How To Play Pitch: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Play Pitch: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever played the popular card game pitch? Or do you know how to play pitch? If the answer to any of the questions is yes, you already know how amazing the pitch card game is. 

However, having a deep knowledge of this fun card game can help you to win and show off among your friends and people. Thus to help you with this, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on the various aspects of the pitch car game. 

In the article, we will explore pitch card game rules, gameplay, and more in detail, which will help you understand this game well and be the pro. 

What Is a Pitch Card Game?

The first rule of knowing a game is to have a brief introduction to it. Pitch or the setback card game is a trick-taking card game that is played between two teams. Each team consists of two players. The objective of the game is to reach 52 points first, and the team which reaches 52 points first is the winner. 


The pitch card game uses a deck of 52 cards. It also includes 2 jokers in the game, like the euchre game.

Ranking of the Cards

Cards ranking are like aces high with 2s low. The jack suits Trump and is known by the name of jick. Its rank is the trump card just below the trump jack. The jokers in the game are trumps, and they are divided among the low and high jokers. 

The rank of these is below jick and above 10 with high above low. 


An initial dealer must be chosen before the game commences. To choose the dealer, each player gets a card from a shuffled deck. The player who receives the highest card in this round is the first dealer.

The ties in the game broke by a round of repeated deals. Now the first dealer shuffles the deck, and the player right to them cuts the deck. Now, after cutting, the dealer passes 9 cards to each player. This passing of the card is done in 3 sets of cards in a clockwise manner. 

How To Play Pitch 

These are the following steps for playing the pitch card game:


The bidding in the game starts from the player who is on the left of the dealer, and the process then continues clockwise. During this process of bidding, the players bet on points, like how many points they are going to make. The minimum bid in the game is four points. The players need to bid four points initially, or higher than their previous bid, or they can pass. 

A bid is a must to make so that everyone passes the dealer must also make initial bidding of four points. This process is known as “sticking it to the dealer.” The player who bids highest determines suit trump. 


All the players remove the non-trump cards, which they have once the highest bidder determines the trump card. The bid winner can keep the card they have. 

The discarded cards after this are shuffled. It is done to form a new deck of cards. Now the dealer passes cards to each bid loser, and this is done so that each player has six cards. After this, the bid winner gets all the remaining cards, and they take up all the cards suited for their trumps. Now they remove all the non-trump suiting cards. 

Trick Taking 

Trick-taking plays a vital role when you want to learn how to play pitch, as this is where you make points. Trick taking in this game goes clockwise, starting from the bid winner according to pitch card game rules. Now the player tries to play their highest ranking card for winning the points in the setback card game. A player can only use trump suited cards according to the pitch rules.

The player who wins the trick will lead the trick-taking in the next round. Once a bidder loses all the trump cards, they fold their cards, and gameplay moves on in a clockwise manner. 

Scoring in Pitch Card Game 

Scoring is a major part when you want to learn how to play pitch. For scoring points, only trump cards can be used in the game. The ace, jick, jack, low and high jokers, 2 and 10, are worth one point in the game. The three is worth three points according to pitch rules. 

The player who plates two can keep their point even if they lose the trick-taking round. 

If a winning team can’t reach their declared bid amount of points, then the bid amount of points is subtracted from their score. The teams which have negative scoring by failing to reach their bid amount are known to be “in the hole.” A team can also “shoot the moon” if they can win 10 points after the bid. Now the team which shoots the moon is an automatic winner of the game in the setback card game. 

If both of the teams in the game win 52 points at the end of a round, the game doesn’t tie. In fact, the team which made the bi is the winner even if the points scored by them are lower than the competitive team. 

Variations of Pitch Card Game

There are many variations of the pitch game. Some of the common pitch variations are mentioned below:

Oklahoma 10 Point

In this version of the game, the player gets 6 cards initially. The minimum bid which players need to make is one instead of four like the regular version. 

Other than these two variations in this version, all the other pitch rules apply to it. This version of the game is also called the “Oklahoma style” in some cases. 

Contway 6 Points

Like the name of this variant tells us, it is a six points game. In this version of the game, the following card is valued at one point:

  • Highest player of Trump
  • Lowest Trump played
  • Jick
  • Joker
  • Jack

Winning a round also results in awarding of one point to the teams. The game only has a single joker, and its rank is just below the jick. During the redraw round, players have the liberty to throw away as many cards as they want out of trump cards. This is helpful if a bid winner feels that their bid is too high. The score of the team in this variant can’t go negative. In this variant, according to pitch rules, the gameplay continues till any of the teams reaches 11 points score.  

Juniper Pitch

This is a three-team variant of the pitch card game. Initially, every player in the game gets eight cards. This game, like the other variants, doesn’t have a redraw phase. 

Instead of a redraw phase, all players simply discard two of their cards in this version of the setback card game. This is done after the trump suit is being determined. Other than these changes, all the other variants of the 10 pitch game apply. 

These are some of the variants of the popular card game. Good thing is that if you know how to play pitch, you can enjoy all the variants of the game easily. 

Final Words

Do you know how to play a pitch, a popular card game? Or have you ever played this fun and entertaining card game or any of its variants? 

This game was originally known as the “Blind All Fours” and originated in the Netherlands during the 17th century, according to historians. In the beginning, there was no bidding in this game, but now it is the dominant version of this amazing game. 

Jatin Choudhary

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