Truc: The Classic French Bluff Card Game

Written by: Abha Vardhan

Truc, a classic French game of Bluff, is also referred to as ‘counter’, and is believed to have originated in the seventeenth century. The game is a descendant of the traditional Aluette card game. It is originally played in the French Provinces including Maine-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, and Sarthe as well as in several countries with Hispanic cultures.

How to Play Truc?

Truc is played with 32 cards having a value from one to eight. The highest one wins. The value of the cards is counted in Seven, Eight, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten and Nine. You should keep in mind that only the order of the cards is taken into account, and not the card colour.

The card game is played between two players or between four divided into two teams. When playing Truc with four players, each teammate sits diagonally to each other.

At the beginning of the game, one card is distributed to each player. The player who gets the highest card becomes the dealer. They then shuffle the cards and deal three cards to each player. The remaining cards form the stack. In order to win the game, players or teams need to win at least two tricks out of three.

The player sitting left to the dealer plays one of his three cards. The rest of the players take their turn in a clockwise direction playing one card each. The player who plays the card with the highest value wins the trick, and he becomes eligible to play again with one of his remaining two cards. Now, the other players play one more card.

The player who has the highest card starts again with their third and last card. Then, other players play their third card in a clockwise direction. The pair who makes the highest number of tricks wins the round.

After the completion of one round, the cards that are already played are added in the stack of cards. The dealer will then cut and the player sitting on the left to the dealer deals the cards to the players for the second round.

Since the hands are small, each round is played quickly, taking just a few seconds to complete. A full game takes about 15 minutes or less to complete. This card game is very addictive, so much so that players will often play several rounds in one go.

The Rules of the Game

Truc is simple yet entertaining to play. Here are the rules that you should follow when playing this game:

  • If one of the three tricks is patte or ex-aequo, or Null (meaning, when the highest card played by each team is of equivalent value, for instance, 2 six), then the team who had made the first trick wins the round. For instance, team ‘A’ made the first trick, and a Team ‘B’ made the second trick, and the last one is patte, then Team ‘A’ will be considered as the winner because it made the first trick.
  • If the Team ‘A’ made the first trick and the second trick is Patte, then the winner of the round is Team ‘A’ because it made the first fold. And, it is worthless to play the third trick because even if  Team ‘B’ wins the trick, Team ‘A’ will still be considered the winner.  

When a team receives a total of three small tokens, the dealer exchanges them for one long token. The team that wins a total of seven long is declared as the winner of the game. Overall game-play is great, but where is the Truc in all this?

It is good to win small tokens and exchange three of them for a long token. But, it might take a long time. Fortunately, there is a shortcut to winning a long token in one go, without the need to earn three small tokens first. This trick is called Truc.

What is Truc?

At any point during the round, as long as one card is still in the player’s hand, the player can call ‘Truc.’ This can be done by either saying the word ‘Truc’ loudly or by striking the table. Announcing Truc means that the player thinks that he will win the round.

In general, Truc players prefer tapping on the table over the verbal announcement because this intensifies the game and makes it more dramatic. Moreover, players often don’t just exchange a word, but cast a scary and killer looks at their opponents after tapping the table. This is done to make the opponents give up the round.

In this instance, the player gathers all their determination and courage so as to challenge their opponents openly. By "Truc"ing, the player is declaring to their rivals that they are confident they will win the round. Of course, the players are allowed to lie and they can do so in order to win.

When the players can Trump: A player can trump at many instances during the game by either saying the word Truc loudly or by striking the table with their fist.

  • They can trump just after the cards are dealt and before playing their first card on the table.
  • They can also announce Truc after the playing the first or second turn or before the third card is played.

After the player has announced Truc, the opposing teams have two options. If the opposing team thinks that the other team is bluffing, they may take up the challenge. However, when they think that the other team is y telling the truth, they may opt to give up the round. 

  • If the opponents give up the round: In this case, the player who has Truc-ed wins, along with their partner, without playing any card. The round is declared completed and all the cards are sent to the stack without disclosing them. The players then start with the next round.
  • If the opponents take up the challenge: In this case, the opponents take up the challenge by saying ‘Play’ or ‘Come’ and the round continues normally.  

How to Calculate Points?

The Truc card game includes small tokens and long tokens. Here are the simple rules to calculate the points:

  • If no team wins the Truc in that round, then the team that wins the rounds wins one small token.
  • If a team wins the Truc and wins the round as well, it wins one long token.
  • If a team wins the Truc , but it loses the round, then the opposing team wins one long token.

In order to win the game, the team needs to win a total of 7 long tokens. It is worth noting here that three small tokens make one long token. Nevertheless, when a team wins a long, all the small tokens (plus those of the opponents) become redundant.

The simplest way to count points is to play with round and rectangular tokens. The round tokens are considered small tokens and the rectangular token are considered as the Truc. Three round tokens make one Truc.

What is Fortial?

Fortial is considered a special case in a Truc card game. When one of the teams has overall six long tokens and two small tokens, then one small token is still required to win the game. This means that the team is on Fortial. In this situation, the opponents should not watch their games after the cards are dealt, but they should wait for the team in fortial to announce Truc or pass.

  • If one of the players of the fortial does not Truc, the other partner can decide to Truc when his chance comes.
  • If none of the players of the fortial team Trucs, one small token is given to the opponents even without playing the round. The new round is then started until the team exits the fortial.
  • If one of the players of the fortial team decided to Truc, the opposite team has to play otherwise; they will be automatically considered defeated. The round is then played normally.

If both the teams are in Fortial, they both play the round normally and the team winning the round wins the game.

What is Rotten?

When none of the two players or the two teams (with two players each) wins the fold, it is termed a rotten fold. This means that both the teams have strong cards of the similar value on the table.

Two Same and One False

After the dealer has dealt the cards to the players and if one of the players declared ‘two similar and one false,’ it signifies that he has received two cards of the same value and the third one with the different value, thus termed as ‘false.’

Kind

When one of the players gets three cards of the similar value, he declares ‘brelan’.

Play Truc, One of The Most Exciting Card Games of all Time!

Truc is an exciting card game that is fast-paced and includes lots of entertaining elements. Enjoy it today with your friends and don’t forget to give them that fierce look when Truc-ing!

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