Pitch is one of my favorite card games but it is sometimes hard to have the correct number of people to play. There are 2 main variants we play where 1 will play 4 people with fixed teams and the other will play 5 people with variable teams.
Played with a 52 card deck plus 2 jokers. Each hand will have 10 points total. The winning bidder will pick the trump suit. The point cards in that suit are the Ace, Jack, Off Jack (OJ), Big Joker (BJ), Little Joker (LJ), Ten, Three (worth 3 points), and Two (worth 1 point to whoever played it). The order of trump cards is (High) A, K, Q, J, OJ, BJ, LJ, and 10-2 (Low). All cards besides the trump suit (off) are basically no value. If an entire trick only has off cards in it, then the last winner still leads the next trick.
Bidding starts to the left of the dealer and each person can either increase the bid or pass. The minimum bid is five so everyone could pass and leave the bidder with a 5 bid. The bidding only goes around once so you have to bid high enough the first time.
The winning bidder leads the first trick. Only point cards are kept from each hand and the rest are discarded.
4 Player Variant
Your partner sits across the table from you. Everyone is dealt 9 cards (generally dealt 3 at a time) to start. After the winning bidder names the suit, everyone throws away all their cards that are not in that suit except for the winning bidder. Usually they are thrown away face up to make sure no trump cards are thrown away. Then the dealer deals everyone back up to 6 cards except for the winning bidder who gets the remainder of the deck. At this point the winning bidder must make a 6 card hand from all of their cards. This may also mean that they have to burn trump cards. They can only burn non-point cards.
Then the winning bidder leads and play continues with the winner of each trick leading until all 6 tricks are played. Each team gets the number of points they actually got that round unless the winning bidders team does not make their bid. In that case, they go negative the amount they bid.
Play continues until one team reaches 42 points.
5 Player Variant
In the 5 player variant, each player is trying to win individually. Ten cards are dealt to each player which leaves 4 cards. Each person bids just like in 4 player with the winner picking the trump suit. The difference is that the winning bidder will get the 4 remaining cards and then call for his partner. To call for his partner he will ask for a specific card in the trump suit. Whoever has that card will be their partner for this round. The other 3 people will be on a separate team this round and try to set the winning bidder and their partner. Everyone discards down to 6 cards and the play proceeds like in the 4 player variant.
For scoring the round, the winning bidder and his partner will both get points equal to the points their team got and the other 3 players will get an equal amount of points based on what their team got. For example, if the winning team got 8 points, then both the winning bidder and their partner would have 8 added to their score and the other three players would all get 2 added to their score.
Are there good way to do 2, 3, 6, etc. player versions of either of these variants?