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.

Common Rules

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?

3 Answers 3


I'm an avid pitch player as well, 4pt 10pt and 13pt :)

For 2-3 players, you can play 4 point pitch with no teams! I find 4 point perfect for times when you need something to do but don't have a whole lot of time! You can also play 4 point pitch with 4 players, having 2 teams of 2 players.

In 4 point pitch, the points are: 'High','Low','Jack','Game'. High being the highest trump card played (Ace usually), Low being the lowest trump played (two usually). Jack is the Jack in the suit that is trump. For 'High' and 'Jack' whoever takes these tricks and wins those points. For 'Low' whoever plays that card, regardless of who takes it in the trick it is played, will get that point. 'Game' is a sum of cards that you take in your tricks that you win. In any suit, Aces = 4pts, Kings = 3pts, Queens = 2pts, Jacks = 1pt, tens = 10 points. 'Game' can be tricky in this but it makes it interesting! Once all 6 tricks are finished, you add up the cards you took in the tricks to get your score for 'Game'. Whoever has the highest amount of points for 'Game' gets the single Game point.

In this game you play with all suits, but the first trick you still have to lead what you say is the trump suit. Minimum bid is 2, maximum bid is 4. You are dealt 6 cards and that is all you play with, the rest of the deck is not used and jokers are not used. Trump will win the trick if the other players do not play trump. If the first player of a trick plays trump, you must play trump if you have it (in other words, you must follow the first suit played, otherwise you can trump in at anytime or sluff off in a different suit if you cannot follow the first suit played). You can play to 11pts, 14pts, or 21pts.

For 6 players, you can play 10 point pitch which you explained in your post! The only difference, every player gets 9 cards and there is no deck left over. You play your hand with what you are dealt.

For 13 point pitch it is the same as 10pt pitch, you just play with with off 3 :) meaning if trump is hearts, the 3 of hearts and 3 of diamonds are both worth 3 points! so be very careful. You can play this with 4, 5, or 6 players.

  • 2
    and yes, I did make an account for the sole purpose of answering this question :)
    – cet51
    Oct 13, 2017 at 16:51
  • Thank you for your response. After I posted this question, a guy at work introduced me to the 4 point pitch variant. I find it to be much harder to bid than the higher point variants because you have no idea which card will end up low or high or if there even is a jack. I like it because it adds a lot of variability but feels like a completely different game.
    – Schmalls
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:20
  • Also, thank you for making an account to answer this questions. It helps me and anyone else who may be searching for the same thing.
    – Schmalls
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:21
  • It definitely is different from 10 point, but it's perfect for when you only have 2-3 people to play! I'm glad it was helpful. Happy pitching!
    – cet51
    Oct 16, 2017 at 14:59

The holder of the low trump makes the bid more risky and provides more chances of being set. If deuce is hidden in kitty then the 9 of trump becomes low. If both deuce an 9 are buried in kitty then 10 is low. This does not happen very often.


"For 'Low' whoever plays that card, regardless of who takes it in the trick it is played, will get that point."

This is patently bad game design, reminiscent of the Free Parking rules from home brewed Monopoly. Whoever takes the trick with low, earns low. That is how Pitch is properly played.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .