Schnapsen or Webschnapsen belongs just like Sixty-Six to the Bézique games. Bézique was played at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century in France and England and was Winton Churchill's favourite card game. The name 'Schnapsen' derives from 'to snap', which means take a trick with a trump. Schnapsen is wide-spread in Germany, Austria and Hungary and one of the most popular Austrian card games.
The aim of the game is to reach 66 points with tricks and announcements as quickly as possible. 2 players play with Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack and Nine in 4 suits, a total of 20 cards. The player who reaches 66 points first or takes the last trick wins the game. The points will be written down from top (7 points) to bottom (0 points). The winner will write off between 1 and 3 points per round depending on how many points the loser has collected with tricks and announcements.
You can find details on multiplayer versions here: How do multiplayer games work?
You can open up a game round by clicking on the button ‘New Game’. You can choose who can take a seat at the table and what the stakes are. Of course you can also join a round already opened by another player.
It will be displayed at the right side of the table which player's turn it is, the remaining time to take your turn as well as the stake and your credit. You can also see the trump suit of the current round. You can chat with your fellow players via the chat function.
You can view the current score on a notepad at the left side of the playing field. Your current number of points you have collected with tricks and announcements is displayed below your player name.
Players are dealt 5 cards at the beginning of each game. A card will be turned over to determine the trump suit (with Schnapsen the trump is called 'Atout' due to the French roots of the game). The remaining cards are called stock pile ('Talon' in Austria) and put face down at the edge of the table. Both players start with 7 points and have to reduce these to 0 to win the game. The player who reaches 66 points first or takes the last trick wins the game.
Your hand is displayed in front of you. To play a card you have to click on it or drag it to the centre of the playing field. Your opponent also plays a card of his choice, takes the trick or discards his card. The tricks are turned face-down and put to one side. The winner of the trick takes the top card of the stock pile to replenish his hand and leads to the next trick.
As long as the Talon contains cards the players can discard any card. A trick is taken by the most valuable card unless it contains a trump card (Atout). Atout cards are always more valuable than regular cards. Atout cards have the same sequence as other suits (Ace, 10, King, Queen, Jack).
If your hand contains a Queen or King of matching suits you can announce 20, or if they are Atout cards 40. The button '20s' will appear above your hand or '40s'; by clicking the button the couple will be announced. Afterwards you have to play the Queen or King of the couple.
The button 'Turn off' is always active for the player, whose turn it is. If you click on the button the trump card that has been face-up so far it will be turned around and the Talon will be locked. No more cards can be picked from the stock pile. And there is an important rule change - you have to follow suits, tricks and trumps now.
Follow suits, tricks and trumps.
If the cards of the Talon are depleted or a player has turned off, you must follow suits, tricks and trumps. That means the second player has to play his highest card of the same suit (follow suit and trick). If he does not have a card of the same suit he has to play an Atout card (follow trump) if present.
If you hold the Atout Jack you can exchange it for the Atout card lying face-up on the table.
End of the game
The player who reaches 66 points first or takes the last trick wins the game. The number of points is calculated by adding up the points taken with tricks plus 20s and 40s announcements. If one 20s or 40s is enough to reach at least 66 points you can finish the round with the announcement without the cards being played. In this case the button 'Enough' will appear, which you have to click. If your opponent confirms the end of the round by clicking 'Continue' before new cards can be dealt.
A game consists of several rounds. A game is finished if a player has reduced his number of points from 7 to 0.
Relevant for the number of winning points is the overall number of points taken by the loser. Cards will be counted as follows:
- Ace: 11 points
- Ten: 10 points
- King: 4 points
- Queen: 3 points
- Jack: 2 points
If the loser has taken no tricks (and no points), 3 points will be deducted from the 7 points of the winner. If the loser has taken 2-32 points the winner will be awarded 2 win points. From 33 points the winner will receive 1 win point
If a player turns off he has to reach 66 points to win the game. In this case the number of winining points depends on the number of points of the opponent at the time of turning off. If the player who turns off the game cannot reach the necessary 66 points, his opponent wins 3 points if he hasn't taken a trick at the time of turning off, otherwise his opponent receives 2 win points.