I admit that I have never been a great player of card games, except solitaire, to which I have dedicated many hours of my life, lately online.
The Spanish basketball team spends hours and hours playing this card game with the Spanish deck.
They made a “tribute” to it after the final of the 2006 World Cup in Japan.
We give you the bases so that you can practice and play as well as they do.
In addition to the gold winners of the last Basketball World Cup, the players of the Spanish team are the best ambassadors of the pocha game.
With this game of cards, the ‘golden boys’ have spent hours and hours of their free time at rallies, something that has probably contributed to the unity of the group they formed last summer, in which songs with a touch of Humor also played an important role.
In fact one of its stars, Jorge Garbajosa, who attends this European as a guest player, has recently said that “the greatest incentive I have to go to the European is not to miss any game of pocha”.
Three games before the grand final could have had something to do with his victory. That is why, when the gold was already theirs, they celebrated it in the center of the modern track of the Saitama stadium (Japan) pretending to play a game…
The keys of the game
During this European, the Spanish deck will not be missing in the bags of our players. If you have yours, here are the basics of this simple game, similar to tute.
A pocha can play from 3 to 9 players. The Spanish deck of 40 cards is used, which will be ordered from highest to lowest (Ace, three, king, knight, jack, seven, six, five, four and two). Each card in this series wins all cards to its right, and loses to all cards to its left.
Depending on the number of players there is a certain number of rounds and in each round a certain number of cards is dealt. The objective is to hit the tricks that one is going to take with the cards that have been dealt in each round.
A trick is a round in which all players take turns throwing a card on the table. Only one card will be imposed among all those on the table and that player will be the one who wins the trick.
The direction to set positions, to deal the cards and play them is always counterclockwise. After deciding who starts shuffling, the cards are dealt. The number of cards to be dealt and the number of rounds to play depends on the number of players.
First, as many rounds of a trick are played as there are players. Then the number of cards per trick is increased, one at a time, until the maximum number of cards that can be dealt is reached. With that number of cards, as many rounds as there are players are played. Once finished, the number of cards per trick decreases one by one until reaching one.
If the number of cards per player was not exact, the deuces and fours would be eliminated in the following order: spades, clubs, cups and coins.
In each hand, the dealer will cut the deck to the player to his left and deal the cards to each player. After that, he will take another one from the deck leaving it face up to mark the win.
Once all the cards have been dealt, the victory will be marked by the card that the player wants, without having seen it previously or, failing that, by the last card dealt. The dealing player will rotate clockwise each hand.
Betting, one of his graces
Before playing the cards, each player has to say, based on the cards he has, how many tricks he thinks he is going to take.
The last to announce the number of tricks that he thinks he will take (the dealer) can never say a number such that added to the numbers announced by his rivals they add up to the total number of tricks of that hand, this number will be the number of cards distributed to each player. So that all the players can never get their predictions right.
The player to the right of the dealer starts the game, throwing a card that he will leave uncovered on the table.
The others must take one more respecting the following rules:
-If the player whose turn it is to draw a card had one of the suit with which the trick began, he must throw it exceeding the value of those already on the mat of that suit.
-If he did not have a card of the starting suit to exceed the value of those that were there, but had a lower value, he must cast it anyway.
-If he does not have any card of the starting suit, he must draw a trump (a card of the suit that he paints) if it is of a higher value than another trump that an opponent would have drawn.
-If he did not have a trump with which to overcome the trick that was already on the table, he can play the card he wants (whether it is a trump or not).
– If he had more than one card of the starting suit and the trick was won at that moment by a trump that a third party had thrown, the player may choose the one he wants (he will no longer be obliged to increase the value of those that were in the start stick)
Who wins each trick
The trick is won by the highest card played in the trump suit and, failing that, the highest card in the leading suit.
The player who wins the trick collects the cards that form it, leaving them next to him. The next trick begins with the player who won the previous one, who will play any card, following the others in strict order from left to right in the manner already explained.
There are hands in which the gameplay is done differently:
-In the Indians, each one puts his card (which he has not looked at) on his forehead, and asks for tricks according to the card of the others.
– In auctions a card is not painted, but the one who asks for the most tricks will paint. First, each one asks without saying the trump to see who asks for more, and then again, knowing that he paints. In the event that two or more ask for the same number of tricks, the one that is located furthest to the right of the player who has dealt will paint.
– In the hands of gold, the win is always gold.
The trick score
Once all the tricks of a hand have been completed, and when the players have run out of cards, the points will be counted based on the correct answers.
Each player will take 10 points if he guessed the exact number of tricks he was going to take. In addition, the players who would have guessed right in their forecast will take 5 points for each trick won in that hand.
Players who had not guessed the number of tricks that were going to be taken will take 5 negative points for each trick of difference (both by excess and by default) between what was planned and what was actually achieved.
If the victory in that hand were cups, the score achieved would be worth double and if they were gold, triple.
The end of the game
This mechanism within each hand is repeated until completing the set number of hands, carrying the score from one hand to the next. The winner will be the player with the highest score at the time the last hand is counted.
In the event of a tie at the end of the game, hands will be played between the first two, dealing all the cards and painting gold, until the tie is broken.
I don’t think I would have spent so much time playing Pocha if I was present at those concentrations of the national team. I am much more into playing video games like Zuma, the mythical game of the frog (in this version a beetle) that shoots colored balls and where you have to complete three to prevent the snake from reaching its final destination.