You can find information about multiplayer games here: How do multiplayer games work? In the lobby you can select which game style and which game type you want to play under Settings.
You can open a round by clicking on the button “New Game”. You decide who is allowed to play on the table, how high the stakes are per point and your limit. You can also choose between tournament rules and duel rules. In duel games, you play against a real player and the computer. The computer is always in the opposing team, but will not be included in calculation of the winnings. In tournament games, you play against two real opponents. Of course you can also join a round already opened by another player.
At the edge of the table, you can see whose turn it is, the time remaining to take your turn, the stake and your credit. You can also see the bid value, declared game and the trump suit in trump games. An arrow identifies the player whose turn it is and you will see a red exclamation mark when it is your turn. The forehand is identified by a flag. You can use the chat function to chat with your fellow players.
How the game works
The Skat deck consists of 32 cards in 4 suits. Skat is a card game for three people, which leads to temporary alliances being made as one player always plays as a solo player against the two other players.
Depending on the game type, there are various trump cards. Jacks and cards in a declared suit can be trump cards. There are 3 games:
In Suit games, Jacks and a declared suit are trumps. There are thus 11 Trumps in play. The ranking of trumps is as follows (descending): Jack of Clubs – Jack of Spades – Jack of Hearts – Trump Ace – – Trump 10 – Trump King – Trump Queen – Trump 9, 8, 7. With the other suits, the ranking is Ace – 10 – King – Queen – 9 – 8 – 7.
In Grand games, there are only 4 trump cards: the 4 Jacks (in the order Club, Spade, Heart, Diamond). All suits are equal. The suit ranking is Ace – 10 – King – Queen – 9 – 8 – 7.
In a Null game there are no trumps. The Jacks are the normal suit cards. The ranking in Null games is Ace – King – Queen – Jack – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7. In contrast to Suit and Grand games, the 10 is not ranked after the Ace, but the Jack.
In Suit and Grand games, the Soloist must have at least 61 points in tricks in order to win the game. With a Null game, the Soloist may not take a single trick.
Every player receives 10 cards. There are also 2 cards face-down in the middle of the table; these form the Skat. The game is played clockwise: First hand, Middle hand and Post hand. The First hand asks the Middle hand to make a bid. If either of these two players pass, the Post hand bids a higher value or passes. If none of the 3 players make a bid, the round is stopped and cards are dealt again.
The minimum bid value is 18. The subsequent order is derived from the possible game values: 20, 22, 23, 24, 27, etc. The hand determines how high you should bid and also determines the peaks, how high you may bid.
Trumps in consecutive order are Peaks. The number of Peaks is relevant for determining the bidding factor and value of the game at the end. When calculating, the cards in the Skat are included in determining the Peaks of the solo player. Peaks correspond to the number of trumps in each game type: in Suit games, there are eleven Peaks, in Grand games 4 Peaks and in Null games no Peaks.
To determine the Peaks, the system counts how many consecutive trumps there are from the highest trump, the Jack of Clubs. A player that has e.g. the Jack of Clubs, the Jack of Spades and the Jack of Diamonds but not the Jack of Hearts in his/her hand can play with 2 Peaks. You can also play without Peaks, these must also be consecutive up to the first available trump. If your first trump card is the King, you can play without 6 Peaks (you will not have the 4 Jacks, the Ace trump and the 10 trump) However, you should always take your hand into consideration when deciding how high to go as not every game that can be bid on according to the Peaks is logical or can be won.
To determine the bid value, you need to determine the Peaks and multiply them with the game value of the suit (Clubs: 12, Spades: 11, Hearts: 10, Diamonds: 9) or the basic value for a Grand (24). The following formula applies: Bid value = (Peaks + Calls) x game value
The following calls are possible:
- “Hand” means that you do not use the Skat.
- With “Schneider” the opposing team may have a maximum of 30 points in tricks
- If you call “Schwarz”, the opposing team may not take a single trick.
- “Open/Ouvert” means that you reveal your cards to your opponents.
Table: Determining the bid value
At the end of the game, the actual game value must have reached the declared bid value. If this is not the case, the solo player has overbid and therefore loses the game. This can also occur if you take the Skat and still have a Jack in your hand. In this case, you should call a higher level.
The solo player takes the Skat in his/her hand and then places any 2 cards face down. If he/she wants to play Hand, the Skat remains hidden. The Skat that has not been taken and the face-down cards are counted in scoring as tricks taken by the solo player.
The soloist then calls a Suit game, Grand game or Null game. With an ouvert or ouvert Hand, the cards are laid out for the other players to see.
Once the bidding is over, the game begins. Regardless of who the solo player is, the First Hand plays any card; the other players take it in turns clockwise to lay a card in the middle. Players must follow suit, but do not have to play trumps. Except when a trump is played, all other players must play a trump if they have one. If you do not have a trump or a card in the suit played, you can discard any card. If you are not playing alone, it might be sensible in some circumstances to “bribe” a fellow player with a high card so the soloist has as few points in his tricks as possible.
The trick wins if the highest-ranking card in the declared suit or the highest-ranking trump is played. The player who takes the trick will be the next to play.
The “Quit” button will appear as soon as it is possible for a player to voluntarily leave the game. The solo player can always quit when it is his or her turn. All remaining players may only quit once the declarer’s cards are revealed.
End of the game
A round finishes when all cards have been played, a player has quit or the solo player has taken a trick in a Null game. The round will then be calculated.
The game value in a Skat round is calculated using the following formula:
Game value = basic value x (Peaks and winning level)
You can find out the basic values for Suit games and Grand games in the bid table, as well as the fixed values for Null games.
In Suit games and Grand games, single players must score at least 61 points in order to win the corresponding game value. In Null games, players must not win a single trick in order to end the round victorious.
The winning level gives you information about the level at which the game was won. Skat games have winning levels of 1 to 3, Hand games have winning levels of 2 to 7.
- 1 = simple game
- 2 = Schneider (opposing team/single player achieves just 30 or fewer points)
- 3 = Schwarz (opposing team/single player does not win a single trick)
- 2 = simple game
- 3 = Schneider
- 4 = Schneider called
- 5 = Schwarz
- 6 = Schwarz called
- 7 = open
The following applies to the single player: If he/she calls a level without achieving the required points, s/he loses on the level called or the opposing team wins at least the level called. If s/he wins on a higher level than the one called, the higher level counts