In Pinochle, according to the Bicycle insert in my decks, at least, aces around (one ace of each suit) is worth 100 points. The 9 of trump is worth 10. Other meld values all are multiples of ten.

Likewise, a double aces around (two aces of each suit) is worth 1000 points.

What is the reason for using multiples of ten for point values even at the entry level instead of a simpler form (which I always play with) of 10 points for aces around, 4 for the pinochle, 1 for the 9 of trump, etc?

  • 1
    To make it easier and more tempting to play for high-stakes. United States Playing Card Company will deny this of course. Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 22:42
  • 2
    My parents always thought this was just dumb and never played with extra zero at the end, so I was taught to not do that Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 15:06
  • @BenjaminLeinweber - same here :)
    – warren
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


The current 10 points for every Ace, 10 and King in the trick pile is a new way of scoring. The original scoring had different values for different cards so although the multiples of 10 aren't needed now they were before.

According to http://www.playingcardsandmore.com/pinochleanoverview.aspx

Original Card Values: Each Ace 11, Each Ten 10, Each King 4, Each Queen 3, Each Jack 2, Each Nine 0.
The Simplified Card Values: Each Ace 10, Each Ten 10, each King 5, Each Queen 5, Each Jack 0, each Nine 0.

And now it is even more simple than that - we only do things with multiples of 10.


According to pagat.com's John McLeod, quite a well researched card aficionado, there were four steps in the evolution of Pinochle scoring.


Based on the individual "counter" points in the trick taking phase, A T K Q J were scored respectively:

11-10-4-3-2 (original quinary scoring)
10-10-5-5-0 (ternary scoring)
10-10-10-0-0 (binary scoring)
1-1-1-0-0 (reduced binary scoring)

If playing with 9's, before the most modern evolution, it was worth 10 and was referred to as Dix (pronounced Deese) which is French for 10. Yes, the 9's were called 10's -- blame the French!

Only when the most recent scoring came along were the meld values able to be divided by 10 to stay in sync with trick points. Simplifying the scoring was a necessary evolution to make pinochle more inviting to players.

If you want to learn how to count meld using the most modern scoring, go to Power Pinochle's Meld Calculator and either generate a random hand or build your own. http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/meld.php

  • +1 for mentioning pagat.com Although I always believed everyone played pinochle slightly differently, the rules I learned for pinochle are the ones he lists at pagat.com/marriage/pinmain.html so I gues not everyone plays differently after all. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 5:14
  • Pinochle is super tribal; there are lots of nuanced amendments to the most mainstream conventions depending on where in the world you are playing. How much is Triple Pinochle worth, how much is a Run and a Roundhouse? I would love for a governing association to decree a set of rules based on reasoning rather than pure popularity for the goal of making the game more competitive yet inviting to new players -- no small feat. Until then, house rules ...rule. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 7:49

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