Ciapanò, Rovescino, Traversone, Busca, Vinciperde, Mattazza

This page is based on contributions from Virgilio Ferrari, Davide Gullo and Sergio Mastromarino.

Introduction

Ciapanò, also known as Rovescino, Traversone, Tressette a non Prendere, Perdivinci or Vinciperdi is a trick-taking game and is the reverse game of Tressette. The name Ciapanò is in Milanese dialect (in English it could be translated as "Don't catch it!") - Ciapanò was very popular in Lombardy until the 1980s and still played there now. This page also describes two variations: Busca and Mattazza. Like most Italian games it is played anticlockwise.

Ciapanò can be played by 3, 4 or 5 players.

The Cards

A 40 card pack is used. In the North East of Lombardy the Italian suits: swords, batons, cups and coins are used. In the South or North West of Lombardy the game is played with 40 cards of the Milanese pack which has French suits (spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds). In each suit the cards rank as follows: 3 (highest), 2, Asso (ace), Re (king), Cavallo (horse, or queen), Fante (jack), 7, 6, 5, 4 (lowest).

The cards have point values and the object is to avoid taking tricks containing valuable cards. There is an extra penalty for winning the last trick. The values of the cards are as follows:

Each ace                           1 whole point
Each 3, 2, re, cavallo or fante    1/3 of a point

The Deal

Deal (anticlockwise) 8 cards to each player for 5 players, 10 each for 4 players and 13 each for 3 players (in this case the dealer receives 14 cards and discards one card, which will be given to the winner of the last trick). Turn to deal passes to the right after each hand.

The Play

There are no trumps. The player to dealer's right leads first. Any card may be led, and the other players must play a card of the suit led if they have one. A player with no card of the suit led may play anything. The highest card of the suit led wins the trick, and the winner leads to the next trick.

The Scoring

When all tricks have been played, the values of cards taken in tricks are counted. Each player except the winner of the last trick scores as penalty points the value of the cards they have taken, disregarding any fractions - for example a player who has taken three and one thirds point scores 3; a player who has taken just two thirds of a point scores nothing. The scores of all the players for one hand should add up to 11, so the player who won the last trick scores the difference between 11 and the total of the amounts scored by the other players.

Example

            Actual value of cards taken     Penalty points scored
Player A:             3 1/3                          3
Player B:             2 and the last trick           4
Player C:             1 2/3                          1
Player D:             3 2/3                          3
---------            ------                         --
Total                10 2/3 + last trick            11, as always
In this case the last trick cost 2 points. It can in practice cost 1, 2 or 3 points depending on how the other tricks are distributed among the players.

If one player wins all the points (not necessarily all the tricks), this is called Cappotto. The player with all the points scores zero for the hand and the opponents score 11 each.

Any player whose cumulative score is 31 or more points drops out of the game and does not play any more. The last people left in play (1, 2 or 3 as players as agreed in advance) win the match. This will take several deals.

Variations

Some play that the target score is 21 or 41 rather than 31.

Some play that when a player reaches or exceeds the target, the player with the lowest score immediately wins.

┼Żan Kafol reports that in the variation Kifameno (from the Italian Chi Fa Meno), played in Slovenia, there can be 2, 3 or 4 players and 10 cards are dealt to each player. In the 3-player game one of the fours is removed from the pack. If there are fewer than four players, the undealt cards are stacked face down. After each trick, each player in turn, beginning with the winner of the trick, draws one card from the top of this stack, so that everyone has 10 cards again. When the stack of undealt cards is exhausted, play continues without drawing until all the cards have been played.

Busca

Under the name Busca, Davide Gullo describes a variation for four players in which all the points are multiplied by three: threes, twos and pictures are worth 1 point each, and the last trick 3 points. Aces are worth 3 points except for the ace of coins, which in this variation is called the Pita and is worth 8 points. It is illegal to lead coins in the first trick, and the Pita cannot be discarded in the first trick if the holder is unable to follow suit.

The total number of points in play is 40, and the object is to take at least one point but avoid taking most points. The loser or losers score penalty points known as busche. The Italian verb "coprire" (to cover) is used for avoiding a busca by taking a trick containing at least one point,

  • A player who takes no points scores 1 busca. If two players take no card points they score 2 busche each, and if one player takes all 40 card points, the three losers each score 3 busche.
  • If everyone takes at least 1 point, the player with most points scores 1 busca with up to 18 card points, 2 busche with 19-22 card points, and with more than 22 points each further card point costs an extra busca - so 26 points would score 6 busche and the maximum 37 card points (with the other players having 1 each) scores 17 busche.
  • If two players tie for most points they all score double the the usual number of busche - 2 busche each with up to 18 card points or 4 busche each with 19 card points (the maximum). If three players tie for most card points they score 3 busche each, and if everyone takes 10 card points they all score 4 busche.

Davide Gullo's site provides rules of Busca in Italian.

Mattazza

This game from Romagna is for four players, playing as individuals. There are no trumps. As in Busca, the threes, twos and pictures are worth 1 point and the aces and the last trick 3 points, but there is no special score for the ace of coins, so there are 35 points altogether. If everyone takes at least one trick, the player or players who take most card points score one game point each. If one or more players take no trick then those players score one game point each and the players with tricks score nothing. The first two players to reach 5 game points are the losers.

Players are allowed to say andare a duro or tirare la mattazza as a suggestion to the others to try to prevent a certain player from winning tricks.

Software

The Italian site Tretre includes rules of Tressette a non prendere.

You can download a freeware Traversone program from Thanos Card Games.

You can play Tressette a Perdere on line at the Italian site biska.com.

At Žan Kafol's Flash site briskula.si you can play Kifameno online against live opponents. Kifameno (or Chi Fa Meno - "who wins least") is a losing Tressette variant from Slovenia, similar to Tressette a non Prendere as described on this page.

At Davide Gullo's GDM community site you can play the variation Busca on line.