Glup Pinochle

This version of two-player Pinochle was contributed by 'Mouse' , whose family have played it at least since the 1970's and possibly invented it. It features larger hands and more melds than the traditional game, and extra points for 'glups' when a player loses a trick by following suit.

A double deck of 96 cards is used, consisting of four each of 9-J-Q-K-10-A in each suit. (9 is lowest, ace is highest and 10 is ranked between K and A, as in most other pinochle variants).

Deal 18 cards to each player, one at a time. Turn up the next card - its suit is trump. The remaining cards are stacked face down to form the stock. If the turned up trump card is a 9, the dealer scores one point for it. When dealing, the dealer lifts a section of the deck to deal out. If the dealer cuts off exactly 37 cards to deal - both hands plus the turn-up card - dealer scores one point for doing so. The dealer is not allowed to adjust this packet of cards after starting to deal (or, rather, cannot score this point after doing so). There is an extra point for doing both things in the same deal - cutting 37 cards and dealing a 9 as the turned up trump - in this case the dealer scores 3 points rather than 2.

Phase one lasts while there is any stock left. Eldest hand leads to the first trick of phase 1; after that, taker of each trick leads to the next. After taking each trick, the trick taker has the option of making one meld (never more than one meld per trick taken). This must be done before drawing from the stock. After melding, if any, trick taker draws from the stock; then trick loser draws from the stock. Then trick taker leads to the next trick. (Thus, throughout phase 1, each player's hand-plus-melds alternates between 18, after drawing and before playing, and 17, after playing and before drawing.)

Trick taking works in the usual way for games with trump. If the two cards are of the same suit the higher card wins. If just one is a trump, the trump wins. If they are of different non-trump suits the first card wins. A trick with two identical cards is won by the first card played.

Each player may play any card to any trick in phase 1, from melded cards or from the hand. Choosing to follow suit, but with a card that does not win the trick, is called a glup. Doing so with a counter (A, 10, or K) earns an additional glup. Doing so with a tie (same rank as the card led) also earns an additional glup, which can add to the extra glup for a counter. Glups accumulate across consecutive tricks; playing a card which scores no glups loses all accumulated glups. Reaching 3 glups earns a point; reaching 6 earns another; reaching 9 earns 10, reaching 12 earns 1, reaching 15 or each multiple of 3 thereafter earns 10. Upon earning any points from glups, any additional glups beyond those necessary to reach the scoring threshold are lost (eg, a player who's at 5 glups plays a 10D on a 10D and would normally earn three glups for it, but the first one of the three reaches the scoring threshold of 6 and the other two are thus lost; one more glup on the next trick would put that player at 7, not 9.) Note that breaking the string - failing to follow suit, or taking a trick - resets the count to zero. (It is rare to reach 9 glups, much less 15 or even 12.)

To meld, the winner of a trick places some cards from hand face up on the table. Melded cards continue to belong to the player whose put them down, and function as part of that player's hand for the purpose of playing to tricks, but remain face up on the table until played to a trick or until the end of phase one. A list of possible melds is given below. Double, triple or quadruple means that there must be two, three or four identical copies of each card. These multiple melds must be declared all at once; playing, for example, a single marriage and then later another identical marriage scores two singles, not a single and a double, even if the first marriage is still present in full when the second is declared. There are additional restrictions on melding; see below. Most melds have four scores; some have fewer, usually because there aren't enough cards in a hand to score more than that. (For example, a quad run would require 20 cards, more than are available, so a quad run is impossible and there is no fourth score listed for runs.)

Provided the trump showing is not a 9, replacing it with a 9 is considered a meld, in the sense that no other meld can be declared on the same trick.

Meld Single Double Triple Quadruple
Replacing the turned up trump with the 9
Marriage (Q+K) in non-trump
Marriage in trump
Pinochle (JD+QS)
Roundhouse (a marriage in each suit)
Run (J Q K 10 A in trumps)
Roundhouse of runs (J Q K A in each suit)
Double nines (two nines in each suit)
Jacks (J in each suit)
Queens (Q in each suit)
Kings (K in each suit)
Aces (A in each suit)
All four trump jacks
All four trump queens
All four trump kings
All four trump aces

* The 200 score is for double double nines, ie, all 16 nines.

The reason marriages (and pinochles) don't follow the factor-of-10 pattern for triples and quads that most melds do is that experience shows that if they do, triple marriages dominate the game to an undesirable degree.

Certain melds are incompatible; a card that has participated in a meld X may not participate in a meld Y if melds X and Y are incompatible. In general, two melds are incompatible if the set of cards needed for one is a subset of those needed for the other; for example, a double marriage in diamonds is incompatible with a triple marriage in diamonds. There are, however, some exceptions.

  • Exception: Single marriages, single queens, and single kings are not incompatible with a double roundhouse (they are incompatible with a single roundhouse).
  • Exception: Marriages in trumps are never incompatible with runs. (However, it is not possible to declare a meld that does not involve at least one card from the hand; to score a single trump marriage after playing a single run requires supplying an additional king or queen.)
  • Exception: A roundhouse of runs is incompatible with a single (trump) run, even though neither meld is a subset of the other.

Playing a nine of trumps during phase 1 earns a point the moment it is played. A player with any nines of trumps left at the end of phase 1 shows them then to collect the points for them. (The loser of the last trick draws the face-up trump, which by that point is invariably a nine; this nine does not bring a point, since a point was scored for it when it went down there.)

After phase 1 ends - that is, after the last stock card is taken by the player who took the last trick, and the face-up trump is taken by the loser of that trick - each player picks up their own remaining melded cards if any (and shows any remaining nines of trumps) and phase 2 begins.

The first lead of phase 2 is by the player who took the last trick of phase 1. In phase 2, the non-leading player must follow suit if possible, and, subject to that restriction, must take the trick if possible (this means playing a trump if void in the suit led but not void in trump). Phase 2 has no glups or melding and since the stock is empty no more cards are drawn. The player who takes the last trick in phase 2 scores two points for doing so. After phase 2 ends, the cards making up the collected tricks are inspected. Each A, 10, or K earns one point for the player whose collected tricks it appears in. There are 48 such counters in the deck; conventionally, the two points for the last trick are combined with this score, making the counts for the two players effectively add up to 50 points. (This makes it easy to catch most miscounts of the trick piles.) The deal then switches to the other player.

Game is any total agreed upon. Mouse writes: ' I usually play to 1000, with a moderately complicated scoring scheme above that which effectively amounts to playing (across multiple sessions, to be sure) until one player is 1000 or more ahead of the other, at which point that player has won a game'.

Last updated: 13th October 2020