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Briscola is one of the Northern Mediterranean most popular games. It is believed to have originated in the 1600s in Italy but a lot of people argue that it came from the French game Brisque. It is played with 2, 3 or four players and a deck of Italian cards. A deck of Italian cards consists of forty cards, divided into four suits: coins, swords, cups and clubs. The values on the cards range from 1 through 7 – by the number of suit icons on the card. – and there are three face cards in each suit, the Jack (8), the Knight (9), and the King (10).

In Briscola, the Ace is worth 11 points, the Three 10 points, the King 4 points, the Knight 3 points, the Jack 2 points. The remaining cards have no point value. A deck has 120 points: to win a game, a player or a team must accumulate more points than any other player/team.

Each player is dealt three cards and one card, called the briscola (trump suit), is placed face up. Before the first hand is played, team players may show each other their cards. Each player plays a card in turn counter-clockwise, and the winner of the hand is the one who had the highest card or the one who played a trump or the highest valued trump. Then, each player draws a card from the deck, starting with the winner of the last round who will begin the new round. The last card collected should be the up-turned Briscola.

When you play in a team you cannot speak to your partner but you can signal discretely your cards' value by:

Ace - stretching the lips over the teeth or pursing lips

Three - distorting the mouth to one side

King - glancing upwards or raising eyebrows

Knight - shrugging one shoulder

Jack - licking your lips



Wikipedia at