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Auction Pitch

AUCTION PITCH, a card game which is a popular variation of All Fours (q.v.). The name is derived from the rule that the first card played, or pitched, is the trump suit, and that the eldest hand has the privilege of pitching it or of selling out to the highest bidder. A full pack is used, and the cards rank as in All Fours, namely from ace down to 2, ace being highest in cutting also. From four to seven may play, each player being provided with seven white counters, and also with red counters in case stakes are played for. Each player receives six cards in every deal, three at a time, no trump being turned. The object is to get rid of the white counters, one of which may be put into the pool either (1) for holding the highest trump played; (2) for having the lowest trump dealt to one; (3) for taking the Jack (knave) of trumps; or (4) for winning the game, namely the greatest number of pips that count. In case of a tie of pips no game is scored. If the eldest hand decides to pitch and not to sell out, he may do so, but is obliged to make four points or be set back that number. If he decides to sell, he says "I pass," and the player at his left bids for the privilege of pitching the trump or passes, etc. When a bid has been made the rest must pass or bid higher, and the eldest hand must either accept a bid or undertake to make as many points as the bidder. If no bid is made he pitches the trump himself, without the obligation of making anything. The first card played is the trump suit, the winner of the trick leading again. In trumps a player must follow suit if he can, and the same rule applies in plain suits, excepting that a trump may be played at any time ("follow suit or trump"). In play the highest card wins the trick unless trumped. When the hand is played out each player puts a white counter into the pool for every point won, and the first player to get rid of all his seven white counters wins the pool and takes from it all the red counters, which represent cash. This ends the game. In case two players count out during the same deal, the bidder has the first right to the pool, the rule being "bidder counts out first." If the two players who count out are neither of them bidder, then they go out in regular order, i.e. high first, then low, Jack and game. If a bidder fails to make his points he is set back that number. A revoke is punished by the offender being set back the number of points bid and forfeiting a red counter to the pool.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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