Marjolet – Cards Game

Translated from German by Patryk Czemarnik

Rules of Marjolet

The Marjolet is played with a classic card game, with about the lower cards from 6 to 2 have been removed. This is to accumulate the maximum points, including picking up the scraps during lifts on the one hand and declaring combinations of high value cards on the other hand.


Marjolet is a popular game in southwestern France. This may be due to the fact that it was born in the Spanish borders. Moreover, it looks pretty with the famous spanish card game baptized Briscan, which has made his for centuries.

Anyway, the Marjolet is one of those games classified in the category of games of Checkers and Valets. As a result, his pleasant side lies among other things in the balance of the cards played in the lifts and those that remain in hand, waiting for a better combination.

Although being considerably simpler than Bezique, it happens that players impose the realization of a single combination after each lift performed. Such devices have the main interest to increase the tension, waiting for its turn.

The play

The Marjolet is played with a classic card game, which has been removed from the lower cards of 6 to 2. We will use during the trick a game of 32 cards, as in Belote.

The order of the cards is however particular to Marjolet. In fact, the hierarchical ranking from the highest value to the smallest is: Ace: 10, King: 9, Queen: 8, Jack: 7. The first two heights, that is to say the Ace and the King are said to be “broken”. The Jack in the color trump, meanwhile, is called the “Marjolet”.

Two players compete in a game of Marjolet. Given the ease of approach of this game, you can play even from 14 years.

Goal of the game

At Marjolet, the players must try to accumulate the maximum points, including picking up the scraps during lifts on the one hand and declaring combinations of cards of great value on the other hand. The winner of the game is the player who first reached the total of limit points previously fixed and by mutual agreement by the players. This winning point is usually either 500 points or 1000 points.

Rules of game

The first dealer is randomly determined by the cards: the one who shoots the weakest card from the stack of cards will take care of the first service.

Once the dealer is chosen, he gives a set of 6 cards to his opponent and then to him, 2 by 2 in three times, or 3 by 3 in two. The thirteenth card of the game (the first twelve being given to the players) is revealed face up. This return will set the trump color. As for the rest of the undistributed cards, they will serve as a stub during the game. They will remain in piles, face down, in the center of the table.

Game play

The dealer’s opponent plays first. The other player is not required to provide the color requested by the entry card. A player can cut with trump. The hierarchy of trumps is the same as that of the cards without trump. Whoever plays the best card (trump or not) wins the trick. It is this player who will then start the next lift and so on.

Before playing a lift, players can make a combination announcement. Thus, Marjolet distinguishes seven types of combinations, including:

  • Four Aces
  • Four Kings
  • Four Queens
  • Four Jacks;
  • Trump marriage (King & Queen of Trump suit );
  • Common Marriage (King  & Queen of same non-trump suit);
  • Trump Jack & Trump Queen;
  • Trump Jack and any non-Trump Queen

If a player holds one of these combinations, he can spread them face up in front of him. These combinations will be counted at the end of the game. However, they can be used both in the lifts games and to make new combinations. Of course, the players can not redo the same combinations with the same cards. During the last six lifts, the players are required to provide the color by imperatively playing a higher value card. If they do not hold, they can still play trumps. The announcement of the combinations continues until the last lifting.

Once the trick is exhausted, the lifts games cease. The players then proceed to pair their cards in hand before slaughtering them on the gaming table.

Scoring Summary

Once the game is over, we proceed to the counting of the points. At Marjolet, unmatched cards are worthless. Only the combinations made have values. Thus, as the Ace and the 10 (the scraps) are the strongest cards, they bring the most important points in the combinations made by the players:

  • Four Aces: 100 points
  • Four Kings: 80 points
  • Four Queens: 60 points
  • Four Jacks: 40 points
  • Trump marriage: 40 points
  • Common Marriage: 20 points
  • Trump Jack & Trump Queen: 20 points

There are also extra points at Marjolet:

  • If the dealer returns a 7, which will be the 7 asset, he will be entitled to 10 additional points. This is called the “ten”;
  • If a player holds the 7 of trump, he can exchange it for a card of his choice during the game. By making such an exchange, he is entitled to 10 additional points;
  • If the trump card holder does not swap it, he always wins 10 points when he plays it if he wins or not;
  • The player to win the last lift wins 10 additional points;
  • The player who picks up the six lifts is entitled to 50 extra points;
  • Each scrap won during lifts is worth 10 extra points.

End of the game

The game ends when a player obtains, as the case may be, a prior common agreement between the players, a total of 500 or 1000 points.

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