Truco, also known as Truc, is a South American trick-taking card game for two, four, or six players, showcasing strategic wit and skill. It involves trick-taking, card comparison, bidding, and bluffing. A game of Truco is played over several rounds, each with three tricks.
Playing Truco requires a Spanish-suited deck of 40 cards: Ace (One), Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Sota (Jack), Caballo (Knight), and Rey (King), each in four suits Swords, Cups, Coins, and Clubs. Card rankings vary based on game variants and regional rules.
The objective is to earn points individually or as a team. Points are obtained through Flor (best three same-suited cards), Envido (specific high-value cards), Truco (winning points through bidding), and classic trick-taking.
In games with four or six players, opposite players form teams, accumulating scores. The game ends when one player or team reaches 30 points.
Each round starts with dealing three cards to each player. Flor can be announced if a player has three same-suited cards, which leads to players at the table comparing who has the three highest-value cards of a single suit. Trick-taking follows, with Truco and Envido announcements possible. Each of these processes can feature multiple steps.
Envido has higher priority than Truco and must be completed before the Truco bids start. Then, players may raise the stakes during the Truco to earn more points. In this phase, players commonly employ bluffing and deception, making opponents believe their cards are stronger than they actually are. Here are the possible steps of this phase:
- Any player can call Truco at any stage to increase the value of the current round to 2 points for the winning team. The challenged team can accept or refuse the call. If refused, the round ends with the calling team winning 1 point.
- The team that acceptedthe call truco can call retruco to increase the value of the round to 3 points. It may follow immediately after truco or after accepting the bid. The other team can accept or refuse. If refused, the round ends with the calling team winning 2 points.
- The team that accepted the retruco can call vale cuarto to increase the round’s value to 4 points. It can follow immediately after the retruco or after accepting it. If this call is refused, the round ends with the calling team winning 3 points.
To find more detailed instructions for the Flore, Envido, and Truco phases, feel free to compare different rulesets published online.
If no calls emerge or all calls are accepted, trick-taking continues. Winning the trick-taking without bids earns one point.
Card rankings in trick-taking are: Ace of Swords, Ace of Clubs, Seven of Swords, Seven of Coins, followed by Threes, Twos, remaining Aces, Kings, Knights, Jacks, remaining Sevens, Sixes, Fives, and Fours.
The game ends when one team or player reaches 30 points. If you’re in search of a card game that’s not just about the cards but the art of outsmarting those who hold them, Truco is an enchanting choice!