Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 12

Illustrated Hungarian Tarokk: Example Deal 12

contributed by Révész Gábor

The XX is discarded: one against three



1 Cue bid showing the XIX

Card distribution after the exchange

The discard

A: III, V, IX, X, XVI, XVIII, clubQ, K, diamondAheartQ
B: XII, clubJ, C, diamondQ, heartA, spade10, J, Q, KXX
C: I, II, VIII, XIV, XVII, XIX, XXI, skíz, heartKclub10, heartC (declarer)
D: IIII, VI, VII, XI, XIII, XV, diamondJ, C, KheartJ, spadeC


    C: Nyolc tarokk, hívom a XX-ast, tulétroá, duplajáték, passz(Eight tarokks, I call the XX, trull, double game, pass)
    D, A: Passz(Pass)
    B: Kontra játék, passz(Kontra the game, pass)
    C: Rekontra játék, passz(Rekontra the game, pass)
    D: Passz(Pass)
    A: Kontra duplajáték, passz(Kontra the double game, pass)
    B, C, D: Passz(Pass)

The play



  1. To begin with we should mention that discarding the XX is prohibited in some circles. However, a situation similar to the one in present example could come about as a result of the XIX or the XVIII etc. being discarded, which is always allowed.
  2. B considered his cards so weak that he would not be able to give his partner, the declarer any help. Therefore he decided to discard the XX. In this situation he, or, if there are five players, the dealer is obliged to declare after everyone has discarded that a tarokk is in the skart. The declarer cannot be sure which tarokk it is, but if he guesses that it is the XX, he is entitled to disregard the usual obligation to call the XX, and to call any other tarokk (except an honour). If the discarded tarokk is called, the player who discarded it must kontra the game.
  3. C's announcement of double game indicated that he held the second highest unknown tarokk, which was the XVII, since the XX was called and the XIX was known from C's cue bid.
  4. B's kontra made it clear to everyone that C was playing alone. If B had being saying kontra from strength rather than obligation, he would have kontra'd the double game as well. Reasonably, he left that to his partners, so that it would become clear who was the strongest opponent, who would lead the opponents' play.
  5. The course of the play was as follows: A wins tricks, makes himself longer by leading his suit cards and tries to destroy also the trull by catching the pagát; B discards wisely giving C cards of small value while enriching his own team's tricks; and D leads tarokks whenever he wins a trick, because he is leading up to C's high tarokks.
  6. To trick 1 A led his queen away from his king, making C wonder how hard he should try to win this trick, which is fairly valuable for him. C played his XVII, successfully finessing against the XVIII.
  7. To trick 2 C led a small tarokk in order that if B had at least one tarokk, a trick of small value should go to the opponents' team. As the pagát was not played, the opponents realised C must have it.
  8. At trick 3 B returned A's suit, conserving A's tarokks. C could not let the opponents win such a valuable trick.
  9. It would have better if D had not played his lowest tarokks in the first three tricks; then A could have overtaken trick 4 with a smaller tarokk than his XVI. B threw his diamond queen away because he knew he would be able to save his spade king later. It was more important now to get rid of his only diamond, so to give himself a free choice of plays later if a diamond is led.
  10. At trick 5 C was right (and lucky) to save his pagát - he would not have another chance later.
  11. B's jack could not make trick 7 attractive enough for C to win. He ducked it to his opponents, because he thought, correctly, that both of the last two tricks would contain more points than that one.


Value of cards taken by declarer's team: 56 points

      Rekontra'd game (two): 8 points
      Kontra'd double game (two): -16 points
      Trull: 2 points
      Total: -6 points


Even though it is legal to discard the XX, it is not polite to do it very often.

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

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