Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 9

Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 9

contributed by Révész Gábor

Attempt to catch the XXI




Card distribution after the exchange

The discard

A: II, VIII, XV, XVII, diamondA, J spadeC, Q, KheartJ clubQ
B: I, VI, VII, XI, XII, XX, clubC, diamondK, heartKXIII
C: V, IX, XVI, XIX, XXI, club10, K, spade10, JdiamondC (declarer)
D: III, IIII, X, XIV, XVIII, skíz, clubJ, diamondQ, heartAheartC, Q


    C: Hívom a XX-ast, passz(I call the XX, pass)
    D, A, B: Passz(Pass)

The play



  1. This example demonstrates strategies and techniques related to catching the XXI.
  2. The bidding went up to one, so even the non-bidders knew that this was probably a duel between the XXI and the skíz.
  3. Correct discarding is a basic requirement of good play, but when there is a possibility of the XXI being caught it becomes vital to discard the right cards. It is very important for the players who do not hold the high honours to discard so that they can best help their partners who have the skíz and the XXI respectively. In this deal B even discarded a tarokk for this purpose.
  4. Generally in games like this the players concentrate on catching or saving the XXI, subordinating all other objectives to this goal. B did not hesitate to sacrifice his pagát in trick 2, thus forcing D to take the trick.
  5. The escape of the XXI in this game is mainly due to B's good decisions. In the first trick he did not win, because he hoped that C would overtake the XVII, and that C's lead to the following trick would inform him what sort of play C wanted. This happened again in trick 4. After C had made his tarokks longer twice by leading spades, B decided at trick 6 to lead a tarokk rather than trying a suit on which the XXI might be able to escape.
  6. C's play to trick 3 is also worthy of note: in a situation like this the holder of the XXI should always (and without hesitation) throw away the king. If he does not, he may give away to the holder of the skíz the information that he has a second card of the suit in question.


Value of cards taken by declarer's team: 43 points

      Lost game (one): -3 points
      Total: -3 points


It is very useful to remember the golden rule: the partner of the skíz has to draw tarokks, while the XXI's partner has to play escape suits. We can learn from this hand that skilful players may have to modify this basic strategy from time to time, according to the demands of the actual game.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 1998. Last updated: 26th September 1998

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