Evaluating one's hand and bidding accordingly.
Below is a scale of point values, attributed to Noel Chavey, to help determine an appropriate contract.
These point values are not included when actually computing the game score.
They are simply a bidding aid.
21 is worth 10 points
Excuse is worth 8
Petit with a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Trump is worth 0
Petit in a group of 5 Trumps is worth 5, in a group of 6 Trumps is worth 7, and in a group of 7 or more Trumps, is worth 9 points.
Each Trump (inclusive of Bouts), provided there is more than 4 Trumps, is worth 2
Each major Trump (from 16 to 21) is worth 2
Each major Trump forming a straight or continuation (e.g. 21, 20 is worth 2, and 21,20,19 is worth 3)
Honors or Courts
A marriage (King and Queen of same suit) is worth 10
A King without the Queen is worth 6
A Queen without the King is worth 3
A Knight is worth 2
A Jack is worth 1
Length in Suits
to have 5 cards of the same suit is worth 5,
6 cards of the same suit is worth 7,
and 7 cards of the same suit is worth 9
For Garde Sans or Garde Contre also consider
A voided suite is worth 6
A singleton (only one card in a suit) is worth 3
Voided suits and singletons should not be considered for Prise or simple Garde
- less than 40 points Passe
- from 40 to 55 points Prise
- from 56 to 70 points Garde
- from 71 to 80 points Garde Sans
- more than 80 points Garde Contre
Second method. this one is based on a number of theoretically winnable tricks.
- the Petit, if 7th, 1 trick
- of the Trumps 15 to 21 each 1 trick
- of the Trumps 10 to 14 each 1/2 trick
- for 8th Trump trick
- King 1 trick
- Queen 1/2 trick
- King + Queen 2 tricks
- Queen + Knight 1 trick
- Knight + Valet 1/2 trick
- a voided suit 1 trick
- Singleton 1/2 trick
- the lead 1 trick
Scale of evaluation: After having calculated the number of theoretical tricks, apply the following scale:
- 3 Bouts + 3 1/2 theoretical tricks GARDE
- 2 Ends + 4 1/2 theoretical tricks GARDE
- 1 End + 6 theoretical tricks GARDE
- 0 Ends + 7 theoretical tricks GARDE
for a GARDE SANS add 2 tricks for a GARDE CONTRE add 3 tricks
SIGNALISATION: In order to make the play of defense more interesting,
the F.F.T. developed a system of conventional signals.
It makes it possible for the defenders to communicate using the play of the cards.
l'Entame; to lead a card from a suit not previously played
to lead in the suits:
- a card of 1 to 5 indicates a major honor (King - Queen).
- a card higher than 5 denies possession of such an honor.
to lead with a Trump:
- odd: indicates at least 7 Trumps; a request to play Trumps.
- even: indicates less than 7 Trumps.
à la Fourniture; to play in response to the first 2 tricks
in the suit played by attacker:
- in descending order: indicates at least 5 cards of that suit with a King and a Queen and invites the play of Trumps.
- to play Excuse on the 1st or 2nd trick led by the attacker promises such length in the suit
in the suit played by defense:
- descending order: indicates a doubleton,
it invites continued play of the suit for over-trumping.
a strong hand is announced by either the lead of a King or an odd Trump,
or by disobedience; the play of a suit different from that played by the partners.
Disobedience in such a case dictates the line of play to which the partners should obey.
to play Excuse on the first trick of Trumps asks for the halting of the play of Trumps.