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Sedma

A point-trick game in which tricks are won by matching cards
Origin Romania
Alternative names Şeptică,Zsírozás
Type Trick-taking
Players 2 or 2x2
Skills required Strategy
Cards 32
Deck German-suited
Playing time 25 min.
Random chance Medium
Related games
Ristikontra, Hola

Sedma, Şeptică or Zsírozás is a Romanian 4-card trick-and-draw game played by 4 four players in fixed partnerships with a 32-card piquet deck. Card suits do not play a role in this game, and there is no ranking order. A trick is won by the last player to play a card of the same rank as the card led. Hola is a similar, slightly earlier game.

The games have been described as highly unusual members of the Ace-Ten family, immediately related only to the Finnish card game known as Ristikontra or Ristiklappi.

Basic four-player rules

Card-point values
Rank A 10 K Q J 9 8 7
Value 10 -

The game is played by four players in fixed partnerships, sitting crosswise. Normally a German-suited piquet deck is used, but as in Skat and other games played with this pack it can be replaced by a French-suited piquet deck consisting of the 32 cards of the ranks ace, king, queen, jack, ten and 7-9. The suits are irrelevant for this game, and the ranks are not ordered in a hierarchy. Aces and tens have card-point values of 10 points each, while all other cards have no card-point value. This schedule appears to be a simplification of the usual schedule in Ace-Ten card games used by Ristikontra. Together with the 10 points awarded for winning the last trick, there are 90 points in a deal. The object is to win more than half of them, i.e. at least 50 points.

Every player is dealt 4 cards. The remaining cards form a stock from which the players fill up their hands while it lasts.

Eldest hand leads any card to the first trick. The remaining players are completely free in which card to play to the trick. The last player to play a card of the same rank as the card led wins the trick, is the first to replenish his or her cards from the stock, and leads to the next trick. The sevens function as jokers, i.e. they replace they assume the rank of the first card in the trick. However, if a seven is led to a trick, it just represents a seven.

Variations

Hola

This game is very similar to Sedma, but like its more distant relative Ristikontra it is played with a full deck of 52 French-suited cards. In addition to the sevens the twos are also jokers. The multi-trick system is different. The player who led to a trick may always decide to fight by leading to a new trick while the old one is still in the middle of the table. In this case the trick is kept in abeyance. This can be repeated until the players have no cards left. The new trick is won by matching the newly led card, but the winner also collects all the previous tricks that were held in abeyance.

Each party simply scores the number of points they won, with a bonus of 80 points for hola (naked) if a party won all tricks. If dealer's party scored the majority of points (50 or more), dealer deals again. Otherwise deal passes to the next player. The game is played for 200-500 points.

For this game also some variations have been described.

History

Hola is Polish and Ukrainian for naked. The game of this name is played among Ukrainian Canadians, but is believed to be of Polish origin. It has been estimated to date from around the middle of the 20th century, slightly earlier than Sedma.

Sedma and Şeptică are Czech and Romanian for seven and little seven, respectively (referring to the wild cards), and zsírozás is Hungarian for to fatten (referring to the play of aces or tens into tricks). This game may have originated in Hungary or Poland and found its way to Czechoslovakia in the middle of the 20th century or it may have come from Russia It quickly became one of the most popular games in the country, together with the Crazy Eights variant Prší and a game called Žolík.

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Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy