Quinto, Yukon, Pip-Pip - card game rules

Quinto, Yukon, Pip-Pip

This is an archive copy of a page from the former website cardsanddominoes.com, with thanks to Howard Fosdick for permission to republish it here.


Quinto was invented by Angelo John Lewis (aka Professor Hoffmann, 1839-1919) around 1900. It appears in the English book The Complete Hoyle’s Games and a few other card game compilations. We believe this is the only rules description for the game on the web. (This game should not be confused with the board/card game invented a few years ago also named Quinto, the rules for which can be found here.)

Quinto deserves to be much better known. It’s a traditional trick-taking game... but with some unique concepts.  Quick to learn, its surprising twists provide solid entertainment.

The Basics

Quinto is for four players in two partnerships. Use a 52-card deck plus one Joker. Cards rank Ace down to 2.

Suits rank:  Hearts -> Diamonds -> Clubs -> Spades.

Deal 12 cards to each player.  The remaining 5 cards are left face-down as the cachette. The winner of the last trick takes the cachette as an extra trick.


After players examine their cards, beginning with the eldest, each may elect to double the value of the tricks for the hand. Their opponents may elect to re-double (quadrupling the value of tricks for the hand). A player may not redouble his partner’s double.

Eldest leads any card to the first trick. Opponents must follow suit if able, else they may play any card. The trick is won by the highest card played. Winner of a trick leads to the next.

The rank of the suits (Hearts -> Diamonds -> Clubs -> Spades) indicates their power as trumps when played out of suit. Thus, if a trick consists of all diamonds and I play any Heart, I win the trick with my Heart trump. Or, if the lead to the trick is a Club, and I play a Diamond, then you play a Heart, you win the trick with your highest-trump Heart. If any trumps are played to a trick, the trick is won by the highest card played according to the trump suit ranking.

The Joker is unique. It has no trick-taking value and can be played by its holder at any time (regardless of the normal rules of following suit). If the Joker leads a trick, others may play any card they like, since the Joker has no suit and no trick-taking power. In this case the trick is won by the highest card of the highest suit played.


Each trick scores 5 points for the partnership that wins it. (This is 10 points if the scoring was doubled, and 20 if it was redoubled).

The Joker scores 25 points to the side that takes it in a trick.

Beyond this, five point card combinations called quints score points as follows:

Card Combination






20 points

15 points

10 points

5 points

Ace and 4

20 points

15 points

10 points

5 points

2 and 3

20 points

15 points

10 points

5 points

So, if your partnership takes a trick containing both the Ace and 4 of Hearts, you win 20 points. Taking the 2 and 3 of Diamonds in one trick yields 15 points.

You must take both cards of the same suit in a single trick to score.  5’s and the Joker can be taken in any trick for scoring, since they stand alone as point cards.

The first partnership to pass 250 points across hands wins the game. A rubber is best of three games. The winner of the rubber gets a 100 point bonus.

Quinto for Three

Quinto is a great three-player game. Dealer gets two hands, his own and a dummy hand. He then plays against the other two players who are in partnership. 

The dealer only looks at one of his hands when deciding whether to double or redouble.

Before playing tricks, the dummy hand is exposed face-up on the table. The dealer plays both his own hand and the dummy hand. 

Since the dealer has an advantage, the opposing partnership gets an extra 25 points when the final score is totaled. Rotate the dealership so each player gets to play alone.


Here’s another great trick-taking game that is published nowhere else on the web. (Do not confuse it with the solitaire called Yukon.) Yukon was played during the Klondike gold rush of 1898. It’s for two to five players, and it works best for four playing as two partnerships.  

Cards and Deal

Use a standard 52-card pack. Remove one 2 if three play, or two 2’s if five play. Deal 5 cards to each player. Set the remainder face-down as the draw pile.

The four Jacks are called Yukons and are the highest ranking cards. The spade Jack ranks highest of all and is called the Grand Yukon. Cards rank:  J - A - K - Q - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2.


Eldest leads the first trick. Others must follow suit if possible. If they cannot follow suit, they must play a Yukon if they have one. Otherwise they may play any card.

For example, if the lead is an Ace of hearts, everyone must play a heart if they have it. (For this purpose, the Jack of hearts is not considered an eligible heart, it is considered a Yukon.) If someone does not have a heart to play, then they must play a Yukon if they have one. If they have neither heart nor Yukon, they may play any card.

In the event that a player leads a Yukon, everyone must follow to the suit of the Yukon. If they can not, they must play a Yukon if they have one. Otherwise they may play any card. 

For example, if the lead is the Jack of clubs (a Yukon), the other players must play a club if they have one. If they have no club, they must a play a Yukon. And if they have neither club nor a Yukon, they may then play any card.

A trick is won by the Grand Yukon if it is played. Otherwise a trick is won by any Yukon played (if two or more are played to the same trick, the first Yukon played wins the trick). If no Yukons are played, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick.

The winner of the trick now draws one card from the stock, followed by other players. He then leads the next trick.

When the draw pile is empty, players continue until all cards have been played. The first player or partnership to score 250 points or more as determined at the conclusion of a hand wins, as per this scoring chart--





Grand Yukon (Jack of spades)


Yukons (other Jacks)










all other cards



The above rules are based on the first card game book to contain Yukon rules, 50 Card Games for Children (original copyright 1933 by Vernon Quinn, and subsequently reprinted several times starting in 1946).  The only other book containing Yukon rules that I’ve ever found is Oxford A-Z of Card Games by David Parlett.

One Yukon rule is unclear. Would it make sense that if a diamond were led, one could only play the diamond Yukon if one has no other diamond in hand? Or is a diamond Yukon playable to a diamond lead regardless of whether one has other diamonds in hand? Try it both ways and see what you think works best.

Similar Games

Learn more about the history of Yukon and similar games at the pagat.com Yukon page


Here’s a fast, simple trick-taking game that’s great for mixed groups of from 3 to 12. Best for 5 to 8 players. 

Cards and Deal

Use two standard 52-card packs shuffled together. Draw to see who will be Dealer. High card is Dealer. It is also the initial Trump Suit for the hand. Dealer deals 7 cards to each player face-down. The remaining cards become the drawing stock.

The cards rank --  2- A - K - Q - J - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3. So rank is as per typical -- except that the 2 is the highest card.


The goal is to win the hand and the game by winning the most card points in tricks. Card points are as follows --

         2  --  11 points each
         A  --  10 points each
         K  --  5 points each
         Q  --  4 points each
         J  --   3 points each
         Other cards -- 0 points each
         A Pip-Pip! -- 50 points each (explained below)


Eldest leads the first trick. Others must follow suit if possible. If they cannot follow suit, they can either play a trump card or a discard. The trick is won by the highest trump played (if any), otherwise it is won by the highest card of the suit led.

If two identical highest cards are played, the second one played to the trick wins it.

After playing a card to a trick, each player draws a replacement card from the stock. The winner of one trick leads to the next.

Trick play continues until there are not enough cards left in the stock for each player to draw one. At that point, the final cards in the stock are turned face-up, and players play the remaining 7 cards from their hands to tricks. Then the hand ends.


What makes this game unique is that players can change the Trump Suit during play. The way this occurs is -- when a player acquires in hand a King and Queen of the same suit, he can call “Pip-Pip!” and place these two cards before him face-up. This changes the Trump Suit for the hand to that suit immediately upon the lead to the next trick. 

The player immediately scores 50 points for any Pip-Pip!. Pip-Pip! can only be declared if the suit of the King-Queen combination differs from that of the current trump suit.

If two or more players declare PIp-Pip prior to the next trick, each scores 50 points for his declaration. The trump suit is changed to the last one called.

Calling PIp-PIp! is optional. So a player might acquire a King-Queen pair and declare Pip-Pip! immediately, or he might wait to declare it at a more advantageous time (in order to win more tricks based on that trump suit). The 50 points is only awarded for Pip-Pip’s that are declared.

Cards laid on the table for Pip-Pip! are played to tricks just as if they resided in the player’s hand. A King or Queen can only be used in a single Pip-Pip! declaration (a card can not be reused for another Pip-Pip!). A player may call Pip-Pip! twice in the same suit if he has both Kings and Queens of that suit. A player may also call Pip-Pip! before the first trick in the hand should he be dealt appropriate cards. In this case the trump suit changes prior to playing the first trick of the hand.


The Game ends when each player has dealt an equal number of times.

More Information

Pip-Pip! is described by George F. Hervey in his card compendium published by Hamlyn in the UK, as well as by the prolific author of card expertise, Hubert Phillips (1894-1961).  I’m unaware of any other published descriptions. Note that Hervey says for multiple Pip-Pip! declarations, the first suit called takes effect, whereas Phillips says the last one called supersedes the other(s).

Archive copy of a page by Howard Fosdick, reprinted with the author's permission.   © 2018. Last updated: 5th February 2018