Game invented by Angelo Lewis ©

Written by Howard Fosdick © BestFreeNewGames.com

Overview: Quinto deserves to be much better known. It’s a traditional trick-taking game... but with some unique concepts. Quick to learn, its surprising twists provide solid entertainment.

Quinto was invented around 1900 by Angelo John Lewis (aka Professor Hoffmann), who was a leading magician in the late 19th century. It appears in but few of the standard card game encyclopedia. The description provided here was perhaps the first for the game on the web. (This Quinto card game should not be confused with the commercial board game of the same name.)

Players and Deck: Quinto is for four players in two partnerships. Use a 52-card deck plus one Joker. Cards rank Ace down to 2.

Suits rank: Hearts -> Diamonds -> Clubs -> Spades.

Deal 12 cards to each player. The remaining 5 cards are left face-down as the cachette. The winner of the last trick takes the cachette as an extra trick.

Play: After players examine their cards, beginning with the eldest, each may elect to double the value of the tricks for the hand. Their opponents may elect to re-double (quadrupling the value of tricks for the hand). A player may not redouble his partner’s double.

Eldest leads any card to the first trick. Opponents must follow suit if able, otherwise they may play any card. The trick is won by the highest card played. Winner of a trick leads to the next.

How Trumping Works: The rank of the suits (Hearts -> Diamonds -> Clubs -> Spades) indicates their power when played out of suit.

If you can't follow suit, you must play an out-of-suit card. That card will be either higher or lower in the "suit hierarchy" than the suit led. If your card is of a higher suit, you've trumped the trick. (If it's lower, you lose the trick.) Thus a trick is won by the highest card of the highest suit played.

Here's an example. If a trick consists of all Diamonds and you can't follow suit, you might play any Heart. You've won the trick with your Heart trump.

Or, if the lead to the trick is a Club, and I play a Diamond, then you play a Heart, you win the trick with your highest-trump Heart. If any trumps are played to a trick, the trick is won by the highest card played according to the trump suit ranking.

The Joker: The Joker is unique. It has no ability whatsoever to win a trick and can be played by its holder at any time (regardless of the normal rules of following suit). Since the Joker is a valuable card worth 25 points, what this means is that you might want to throw the Joker on a trick you're sure your partner has won.

If the Joker leads a trick, others may play any card they like, since the Joker has no suit and no trick-taking power. In this case the trick is won by the highest card of the highest suit played.

Scoring: Each trick scores 5 points for the partnership that wins it. (This is 10 points if the scoring was doubled, and 20 if it was redoubled. Note that doubling and redoubling only apply to trick points, not points for quints).

The Joker scores 25 points to the side that takes it in a trick.

Beyond this, five point card combinations called quints score points as follows:

Hearts: Diamonds:Clubs:Spades:
520 15 10 5
Ace and 420 15 10 5
2 and 320 15 10 5

So, if your partnership takes a trick containing both the Ace and 4 of Hearts, you win 20 points. Taking the 2 and 3 of Diamonds in one trick yields 15 points.

You must take both cards of the same suit in a single trick to score. 5’s and the Joker can be taken in any trick for scoring, since they stand alone as point cards.

Winning Game: The first partnership to pass 250 points across hands wins the game. A ubber is best of three games. The winner of the rubber gets a 100 point bonus.

Quinto for Three: Quinto is a great three-player game. Dealer gets two hands, his own and a dummy hand. He then plays against the other two players who are in partnership.

The dealer only looks at one of his hands when deciding whether to double or redouble.

Before playing tricks, the dummy hand is exposed face-up on the table. The dealer plays both his own hand and the dummy hand.

Since the dealer has an advantage, the opposing partnership gets an extra 25 points when the final score is totaled. Rotate the dealership so each player gets to play alone.

Sources: Quinto is not a common game but it is described in several sources. Our rules are based on those in card expert David Parlett's Oxford A-Z of Card Games and Hamlyn's Complete Book of Card Games.

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License: Feel free to print, copy, and distribute these rules, so long as you retain this paragraph. Written by Howard Fosdick © 2023, distributed under Creative Commons License BY-ND.      HOME