Wednesday, September 08, 2004


I used to play Pinochle quite a bit when I was growing up. I remember thinking it was a terrific game. Recently some friends at work expressed an interest in learning it, so we've been playing at lunch for the last several weeks. I gotta say... I don't know what attracted me to it. Perhaps my perspective is different now that I've played some "real" games. I have found that there really aren't a lot of meaningful decisions to be made. We've been playing single deck and using the 3 card passing rules. I thought passing would help the game, but now I'm not so sure. It seems there are 2 types of hands... the cinch hand (lots of meld and/or a very strong suit) and the borderline hand (where you perhaps need a few particular cards from your partner to make a cinch hand). After the pass the borderline hands seem to either turn into cinch hands (you got the run) or set hands. Typically, there is 1 hand per game where you really feel like the way you played the cards made the difference between making your bid and missing it, but for the most part, the decisions are made for you based on the cards you have. And, because the rules dictate that you must beat a card previously played if you can and you must trump if you can't follow suit, there are even fewer decisions to be made.

Anyway, growing up I usually played double deck. Perhaps that is a better game, but I suspect it still has nothing on "real" games. I'm ready to go back to Skat and Tichu.