Pinochle Glossary

This glossary of Pinochle terms was contributed by David Dailey.

Aces Around
a piece of meld consisting of one Ace from each of the four suits; worth 100 points. Same as 100 Aces. See also arounds, 1000 Aces.
arounds
pieces of meld consisting of one of a particular rank from each of the four suits. Tens Around and Nines Around are not valid pieces of meld.
bare run
a run without an extra King or Queen. See also run.
bid
to offer a point value as the target to be reached, combining points from melding and pulling counters in tricks; also, the amount offered.
(to) bid up [or "to run up the bid"]
to continue bidding against an opponent even though your hand is not worth the amount you're bidding, generally for the sole purpose of inflating the bid in an effort to make the other team go set. Caution: use of this tactic can result in the bid being dropped on you. See also drop.
common marriage
a piece of meld consisting of one King and one Queen of a single suit other than trump; worth 20 points. See also marriage, royal marriage.
counters
the cards which score points when pulled during the trick-taking phase of the round (Aces, Tens, and Kings). See also non-counters.
deal
the process by which the 48 cards are evenly distributed to the 4 players. May be done three cards at a time or, alternatively, one card at a time. Deal passes to the left with subsequent rounds.
declarer
the person who makes the highest bid. Declarer, by winning the bid, earns the right to name trump, to receive cards from his or her partner, and to lead to the first trick.
deece
a Nine of Trump, so called because each one is worth ten points in meld (from the French "dix," ten).
drop (the bid)
to cease bidding when there are only two people who are still bidding. The bid is said to be "dropped on" the unfortunate soul who has taken the bid. Generally used only when the aforementioned person appears unable to make the bid. ("It was dropped on me!")
double run
a piece of meld consisting of both Aces, both Tens, both Kings, both Queens, and both Jacks of Trump; worth 1500 points (very rare). Same as 1500 Trump. See also run.
dump
to give the dealer the bid because all other players passed. The bid is said to have been "dumped on" the dealer. Generally used either as an excuse ("It was dumped on me, so what could I do?") or as an obstacle which was overcome ("It was dumped on me, but I took all the tricks anyway.")
800 Kings ("eight hundred Kings")
a piece of meld consisting of all eight Kings; worth 800 points. See also arounds, 80 Kings.
80 Kings ("eighty Kings")
a piece of meld consisting of one King from each of the four suits; worth 80 points. Same as Kings Around. See also arounds, 800 Kings
1500 Trump ("fifteen hundred Trump")
a piece of meld consisting of both Aces, both Tens, both Kings, both Queens, and both Jacks of Trump; worth 1500 points (very rare). Same as double run. See also run.
(to) follow suit
to play a card of the suit led to the trick. Each player is required to do this if able.
40 Jacks ("forty Jacks")
a piece of meld consisting of one Jack from each of the four suits; worth 40 points. Same as Jacks Around. See also arounds, 400 Jacks.
40 Pinochle ("forty Pinochle")
a piece of meld consisting of one Jack of Diamonds and one Queen of Spades; worth 40 points. See also 300 Pinochle.
400 Jacks ("four hundred Jacks")
a piece of meld consisting of all eight Jacks; worth 400 points. See also arounds, 40 Jacks.
(to) go set
(for the declaring team) to fail to earn enough points to meet the bid made by the declarer. Going set results in loss of points and should generally be avoided.
hand
the twelve cards dealt to an individual player.
100 Aces ("a hundred Aces")
a piece of meld consisting of one Ace from each of the four suits; worth 100 points. Same as Aces Around. See also arounds, 1000 Aces.
Jacks Around
a piece of meld consisting of one Jack from each of the four suits; worth 40 points. Same as 40 Jacks. See also arounds, 400 Jacks.
jump bid
a bid more than 10 higher than the previous amount bid. Generally, a jump bid indicates to your (still-bidding) partner that there is at least one suit for which you cannot supply a card needed for the run. Don't use a jump bid if your partner has already passed (unless you're just trying to confuse your opponent) because you may unnecessarily reveal information about your hand.
Kings Around
a piece of meld consisting of one King from each of the four suits; worth 80 points. Same as 80 Kings. See also arounds, 800 Kings
lead
to play the first card to a trick. Also, the first card played to a trick, or the right to play that card (as in "Whose lead is it?").
lone Ace
an Ace in a hand which contains no other cards of the same suit; such a card is susceptible to being pulled if the other Ace of that suit is led. See also pull.
loser
a card which is not likely to win a trick. Generally, a non-Ace outside of Trump is a loser.
make the bid
(for the declaring team) to earn enough combined points, from melding combinations of cards and from pulling counters in tricks, to meet or exceed the amount bid by the declarer.
marriage
a King and a Queen of the same suit. See common marriage, royal marriage.
meld
the combinations of cards which score points after the deal and before trick-taking has begun. Also used as a verb, meaning "to lay down meld."
minimum bid
the amount the first bidder must offer to make, or else pass; also, the amount the dealer receives the bid for if everyone else passes.
non-counters
the cards which do not score points during the trick-taking phase of the round (Queens, Jacks, and Nines). See also counters.
(to be) on the board
(for the declaring team) to have sufficient meld that it is mathematically possible to make their bid. Because there are 250 points available in the trick-taking phase, the declaring team must meld to within 250 or fewer points of their bid in order to be on the board.
pass
a bidding phrase that removes you from the bidding for the current round.
also, the set of four cards sent back and forth across the table from declarer's partner to declarer.
pass with help
a bidding phrase that removes you from the bidding for the current round, but indicates to your (still-bidding) partner that you can provide four good cards regardless of the suit named trump. Don't use this phrase if your partner has already passed because you will unnecessarily reveal information about your hand.
pinochle
the combination of a Jack of Diamonds and a Queen of Spades, from which the game gets its name. See also 40 Pinochle, 300 Pinochle.
pull
to remove a trick from the table after it is played.
also, to force a particular card to be played. ("My Ace of Trump pulled Pat's Ten [because Pat had to follow suit].")
Queens Around
a piece of meld consisting of one Queen from each of the four suits; worth 60 points. Same as 60 Queens. See also arounds, 600 Queens.
rope
a run of A-10-K-Q-J in the trump suit
round
the sequence of events from one deal through to the next; frequently called a "hand" but distinct here for clarity.
round robin
a piece of meld consisting of a marriage in each of the four suits; worth 240 points (Kings Around [80], Queens Around [60], one royal marriage [40] and three common marriages [60 points total]). See also common marriage, Kings Around, Queens Around, royal marriage.
royal marriage
a piece of meld consisting of one King and one Queen of Trump; worth 40 points. The King and Queen of Trump found in a bare run is counted as part of the run. See also bare run, common marriage, marriage, run.
run
a piece of meld consisting of one Ace, Ten, King, Queen, and Jack of Trump; worth 150 points. An extra King or Queen of Trump (or both) increases the value. See also bare run, double run, 1500 Trump.
(to) set
(for the non-declaring team) to pull enough points in tricks that insufficient points are available for the declaring team to make their bid. ("We set them when we pulled their lone Ace.") See also go set, pull
600 Queens ("six hundred Queens")
a piece of meld consisting of all eight Queens; worth 600 points. See also arounds, 60 Queens.
60 Queens ("sixty Queens")
a piece of meld consisting of one Queen from each of the four suits; worth 60 points. Same as Queens Around. See also arounds, 600 Queens.
(to) slough [pronounced "sluff"]
to play a card to a trick that is neither of the suit led nor of Trump (you must have no cards in either suit); this card cannot win the trick. Generally, the declarer's partner will slough counters onto declarer's first few trump leads, until his or her counters are exhausted.
1000 Aces ("a thousand Aces")
a piece of meld consisting of all eight Aces; worth 1000 points. See also arounds, 100 Aces.
300 Pinochle ("three hundred Pinochle")
a piece of meld consisting of both Jacks of Diamonds and both Queens of Spades; worth 300 points. See also 40 Pinochle, pinochle.
(to) throw it in
(for the declaring team) to decide, after melding, not to play the rest of the round because it is either mathematically impossible or perceived to be impossible for the declaring team to make their bid.
trick
a set of four cards played to the table, one from each hand, led by the winner of the previous trick (the declarer leads to the first trick). Each player plays a card to the trick in order, to the left of the leader. The winner of the trick is the person who played the highert-ranking card of the suit led, or if the trick contains trump, the highest-ranking trump played on the trick.
trump
the suit named by the declarer after winning the bid. This suit then has special properties during the trick-taking phase and also affects points earned in meld. See also declarer, meld.
also, to play a card of the trump suit onto a trick with a non-trump lead. ("Chris trumped my Ace of Hearts!")
void
lacking cards in a particular suit. With the pass back to the partner, the declarer will usually make his or her hand void in one or more suits to increase its potency.
walk (as in "will it walk?" or "make it walk")
to win a trick with a card that would normally be considered a loser.
winner
a card that is very likely to win a trick. The Ace of Trump is a winner (unless it is the second one played on the trick). Generally, Aces and Trump are winners. See also losers.