Ristikontra

Summary

Ristikontra is a simple Finnish game for 4 players in fixed partnerships. Partners sit facing each other. The object is to take tricks containing aces, 10s, jacks, queens and kings.

The cards

A standard 52-card pack is used. The ranking of the cards is irrelevant.

The deal

The dealer shuffles the deck and deals six cards to each player. The remaining cards are placed face down to form a stock.

The play

The game is played clockwise. The player to the left of the dealer is first to play. A trick consists of four cards, one by each player. The trick is won by whoever played the last card of the same rank as the first card in the trick. An example: Player A starts with a seven, then B plays a five, C plays an ace and D plays a three. A wins, because no one played a seven after him/her. Another example: A leads a king, B plays a three, C plays a ten and D wins the trick by playing a king.

Only point cards count, the number of taken tricks has no effect on scoring.

The winner of the trick leads to the next trick. Only three cards of the same rank may be lead in a row by the same player. Otherwise the players are free to play any card they wish.

After playing a card each player must replenish the hand from the stock so that there are six cards in the hand. When the stock is empty, the last six cards on the hand are played.

There is an option to turn a card directly from the stock in case the player whose turn it is does not want to play any of his/her cards from the hand.

Scoring

At the end of the deal each team counts the value cards in their tricks according to the following table.

Card Points
10 10
J 2
Q 3
K 4
A 11

It is helpful to remember that the sum of card values is 120.

The first team to score 120 points wins the game.

If a team does not get any points during a deal, the team's score will drop to zero.

An alternative scoring

Card Points
10 1
J 2
Q 3
K 4
A 5

The first team to score 60 points wins the game.

Tactics

When a player knows that the partner is winning the trick, he/she 'spices' the trick by a point card such as an ace.