You can hit the jackpot in the card game Préférence!

10. November 2016 - Anika Semmer

Card Game Préférence – Only the Brave Hit the Jackpot! | Game Rules


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Spike as far as you can and hit as many as you can! In the card game Préférence, you have to do your best against two allied opponents to win the jackpot. The more hearts you have – the more you will say: Je préfére le jeu de cartes!

Je préfére means in French: I prefer. But the card game Préférence did not originate in France but probably in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is still a popular card game in eastern Central Europe and in Austria. Austrians know the card game under the name Preferanzen. And in Germany? Here it is still quite unknown and a real game secret tip: yet it is easy to learn and, as with poker, a decent sum of money – or tokens – is at stake!.

The Card Game Préférence

  • Game type: Card game, Connoisseur game
  • Age: approx. 12+
  • Players: 3 or 4
  • Duration: variable
  • Accessories: 32 French playing cards or double German cards and tokens or coins
  • Skills required: Tactics, overview, luck
  • Goal: To make the most tricks

One against two team players is the name of the card game Préférence. Similar to Skat (only easier ;-)), the players bid to get a game. The highest bidder gets the game and plays alone against the other two. There is a stake to be captured each round – so Préférence is a game of chance!


Ranking Order – The Colour Counts First!

In the card game Préférence there is a special feature: The ranking of the cards is based first on the colour of the card and does not correspond to the ranking order as for example in Skat! So ♣ hit is one and lowest, then comes ♠ pique as two, as three ♦ check and highest is ♥ heart as four. So every player prefers ♥-cards!

Within a colour, the ascending ranking applies: 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – B – D – K – Ace.

The Stakes in the Card Game Préférence

For the card game Préférence you need tokens, but you can also use coins. Before the game starts, you agree on a stake that applies to each round of the game. Each round of préférence is played with 10 tokens or equivalent coins – for example, 10 x €0.10 = stake €1 or 10 x 1 cent = stake 10 cents. The advantage of tokens is that you can determine the value more flexibly and you won’t run out of coins to play with after a few rounds.

The total stake, i.e. 10 tokens or 10 x coins, is paid by the dealer into a cash box – for example a bowl – in the middle of the table before the game begins.

The Dealer With 3 and 4 Players

In the card game Préférence, each player is dealt 3 cards, then 4, then another 3.

Dealing in Préférence: 3-4-3

First determine the dealer by fanning the cards face down and placing them on the table. Each player now draws a card. The player with the highest card is the dealer. The colour counts first, only then does the rank of the card become important. Thus, a ♦-7 is higher than an ♣-ace (see table)!

With 3 players, the dealer now shuffles the cards and plays along. If there are 4 players, he suspends the game. The dealer lets one player draw and then deals the cards clockwise. As in Skat, he first deals 3 cards to each player, then 2 cards are dealt face down in the middle of the table, then he deals 4 cards to each player and finally 3 cards to each player. In total, each player is dealt 10 cards.

Rice – Who Gets the Game?

The card game Préférence is about hitting the jackpot.

What is the best way to bid your hand in Préférence?

When the last cards have been dealt, each player picks up his cards and estimates their value (see table for ranking). Each player decides for himself whether he can win with this hand. To win, the solo player must make at least 6 tricks – a total of 10 tricks occur in each round. Alternatively, the player may decide to just call, which means he only has to make at least 2 tricks.

Calls for a Normal Game

Forehand starts with the ruff – or passes. Now it is the middle hand’s turn to overbid or pass and finally it is the dealer’s turn to bid. The lowest bid is one – the value of a ♣ game. Das nächsthöhere Gebot ist Zwei – also ein ♠-Spiel, dann die Drei mit einem ♦-Spiel und als höchstes Gebot eine Vier für ein ♥-Spiel. Der Spieler mit dem höchsten Gebot, bekommt das Spiel und spielt Solo. Wenn keiner der Spieler ein Gebot abgibt, dann werden die Karten neu ausgeteilt.
The solo player may now pick up the 2 cards that are in the stock and, if he wishes, exchange them for 2 cards from his hand. He places these cards face down in front of him. Now he says the trump suit of the game – he can play the game he bid or a higher game, never a lower game! For example, if he bid only one, he has a free choice of all 4 games, if he bid three, he can play only one diamond or heart, etc..

The highest game – a heart – is announced by the solo player with ”Premium”. In the card game Préférence, this game is valued differently – see below!

Rice for a Hand Game

The solo player can also refrain from looking at the 2 cards in the stick – then he plays a hand game. To do this, the player must decide before the cards are dealt, i.e. directly when he first looks at them. He announces ”a deal’ or ”a game’. If several players announce this before the bidding, then the player with the higher trump suit gets the game. If a player has already bid, then he may no longer announce a hand game.

Call or Stay Home?

After it is clear which game the solo player is playing, the two teammates make a decision: Stay home or go along? If one player decides to stay home, he puts his cards face down on the table. If both stay home, the solo player has already won and is paid the full stake from the cash box. Now the player sitting to the left of the dealer pays the stake for the new round into the cash box and deals the cards.

If at least one player joins in, the cards are dealt! For the decision whether to call, one must consider whether it is possible to make at least 6 tricks! If only one player calls, the cards of the third player who stayed at home lie untouched and face down on the table during the game. So the two players don’t know which cards they are!

The Card Game PRéférence Gets Underway

In the card game Préférence, you have to serve the suit and stab if you can.

In Préférence, you have to serve the suit and stab if you can!

The solo player starts and plays the first card. As a fixed rule, every trick is subject to colour and trick constraint! The player whose turn it is must lay a card according to this rule:.

  1. If he has a higher card of the same suit, he must stab the card played with it. He can’t? Then:
  2. If he has a lower card of that suit and concedes the card. That doesn’t work either? Then:
  3. If he takes a trump card and trumps. That doesn’t work either?
  4. So kann er eine beliebige Karte abwerfen.

After all players have laid their cards, the player who has laid the highest card gets the trick. After each trick, the player who took the trick may play.

Tip: For the team players, it is recommended to play along! The cash register often swells quickly to a respectable sum. If both opponents stay at home, the solo player has collected the entire cash and of course you want to prevent that!

Collecting Winnings

Card game Préférence - Collecting Winnings

The winnings are based on the stakes

After all 10 tricks have been made, it is time to pay out the winnings. For each trick taken, the lucky player gets 1/10 of the total cash. This is how the winnings are paid out:

  • One stayed home? That player gets nothing.
  • Both players stayed home? The solo player gets the entire box office.
  • The solo player made at least 6 tricks? He gets the entire cash box content and must pay the opponents for the tricks they made – 1/10 of the content per trick.
  • An opponent makes only 1 trick? He gets paid 1/10 from the cash box, but must pay into the cash box the amount that was in the cash box before the game. This also applies if the solo player did not make 6 tricks!
  • An opponent does not make a trick? He gets paid nothing and has to pay into the cash box the amount that was in it before the game round.
  • The solo player made only 5 or even fewer tricks. Nevertheless, he gets the cash and pays his opponents from it. In addition, he must pay double the amount that was in the cash box into it.
  • The solo player won a bonus – a game of hearts? He gets a heart bonus in addition to the complete cash content from which he pays the opponents! Each opponent must pay him 5 tokens each.
  • The solo player loses a bonus? Now he has to pay the heart premium – i.e. 5 tokens – to each opponent in addition to the double amount in the cash box.

When all players have collected their winnings and paid their losses, a new round starts. The player sitting to the left of the dealer is now the dealer, pays the stake into the cash register and the game starts again.

Lock the Cash Box

It can happen that a large amount accumulates in the cash box and the value of a game grows too enormously. Therefore, it is common to set an amount which, when reached, results in a cash lock. Usually this is 10 stakes, i.e. 100 tokens. If there is a higher amount in the cash box, you count the excess into a separate bowl – this amount is out of the game. If the cash register falls below this amount due to winnings distributions, it is replenished from the separate cash register up to the maximum..

Have fun with the card game Préférence! 🙂

You can find many more tips for a games night on our leisure ideas portal. Plus, browse activities with friends, partner and family!

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