Bezique (Card Game Rules)

The Bezique card game rules are simple enough for a beginner to understand but intriguing sufficiently for seasoned players to enjoy as well. Let’s learn how to play it!

Bezique, also known as Bésigue, is an old trick-taking card game from 19th-century France. It is related to Pinochle (see Pinochle rules) and also has some similarities to Euchre rules.

The game combines tricks with card melds, making it attractive to players with different levels of experience. 

But what I like the most about it is the fact that it motivates you to master your skills and get better with each new game. 

This Bezique Card Game rules guide will cover the following: 

  • What is Bezique?
  • What you’ll need to play the Bezique card game
  • Bezique card game rules
  • How to play Bezique (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Bezique (our guides)

Read on and discover how to play Bezique with the following instructions step-by-step.

What is Bezique?

Bezique Card Game Info image

In Bezique, players compete to score by building card melds and winning tricks. Aces and tens are valuable in tricks, but melds can get you to the ultimate goal of 1,000 points faster. 

Use your tactics when choosing cards for the tricks, and deploy your strategic thinking when deciding on the most valuable melds to lay down. 

Number of Players: 2 (there are other versions for more players too) 

Ages: 10+

Difficulty: Moderate

Length of Play: 20 – 40 minutes

Category: Trick-taking card game

Similar to: Pinochle, Marjolet, Euchre

Main Objective: Score as many points as possible by melding cards and winning tricks. 

Why We Love It: Bezique is one of those games where you can turn your luck over despite not having the best cards, which can be very gratifying.

What You’ll Need to Play Bezique

Bezique is played with a pair of classic 52-card decks. As I’ll explain shortly, you will sort some of the cards out before playing, and you will not need Jokers for this game, either.

Besides the cards, you should also have a notepad and pen to keep the scores.

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Bezique Card Game Rules and Gameplay

Bezique has various versions with slightly different rules. For clarity, my guide focuses on the popular two-player variation of this game.

Let’s begin with the initial setup of your cards.

Starting the Game

Even though you play Bezique only in a pair, you will need two decks of cards for the game. 

However, you won’t really use all of them. Sort out twos to sixes from the decks and put them aside. You will only need sevens up to aces (64 cards total) for the game.

One of the players will take on the role of dealer. They shuffle the cards and deal 8 of them to each player (officially, the cards should be distributed in bundles of 3, 2, and 3 cards).

The players keep their cards hidden from their opponents at all times. 

Next, flip the top card of the remaining deck and place it under the pile so that it would slightly protrude (you should see the card’s suit clearly, as this is your trump suit).

How to Play Bezique Card Game

Bezique consists of two principal elements: tricks and melds. Both can earn the players points, which is their ultimate goal in this game.

  • To create a trick, each player plays one of their cards to the center of the table. The trick is won by the higher leading suit OR trump suit card.
  • Cards are ranked in the following order (high to low): A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7. Players score points when they win a trick containing an ace or ten (see scoring below).
  • The non-dealing player starts first, playing any card. Player 2 can also respond with a card of their choice – they mustn’t use a stronger card if they choose not to.
  • However, only the trick’s winner can lay down their melds if they have some. The complete list of valid card melds is in the following section.
  • Once a player lays out their meld, the cards remain face-up on their side of the table, and they can use them again throughout the game like any cards from their hand. 
  • After the trick’s winner lays down melds (if any), both players draw one card from the draw pile (the winner of the trick draws first) to return to eight cards again.
  • The trick’s winner can swap a seven of trump (if they have one) with the trump card underneath the draw deck to get a higher-ranking trump card. 

The winner of the previous trick always starts a new one. The game continues this way until the players use all the cards in the draw deck (including the up-facing trump beneath it). 

When the players only have the cards in their hands left, they won’t be laying down melds anymore – the game now focuses solely on the tricks

For the same reason, the players will collect their melds from the table back into their hands. The rules for tricks also change here a bit. Now the players are obliged to:

  • follow the leading suit whenever possible
  • win the trick whenever possible (using the higher/trump card)

Bezique Scoring 

So, as you already know by now, players of Bezique earn score points through melds and tricks. Let’s take a look at their value one by one.

Melds

Here’s a list of valid card melds players can create in Bezique and their respective values:

Trump sequence (A, 10, Q, K, J of trump suit) 250 points

Trump marriage (Q + K of trump suit) 40 points

Non-trump marriage (Q + K of non-trump suit) 20 points

Four aces (any suit) 100 points

Four kings (any suit) 80 points

Four queens (any suit) 60 points

Four jacks (any suit) 40 points

Bezique (Q of spades + J of diamonds) 40 points

Double bezique (2 x Q of spades + 2 x J of diamonds) 500 points

These scores should be recorded instantly when the melds are laid down since the cards will be later reused. Note that you can always score just one meld per turn

Also, despite the possibility of using melded cards repeatedly, you cannot score, for example, for both a sequence and a marriage included within the same sequence.

It would be wiser to meld a marriage first and later extend it into a sequence in such a case. This way, you’ll be able to score for both combinations. 

Tricks

Points won through tricks are counted only at the end of the round: Each ten or ace is worth ten points.

Additionally, whoever wins the last trick of the round gets ten extra points. The player who uses seven of trump (swaps, melds, or plays it to the middle) also earns ten extra points.

The dealer also gets ten points if they draw seven (regardless of the suit) as a trump suit indicating card at the beginning of the round.

End of the Game

The game ends when one of the players collects 1,000 points in total, becoming the winner.

How to Play Bezique Card Game – Video Tutorial 

Bezique Card Game Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Bezique combinations?

Bezique meld consists of the queen of spades and jack of diamonds, whereas Double Bezique contains two pairs of these cards from both decks in play. 

Can you reuse melded cards in Bezique?

Yes. You can use cards from your melds both in tricks and in different melds. Note that you cannot use the same card in two identical types of melds, though. 

Who wins the trick if both players play the same card in Bezique? 

In this specific case, the first card played wins the trick.

Other Similar Games to Bezique (Our Guides) 

Would you like to try some Bezique alternatives? Read our guides to a few similar trick-taking card games:

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