Scopa is a popular Italian card. Played in parks, piazzas, and at kitchen tables, it is a game enjoyed by many. It is often played quickly, and with a fair amount verbal commentary from the players. After learning to play Scopa, be sure try your hand at one of the over dozen variations of the game. In bocca al lupo!
two or four playing in partnership
Latin deck of cards or standard deck with the 8, 9, and 10 cards removed.
How to play
Players should determine what score they’re going to play to 11, 15, or 21 points,. Players cut for deal low card deals.
The dealer gives each player three cards. Then four cards are be placed face up on the table. If three of the table cards are Kings however the to hand must be re-dealt.
Play goes around the table counterclockwise from the dealer. On the players turn they lay a card from their hand on the table. The objective is to capture a card or cards from the table that have the same value or combined value as the card the player laid down. A King is worth 10 , a Queen (or horseman if using a Italian deck) is worth 9 and Jack is worth 8. Any cards taken on the table are placed face down in a pile next to the player. If a player does not have a card that capture any cards from table then it stays on the table and other players can try to capture it.
If a player on their turn captures all the cards on the table this is called a Scopa or sweep. This is an automatic one point the player. Keep track your sweeps place one card face up in your captured stack.
After the players use their three cards, the dealer deals out another three cards face down each player but no table cards are dealt. Play continues until the deck is all used up.
If there are cards on the table after all the cards have been played they are given to the player who made the last capture of the game. The player who captures the last cards this way does not get a Scopa.
The player who captured the highest number of cards earns a point. The player who captured the most coins or diamond suited cards earns a point. The player who captured the seven of coins or seven of diamonds earns a point. The players gets one point for each sweep or Scopa he or she captures. A player earns one point if the have the highest primiera. To find out who has the highest primera add the value of cards capture using the ranking described here:
sevens are 21
aces are 16
fives are 15
fours are 14
three are 13
twos are 12
Kings are 10
Queens or horseman are 9
Jacks are 8
Whoever has the highest score of these cards captured wins the point.
Scopa di Quindici
In this variation, the played card does not take a card or set of cards that sum to the value of the card played. Instead, a capture is made when a played card and the cards captured equal 15.
This variation is played just like Scopa with these exceptions. There are four players playing in teams of two. Each player is dealt ten cards at the start of each hand. There are no cards dealt to the table.