This is the companion to my other article on the game of Pinochle. Partnership or Double Deck Pinochle has been around since the late 1940s. "Live" events are very popular and are conducted by the Grand Prix World Series of Card Games, the National Pinochle Association (NPA) and the American Pinochle Association (APA). Melding is an integral part of the game. Most Internet sites automatically calculate Meld for the player. At live events you must be able to do this by yourself and with some speed. Hands are played at a rapid pace and the bidding and melding is conducted in a very short time. This article will help you to determine and calculate your meld prior to the bidding phase.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
a. Determining or calculating Meld combinations in each player's hand b. Conducting the bidding according to the standard rules of the game c. Declaring or showing the Meld for each person d. Playing the hand after the highest bid has been made e. Winning tricks with "Counter" cards f. Reaching the 500 point level ahead of the opposing team
Points are scored for various COMBINATIONS (Meld) of cards in the hand of each player. As stated above, the Meld is displayed to the other players before the opening lead is made. There are three types of Meld. Cards are ranked: Ace (high), Ten, King, Queen and Jack. Any particular card can be part of only ONE meld of each class or type.
Remember, the Meld for each hand is combined for both members of the same partnership. (If the count is less than 20 for a Team, there is no need to declare it for that hand.)
CLASS 1/"RUNS AND MARRIAGES" (SINGLE, DOUBLE, TRIPLE, QUADRUPLE)
a. RUN = A, 10, K, Q, J of TRUMP (15, 150, 225, 300) POINTS b. ROYAL MARRIAGE = King and Queen of Trump (4, 8, 12, 16) c. MARRIAGE = K and Q of the same "off" suit/not Trump (2, 4, 6, 8) d. ROUND HOUSE = a "Marriage" in each suit (24, 160) only e. ROUND HOUSE + RUN = 35 Points (some groups score this as 39)
Note: A Run in a side or off suit is not worth anything other than the two points for the Marriage. A Royal Marriage in a Run is not counted twice. Additional Royal Marriages are worth 4 points each.
CLASS 2/"PINOCHLES" (SINGLE, DOUBLE, TRIPLE, QUADRUPLE)
PINOCHLE = Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades (4, 30, 60, 90)
Note: Some groups prefer to score Pinochles as (4, 30, 45, and 90).
a. Aces Around = an Ace in each suit (10, 100, 150, 200)
b. Kings Around = a King in each suit (8, 80, 120, 160) c. Queens Around = a Queen in each suit (6, 60, 90, 120) d. Jacks Around = a Jack in each suit (4, 40, 40, 80)
Note: A set of Tens has no value in the counting of Meld.
This term is borrowed from the game of Bid Whist. If a Team takes ALL 20 tricks in a given hand, they are said to have made a "Boston." Some tournaments reward this feat with a premium of 300 points. In many instances this will win a game on the spot! I have also heard similar terminology including "Shooting the Moon," "Running the Table" and "Grand Slam."
Although this is a rare feat, it is rather thrilling to say the least!
Be sure to review the Meld tables and learn the various combinations. As stated above, some groups or tournaments will have slightly different Meld declaration values. The Boston option will be stated if it is in effect.
Memorize the Meld table by heart! Always check the Meld declaration of your opponents. Play Pinochle on the Internet. Most sites automatically count Meld for you. Play against "Bots" when you are first starting out. Study the Meld counts.
Do not miscount or misdeclare of your Meld (penalties do apply in competitive tournaments). Be leery of opponents who declare incorrect Meld or record the wrong number of points on the Scoresheet.