding

The bids are numbers: the lowest bid is 100 and all bids must be multiples of 5, so the possible bids are 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, etc. The highest bidder undertakes to win at least this number of points from cards in tricks plus declarations.

The player to the dealer's left bids first and must bid at least 100. The bidding continues clockwise and each player must either bid higher than the previous bid or pass. A player who has passed cannot bid again. The bidding continues for as many rounds as necessary until two players have passed. The final bidder becomes the declarer.

Since there are only 120 card points, higher bids can only be fulfilled by declaring king-queen pairs. You are not allowed to bid more than 120 unless you have at least one king-queen pair in your hand.

Exchanging cards

The declarer exposes the three talon (prikup) cards for all to see and adds them to his hand. He then gives away any two unwanted cards from his hand, passing one unwanted card face down to each opponent, so that each player has eight cards.

At this point the declarer is allowed to increase the bid to any higher multiple of 5, or to leave it as it is.

After the talon has been exchanged, if any player has all four nines, that player can show his cards and demand that the hand is abandoned, with no score. The cards must be shuffled, cut and redealt by the same dealer. (A declarer with a good hand should therefore be careful to avoid passing a nine to an opponent who might already have three of them.)

Play

The declarer leads to the first trick, and the winner of each trick leads to the next. Initially there are no trumps, but if the winner of a trick holds the king and queen of a suit, he may announce them and lead the king or queen to the next trick. The suit of the king-queen immediately becomes trumps, and remains so until another king-queen is announced or until the end of the play if there are no further announcements.

Players must always follow suit if possible. When there are no trumps, a player who is unable to follow suit may play any card. When there is a trump suit, a player who cannot follow suit must play a trump if possible. A player unable to follow suit who has no trumps may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump played to it, or, if it contains no trump, by the highest card of the suit led. (Please note that tens are higher than kings.)

Announcements of king-queen pairs may cause the trump suit to change several times during the play. It is even possible for each of the four suits to be trumps in turn. However, the following restrictions should be noted:

  • You can only announce a king-queen pair immediately after you have won a trick. (Therefore a king-queen pair cannot be announced in the first trick.)
  • To announce a king-queen you must have both cards in your hand at the time of the announcement and you must lead one of them. (Therefore a king-queen pair in your original hand cannot be announced after you have played either card - in particular you cannot use one of card of the pair to gain the lead and then announce the pair when leading the other.)

Although it is in the interests of the declarer's opponents to cooperate to defeat the bid, they each keep the tricks they win in a separate pile, and each scores only for his own tricks and announcements.

Scoring

Each of the three players adds up the card points in their own tricks and adds the value of any king-queen pairs they announced. The values of the cards and the various king-queen pairs are given above.

Each player's score starts at zero and the object is to reach a cumulative score of 1000 points or more.

If the declarer's points total is at least as much as the bid, the bid is added to the declarer's cumulative score. If not, the bid is subtracted from the declarer's cumulative score. Example: the declarer won the bidding at 130, and after exchanging the talon increased the bid to 160. If the declarer takes 215 points including announcements, he will add 160 to his cumulative score; if he takes 155 points including announcements, he will subtract 160 points from his cumulative score.

Irrespective of whether the declarer's bid was successful or not, each of the other players rounds the point value of their tricks and announcements to the nearest 5, and adds the result to his or her cumulative score.

There are several exceptions to the above method of scoring.

The Barrel

It is not possible to have a cumulative score between 880 and 1000. If a player whose score was previously below 880 scores enough points to take it to 880 or more (but less than 1000), the player's score becomes 880 and a box is drawn around it or a symbol bochka is drawn in the player's column on the score sheet to show that the player is on the barrel - in Russian Бочка (bochka). If you are on the barrel, you have three chances to be the declarer and score at least 120 points on a hand to win the game. You cannot stay on the barrel for more than three consecutive hands - if you fail to win on the third hand, you fall off the barrel and lose 120 points. So the possibilities for a player on a barrel are as follows.

  1. If you are the declarer and score at least 120 points on a hand, you win the game.
  2. If you are the declarer and fail to make your bid, then the amount of your bid is subtracted from your score as usual and you are no longer on the barrel.
  3. If you are not the declarer, then any points that you make do not count for you - even if you take 120 or more you do not win. If this is your first or second hand on the barrel, then your cumulative score stays at 880 and you are still on the barrel. But if this is your third consecutive hand on the barrel, you are fined 120 points and are off the barrel - your score is therefore reduced from 880 to 760 points.

It is possible to win without first being on the barrel. For example if your score is (say) 845 and you score 155 points or more, you win the game.

Zero scores

If an opponent of the bidder takes no points at all in tricks, a horizontal line "zero" is marked in the player's score column. If you score zero on three occasions, not necessarily consecutive, then on the third occasion 120 points are subtracted from your score. If you score zero on further hands, another 120 points will be subtracted from your score every third time that this happens.

If you take just 2 points, your only trick consisting of a jack and two nines, this does not count towards your quota of zeroes, even though your 2 points are rounded down and you get nothing added to your cumulative score. However, if your only trick has three nines, this is a real zero, counting towards your quota. Hands played while you are on the barrel do not count towards your allowance of zero scores, even if you take no tricks.

Rospisat'

If as declarer, having seen the prikup, you decide that you have little chance of making your bid, you can avoid losing points by declaring a Rospisat' (Росписать). The cards are not played, but a Russian R, which looks like a "P", is entered in your column of the score sheet. Each of the opponents scores 60 points. On the first two occasions when you declare a Rospisat, your cumulative score does not change, but if you declare a third Rospisat, 120 points are subtracted from your cumulative score. If you declare further Rospisats, you lose 120 points every third time that you do so.

You are not allowed to declare a Rospisat while you are on the barrel.

Four player game

When four play, there are only three active players in each deal. In some places it is the player to the right of the dealer who is dealt no cards and sits out of the play. In other places it is the player opposite the dealer who is inactive.

Some play that the inactive player scores 40 points for any ace in the talon, and if the prikup contains a king-queen pair, the inactive player scores the value of this pair. Of course these scores are not awarded if the inactive player is on a barrel.

Some play instead that the inactive player scores the point value of any cards in the talon, plus the value of any king-queen pairs.

Variations

There are numerous variations of the game of 1000. Here I will explain those that have been reported to me so far.

Dealing and redealing

Some play that after the cut, the dealer looks at the bottom card of the pack. If it is a jack, he reshuffles and the cards are cut again. However, if he gets a jack on the bottom three times in a row, the dealer loses 120 points and the deal passes to the next player.

Some play that if the hand is abandoned three times in a row because some player declares four nines, the dealer loses 120 points and the deal passes to the next player.

Some play that the bidder may demand a fresh deal if there are fewer than 5 points in the talon. Some only allow this when the bid is the minimum 100 points.

Some allow the bidder to demand a fresh deal if there are at least two nines in the talon.

Some play that any player may demand a fresh deal if the total value of the cards in his hand, after the bidder has passed cards to the opponents, is less than 14 points. Some only allow this provided that the player has not bid above the minimum 100 points.

Some allow a player to demand a fresh deal with only three nines. Some allow a fresh deal to be demanded with four nines only if they were all in the player's original hand (not if the fourth nine was given to the player by the declarer). Some do not permit a player to demand a fresh deal with four nines.

Bidding

Some people begin a game with a "gold set", which is a set of three deals, one by each player, in which the minimum bid is 120. The player to dealer's left must therefore bid at least this amount. In a gold set, all scores are doubled - for example if you bid 130 and make it, you score 260; if you bid 120 and lose, you lose 240. If no one succeeds in their bid during the gold set, another gold set is played. Some players reset all players' scores to zero before replaying the gold set.

Some play that a player whose score falls below -150 is silenced. This player is not allowed to bid, except for the compulsory bid of 100 when he is to the left of dealer. Therefore a silenced player can only score points in other player's games until he emerges again from the silent zone; the only exception is when his compulsory bid of 100 is not overcalled. It is possible for two or even all three players to be silenced. If all three are silenced then every hand will be played for the compulsory 100 by the player to dealer's left until someone achieves a score better than -150. In some regions, players impose silence below -120 or -100.

Some players allow a player to bid more than 120 points, even when not holding a king-queen pair.

Some allow a player to bid "blind" - that is, without looking at his hand. If the winner of the bidding has bid blind, he then looks at his hand, adds the talon cards to it without showing them, gives a card face up to each opponent, and play then proceeds in the usual way. All scores for the hand are doubled. If you begin the auction blind, you may choose to look at your cards at any stage of the auction, after which you are no longer blind, and if you win the auction the card exchange and scoring will be normal.

Exchanging cards

Some players play with a dark talon: the bidder picks up the cards of the prikup without showing them to the other players.

Some play that if the first player bids 100 (compulsory) and the others pass, the declarer takes the talon without first exposing it. Having looked at the talon the declarer may choose to give up, scoring minus 100 points and giving the opponents 50 each. This avoids the danger than an opponent might score more by declaring a king-queen pair.

Some play that the talon is exposed only when the bid is 130 or more. For bids up to 120 the bidder takes the talon cards without showing them.

Some play that the two cards handed by the bidder to the opponents, so that everyone has eight cards, are passed face up, so that both opponents know what cards were passed.

Rospisat'

Some play that if the bidder declares a Rospisat', the opponents each score half the amount of the bid, rounded up to the next multiple of 5. For example if the bid was 145 or 150 they would score 75 each; if it was 155 they would score 80 each. Some round the scores up to the next multiple of 10, so that the opponents would score 80 each in all the above cases.

Some (for example in South Ukraine) only allow the bidder to declare Rospisat' on two occasions during a game.

Some allow each player just one Rospisat' per game (declarer scores 0 and oppoinents 60 each) and one Spisat', in which the declarer loses the value of the bid but the opponents score no points.

Some allow players to declare Rospisat' as many times as they wish, without ever losing 120 points for doing so.

Announcing combinations

Some players award 200 points for a set of four aces. The conditions for announcing four aces are the same as for a king-queen pair: the player must first win a trick, and then lead one of the aces to the next trick, while still having the other three aces in his hand. This announcement does not affect the trump suit.

One may occasionally meet players who allow a king-queen pair to be announced by the bidder on the first trick, thus establishing a trump suit from the outset.

The Barrel

Some players do not allow more than one player to jump onto the barrel simultaneously. If two (or all three) players reach or pass 880 in the same deal, all players trying to jump on the barrel are fined 120 points - their scores become 760.

Some play that if a player jumps on the barrel when there is already a player on it, the player previously on the barrel is thrown off and fined 120 points (so his score is reduced to 760 points).

Some play that if a player has jumped on the barrel three times, and fell off each time (each time having failed to win the game within three deals), then on the third occasion, instead of being fined 120 points for falling off, he loses his whole score, and begins again from zero.

Some players set the barrel at a different level, for example 850, 870, or 900. The fine for falling off the barrel remains 120 points.

Dmitriy Polovinkin describes a variation from Lviv, Ukraine in which the barrel is set at 900 points and players can stay on it indefinitely. It is possible for all three players to be on the barrel at the same time. Players on the barrel bid and score normally, except that there is no point bonus for a marriage. Therefore it is not possible for a player on the barrel to bid or score more than 120, and when forced to bid 100 it is necessary to take all ot nearly all the tricks to succeed. It is possible to win by going over 1000 as a result of points scored as a defender against another player's contract. If the bidder and a defender reach 1000 or more on the same deal, the bidder wins even if the defender's score is higher. If the two defenders reach 1000 or more in the same deal but the bidder does not, then the player with the higher score wins. If their scores are tied they share the victory. Some players do not round the scores of players who are on the barrel, but score the exact number of points taken, which considerably reduces the chance of a tie.

Scoring

In some places, a player who scores zero points on three occasions is not penalised for this.

Some require a player to score more than 1000 points to win. The game is then properly known as 1001 (Тысяча Одно). In this version, from a barrel of 880 at least 125 points would be required.

In some places, a player whose score after a hand is played becomes exactly 555 loses all his points: his score becomes zero.

Polish Tysiąc

In Poland, the following variations of three-player Tysiąc licytowany (Auction 1000) are found.

  • The method of dealing varies; cards are often dealt in batches of two and three at a time.
  • The bidding is in multiples of 10 only: 100, 110, 120, ... Also when scoring, the points of the declarer's opponents are rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 (5 is rounded upwards). As usual, the bidder needs the full number of points bid in order to succeed (for example 108 points are not enough to make a bid of 110).
  • A king-queen pair can be announced by the player leading to any trick, even the first trick, provided that you lead one of the cards of the pair and have the other in your hand.
  • There is no barrel. Instead, a player whose score is between 900 and 1000 is 'locked'. They can then score points only if they are the bidder. If a locked player loses a bid, causing their score to fall below 900 again, they are unlocked and can score points both as bidder and as opponent.
  • There is no penalty for scoring zero on three occasions.
  • Some play with "Bomba" (bomb), which is the equivalent of rospisat'. Having seen the talon, the bidder may declare a "bomba". Each opponent scores 60 points, and the declarer scores nothing. Each player is allowed a maximum of two bombs during the whole game. Some players do not allow bombs at all.
  • While some require a player bidding more than 120 to hold a king-queen pair, others allow such bids without a king-queen pair.
  • Some play that a player unable to follow suit is not required to trump, but may play any card.
  • In the four-player game, some play that the inactive player scores 50 points rather than 40 for an ace in the talon.

Two player game

Tysiąc is also played in Poland in at least two different two-player versions.

Tysiąc licytowany (Auction 1000)

The cards are dealt in pairs. Each player receives a total of ten cards, and there are two face-down talons of two cards. The non-dealer begins with a compulsory bid of 100 as in the three-player game. The high bidder exposes one of the two talons, adds the two cards to his hand and discards two cards, after which he can then increase the bid. The bidder leads to the first trick and ten tricks are played under the same rules as the three-player game. When scoring the hand, the talons count for neither player, with one exception: if the winning bid was 120 and the bidder won all 10 tricks but declared no king-queen pair, then the bidder gets both talons for a total score of 120, so that the bid succeeds. As usual the bidder scores plus or minus the number bid, and the bidder's opponent scores for points taken. The first player to 1000 points wins.

Elwood describes a Russian two-player version of 1000 in which nine cards are dealt to each player and there are two three-card "kittys". The bidding starts at 85 and is in multiples of 5. The high bidder exposes one kitty and places the cards in his hand. He discards one card, keeps one and gives one to his opponent. The barrel, zero score and rospisat' rules do not apply. The four cards that are out of play - the discarded card and the unused kitty - count for neither player, even if one player wins all the tricks.

Tysiąc dobierany (Draw 1000)

Six cards are dealt to each player and the remaining twelve cards are placed face down in the centre to form a drawing stock. There is no bidding. The dealer's opponent leads to the first trick. For the first six tricks there is no requirement to follow suit - any card may be played. After each trick the trick winner draws the top cards of the stock and the other player draws the next card, so that each player has six cards at the start of each trick. Trumps can be made and changed by announcing king-queen pairs as usual. After six tricks, when the stock is exhausted, the play continues, but now it is obligatory to follow suit and to trump if unable to follow. When all twelve tricks have been played the players add the points in the tricks they have won, plus points for king-queen pairs declared, and add them to their cumulative scores. The first player to achieve a score of 1000 points or more at the end of a hand is the winner. If both reach 1000 or more points in the same hand, the player with the higher score wins; if the scores are equal another hand is played.

Some play with only five cards dealt to each player.

Other 1000 Web Sites and Software

Rules for Tysiąc in Polish can be found on the Doktorek web site. They seem to be reprinted from Lech Pijnowski's book Przewodnik gier.

The following sites provide on-line 1000 games:

1001

1001 (Tausendeins) is a simpler variation of 1000 played in Germany. It is played with a 20-card pack without nines. The card values are the same as in 1000, but the values of the king-queen pairs are: clubs=100, spades=80, hearts=60, diamonds=40.

Six cards are dealt to each player and two to the talon. Bidding is in multiples of 10, the minimum being 40. The high bidder takes the talon, discards two cards face down, which count for him and leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if they can, and if unable may play any card. A king-queen pair can be announced by the leader to any trick.

Scores are rounded to the nearest 10. If the bidder wins, he scores all the points he takes; if he loses he scores minus his bid. The winner is the first player whose cumulative score becomes more than 1000.

1001 Software

A free 1001 Windows program can be downloaded from Watson's Hot Programming Pages.

Russeln

This is a version of 1001 played in Melk, Austria, as reported by Hans-Joachim Alscher, who learned it from Jasmin Sattler. It is played with 24 cards with the usual card values, and the marriages are worth 100 for hearts, 80 for diamonds, 60 for spades and 40 for clubs. Each of the three players receives 8 cards, and there is no talon. Bidding begins at dealer's left and is in multiples of 10 with no minimum. Each bid must be higher than the last.

The high bidder leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit and subject to this must beat the highest card so far played to the trick if possible. Before leading a player may declare a marriage, scoring the points for it and making that suit trumps. Scores are rounded to the nearest 10 (5 is rounded up). If the bidder takes at least as many points as he bids, he scores all the points he took. Otherwise he loses the amount of his bid. The other players always score the points they took. The winner is the player who first reaches or exceeds the agreed target score, which can be 1000 points or some other amount depending on the length of game desired.