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Derived from Schafkopf, Skat was created in the 'Skat-city' of Altenburg in 1820 and is intended for 2 to 3 players. It was the composer Richard Strauss's favourite card game.

The Skat deck is comprised of 32 cards in 4 suits. The suits are graded, with clubs holding the highest grade, followed by spades and then hearts. Diamonds have the lowest rank. Card values are as below;
- Ace: 11 points
- Ten: 10 points
- King: 4 points
- Queen: 3 points
- Jack: 2 points
- Non-picture cards (9,8,7,...): 0 points

The game format opposes one solo player (soloist) against a team of two players. Who takes on the role of the soloist is determined in the first round of bidding: the player which places the highest bid becomes the soloist. The soloist also calls and opens the first game.

The aim of game is to win as many tricks as possible in order to collect points. At the end of the game, the player with the highest point score is declared as the winner. This does not apply in 'null' games, where the soloist wins by managing not to win any tricks.