Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 11

contributed by Révész Gábor

Bidding won by the pagát; kontra'd announcements

Bidding

(translation)

ABCD
PasszHáromKettőEgy
TartomPasszPassz
ABCD
PassThreeTwoOne
HoldPassPass

Card distribution after the exchange

The discard

A: VII, VIII, XII, XIV, club10, J, C heartJ, KclubQ
B: I, IIII, VI, X, XI, XIII, XV, XVII, spadeKIII (declarer)
C: V, XVI, skíz, heartA, C, Q, spade10, C, QdiamondA, Q
D: II, IX, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, clubK, diamondC, KdiamondJ, spadeJ

Announcements

    B: Nyolc tarokk, hívom a XX-ast, passz(Eight tarokks, I call the XX, pass)
    C: Passz(Pass)
    D: Trull, négykirály, duplajáték, passz(Trull, four kings, double game, pass)
    A: Passz(Pass)
    B: Pagátuhu, passz(pagátuhu, pass)
    C: Kontra trull, passz(Kontra the trull, pass)
    D: Passz(Pass)
    A: Kontra négykirály és duplajáték, passz(Kontra the four kings and the double game, pass)
    B, C, D: Passz(Pass)

The play

    TrickABCDABC
    1.clubCXVIIskízclubK
    2.spadeQXVIIIVIIspadeK
    3.XIXVIIIIIIIV
    4.XXXIIVIXVI
    5.XXIXIVXspade10
    6.IXclub10XVspadeC
    7.XIIIheartAIIclubJ
    8.IheartCdiamondCheartJ
    9.XIheartQdiamondKheartK

Comments

  1. This game will be informative especially for players who started from Paskievics tarokk and are now embarking on the illustrated version. The extra announcements that are available alter the players' priorities both during the bidding and in the round of announcements.
  2. While in Paskievics tarokk the holder of any of the three honours may be daring enough to become the declarer, in the illustrated game - because of the existence of the high scoring bonuses - the pagát's role is somewhat transformed. A very weak pagát is basically interested in preventing the high honours from becoming partners at any price: even a failed solo game with kontra costs less than a centrum. On the other hand, as the present example deal demonstrates, a pagát who wins the bidding with a strong hand may also suffer a nasty defeat.
  3. In the bidding B, who was the pagát with nine tarokks, thought he would be strong enough to control the game and make ulti. C as a weak skíz wanted more cards from the talon while D, who had the XX and a quite strong hand hoped that his bid of one would be held by the other high honour. The exchange of cards made B weaker than he had been before.
  4. In Illustrated Tarokk, if you hold a high honour and are called as declarer's partner, it is sensible to announce trull even if three players have bid. You risk that the declarer may be the pagát, but it is less annoying to fail in a kontra'd trull than to miss the centrum, kismadár etc. when the declarer has the other high honour. Here D faced an even more serious dilemma: if B is the skíz, centrum and volát are certain to make, but it will not be possible to announce them unless he indicates both his XIX and XVIII. If, on the other hand, B is the pagát, although the ulti (or uhu) will be made, the four kings will certainly fail and the double game will fail as well if A has a king and either:
      a) C is longer in tarokks than A (a trick of 12 points will then be lost, and the four kings can even be kontra'd), or
      b) A leads a king to the first trick, and C has no cards of that suit (again a trick of at least 12 points will be lost).
  5. The convention is that at least five tarokks are needed to announce four kings at least six to announce double game. So B could calculate that, including the discarded tarokk, his team had at least 15 tarokks. In such circumstances it was his partner's tarokks which were the greatest danger to the ulti or uhu. Two of D's suit cards may easily be taken out by the opponents: one in the first trick, and a second after the opponents win a trick with their skíz. If D's third suit card is a spade, then the pagát is certain to be beaten by one of D's six tarokks. The uhu, however, does not involve any more risk here than the ulti; as long as D has a suit card left, he can arrange to win trick 7 and lead the suit card to trick 8.
  6. Kontraing the trull informed A that C had the skíz: if C had had the XXI, he would have kept quiet.
  7. In addition to the possibilities listed in Comment 4 above, A found a third variation, on the basis of which he kontra'd the double game: he himself had seen all four clubs other than the king. He therefore knew that unless C had the king of clubs, his team could take 14 points in the first trick, which is almost certainly enough to destroy the double game.

Result

Value of cards taken by declarer's team: 67 points

      Trull lost with kontra: -4 points
      Four kings lost with kontra: -4 points
      Announced double game (one) lost with kontra: -24 points
      Pagátuhu: 20 points
      Total: -12 points

Note

D might have considered announcing centrum immediately, rather than four kings and double game. The drawback of this is that the centrum cannot possibly be made without the skíz, so it will certainly be kontra'd if the skíz is held by C, whereas the four kings and double game might not be kontra'd, even if the skíz is with the opponents.