Pinochle is a more advanced card game with points being scored from a melding phase and a trick-taking playing phase.  Be the first team to score 150 points to win the game!  The following video tutorial and explanation is for 4 players divided into 2 teams.  Be sure to keep the Pinochle quick guide close while playing for a quick reference to help you learn as you play!

Pinochle Tutorial:


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PINOCHLE Quick Guide
Needed: 48 card pinochle deck; 4 players; pen and paper for scorekeeping

Card Rank: The cards are ranked as follows: Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack, 9

Deal: Each player is dealt 12 cards in sets of 3 cards at a time.

Objective:  The objective is to be the first team to score 150 points.  Points are scored through the melding and playing phases.

Bidding:  The player left of the dealer is first to bid.  The minimum amount to bid is 20 or a player can pass on bidding.  Bidding continues clockwise with each player bidding higher than any previous bids or passing.  Players can bid multiple times.  A player wins the bid when all other players have passed.

Card Pass:  The bid winner’s partner will pass 3 cards to his/her partner.  The bid winner looks at the cards and then decides on 3 cards to pass back to his/her partner.  No cards are passed between the team that did not win the bid.

The Meld:  Players count the points in their hands.  The points are as follows:

  • Trump Run (Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack) = 15 points (2x = 150 points)
  • Trump 9 = 1 point
  • Trump Marriage (King and Queen) = 4 points
  • Non-Trump Marriage = 2 points
  • Ace in Each Suit = 10 points (2x = 100 points)
  • King in Each Suit = 8 points (2x = 80 points)
  • Queen in Each Suit = 6 points (2x = 60 points)
  • Jack in Each Suit = 4 points (2x = 40 points)
  • Pinochle (Queen of Spades and Jack of Diamonds) = 4 points (2x = 30 points)

Playing Phase:  The bid winner plays the first card.  Play moves clockwise with each player having to play a card in the same suit that was led whenever possible.  If a player cannot follow the lead suit, he/she has to play a trump suited card.  If a player cannot follow the lead suit or play a trump suited card, he/she can play any card.  Also, a player must beat the high card played if possible, even if the card is your partners.  The winner of the trick is the player who played the highest ranking trump card.  If no trump suited cards were played, the winner of the trick is the player who played the highest ranking card in the lead suit.  Each Ace, 10, and King won in a trick counts for 1 point each.  The team that wins the last trick receives an additional point.

Scoring:  The points from the meld phase are added to the points from the playing phase.

  • If 2 cards of the same rank are played, the first card played wins the trick.
  • The non-bidding team must take at least one point during the playing phase or else they lose any melded points for the round.  
  • If a team does not make their bid it is known as going set.  If set, the team loses the amount of points bid.
  • If both teams go over 150 points in the same round, the bidding team wins the game.  Even if the non-bidding team ends up with more overall points.
  • If a player is dealt a hand with 5 or more nines and no melds, the hand can be thrown in and re-dealt.  The hand must be thrown in before bidding begins.