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Tarocchi, also known as Tarock, is a trick-taking game, and one of the oldest card games known. It is played with a Tarot deck of playing cards.

The original 78-card deck contains:

  • the four Mediterranean style suits of clubs, swords, cups, and coins, numbered one through ten, with four court cards, a page, a knight, a queen, and a king;
  • the twenty-one Tarots, which function in the game as a permanent suit of trumps; and
  • the Fool, also known as the Excuse, an un-numbered card that when played excuses the player from following suit or playing a trump.

After the hand has been played, a score is taken based on the point values of the cards in the tricks each player has managed to capture.

The Tarot deck was originally designed to play this game. For the purpose of the rules, the numbers on the trumps are the only thing that matters; the traditional images have no effect in the game itself. As such, in tarot decks made for playing the game, the four Mediterranean suits are often replaced with a deck using the more familiar French suits of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades; and the old symbolic tarots are often replaced by cards that bear only numbers and whimsical scenes chosen by the engraver.

Variations of the game are still played in France, Germany, and Italy.

External link:

Rules of French Tarot (http://www.pagat.com/tarot/frtarot)

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