Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 2

contributed by Révész Gábor

Centrum, kontra'd pagátultimó




Card distribution after the exchange

The discard

A: III, VII, XIII, club10, J, diamondJ, spadeC, Q, KclubQ
B: I, IIII, VIII, X, XI, XIV, XV, XVIII, diamondKdiamondC
C: II, V, IX, XII, XIX, skíz, clubC, K, heartKheartQ, spade10 (declarer)
D: VI, XVI, XVII, XX, XXI, diamondA, Q, heartJ, CheartA, spadeJ


    C: Hívom a XX-ast, passz(I call the XX, pass)
    D: Tulétroá, passz(Trull, pass)
    A, B: Passz(Pass)
    C: Négykirály, passz(Four kings, pass)
    D: Centrum, passz(Centrum, pass)
    A: Passz(Pass)
    B: Kontra trull és négykirály; nyolc tarokk, pagátultimó(Kontra the trull and the four kings, eight tarokks, pagátultimó, pass)
    C: Kontra pagátulti, rekontra trull, passz(Kontra the pagátulti, rekontra the trull, pass)
    D, A, B: Passz(Pass)

The play



  1. During the bidding B, the player who held the pagát, did not speak at first: it is generally not useful to bid on the pagát unless one has a particularly strong or a very weak hand. C did not cue bid, because he had only five tarokks, which is generally considered insufficient for such a bid. D joined the bidding in order to receive two cards and possibly make himself stronger as C's partner. Another reason why D should bid in this example is to discourage his partner from discarding to weaken his hand, hoping to catch the XXI.
  2. C's four kings indicated the highest unknown tarokk, i.e. the XIX, and, according to the convention, that he had at least five tarokks.
  3. The XVII and the XVI are so placed that they can be led through both opponents. This is sufficient to make the centrum safe. D will lead these cards and either win tricks with them or drive out and catch the XVIII.
  4. B was right to kontra the trull and the four kings; the pagátulti announcement, however, proved to be a serious failure. B thought that in the course making the centrum, C and D would draw most of the tarokks, leaving him to take the last trick with the pagát. If he had kept quiet, the play would indeed have developed that way: C would probably not have risked losing the centrum by leading suit cards, and the silent pagátulti would have been made. In this case, however, it was worth playing against the kontra'd ulti (20 points) even by possibly sacrificing the centrum (10 points). Furthermore because announcer of the ulti is obliged to keep his pagát until the last trick unless it is forced out earlier, it was also possible to say rekontra to the trull.
  5. It is usual for an opponent to lead a suit against a centrum, but in this case, because the pagátulti is more valuable, A helps his partner by leading a tarokk. However, C managed to preserve a tarokk to the end by leading his long suit, clubs, twice. Since D happened to be void in clubs the centrum succeeded as well. If C had been dealt a small heart instead of the queen, he would probably have discarded a club instead of a heart. Then he would have led a heart to trick 3 and the centrum would have failed, though C and D would still have made a profit.


Value of cards taken by declarer's team: 62 points

      Game (two): 2 points
      Rekontra'd trull: 8 points
      Centrum: 10 points
      Kontra'd pagátulti: 20 points
      Kontra'd four kings: -4 points
      Total: 36 points


Remember the rule: the player who announces or kontras an ulti or an uhu is obliged to announce his eight or nine tarokks.

It is honourable to catch the pagát in the last trick with tarokk II, dubbed the "miner girl" (bányász kislány) in some circles.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1998. Last updated: 16th October 1998

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