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Skat is a card game for three people. It is a strategy game with imperfect information obtained by shuffling the cards before giving a gambling element has. Skat is played with a hand of 32 cards. Each player receives ten cards, the other two cards, which remain face down at first, are the eponymous Skat . A declarer plays against the two players (the opposing party) who are not allowed to collude. After the cards are dealt, the declarer is determined by what is known as bidding . As soon as the game is over, it is counted whether declarer or opposing party has won. The points are noted and you move on to the next game. Usually you play several games in a row with dealers changing in turn.

Playing Skat has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage in Germany. In December 2016, the German Commission for UNESCO included Skat in the nationwide register of intangible cultural heritage .

Skat player in a park in Erfurt (1967)
Skatblatt, French picture with German colors (tournament picture)


According to the general opinion, the term Skat goes back to the Italian verb scartare or the related French écarter (cf.  Écarté ) and means something that has been put aside. This means the two cards that are put aside face down when dealing or pressed by the player; these are called skat or stick .


The skat fountain with the "Four Wenceslas" in Altenburg

Skat was developed around 1820 in Altenburg in Thuringia, known today as Skatstadt , from the card game Schafkopf . In 1886 also the first German Skatkongress it hosted more than 1000 participants and 1899 was there German Skatverband founded. After the Second World War, the association's headquarters were relocated to Bielefeld in 1953 . In 2001, eleven years after reunification , he returned to Altenburg. This step was completed in 2005 with the closure of the Bielefeld branch. On December 1, 2001, the International Skat Court was founded in Altenburg , which decides on disputed cases.

Skat was a favorite pastime of the famous composer Richard Strauss , and so he composed a part of skat in his opera Intermezzo .


Skat is especially widespread in Germany. Open skat tournaments are held regularly in restaurants . In contrast to most other card games, Skat is also organized in a sporty manner, with Skat associations, clubs, rankings and even a Bundesliga . Most German skat clubs are affiliated with the German Skat Association (DSkV), which organizes the championships. In addition, the International Skat Players Association is primarily responsible for the organization of the World and European Championships , which take place alternately every year , but with its subdivision ISPA-Germany as well as the DSkV organizes its own German individual and team championship and also organizes one own league operations.

Skat sheet

french leaf German sheet
map symbol map symbol eyes
Ass A. Daus / ace (without a 11
ten 10 ten 10 10
king K king K 4th
lady D. Upper O 3
Jack B. Under U 2
nine 9 nine 9 0
eight 8th eight 8th 0
seven 7th seven 7th 0
French leaf colors
Heart Spades ♠
Cross ♣
Colors of the German paper
Bell symbol of the Bavarian playing cards
Heart symbol of the Bavarian playing cards
Leaf symbol of the Bavarian playing cards
Acorn symbol of the Bavarian playing cards
Colors of the four-color sheet

Skat is played with a hand of 32 cards . A distinction is made between the French paper and the German or Bavarian paper .

The French leaf consists of the four colors cross (also known as club or French trèfle ), spade (also Schippen , Schippe , Schüppen ; French pique ), heart (also red ; French cœur or rouge ) and diamonds (also corner stone ; French carreau ); each with the cards seven , eight , nine , ten , jack , queen , king and ace . The International Skat Ordinance uses the term cross , which is also used in Germany. Based on the French name, this color is almost exclusively called Treff in Austria ; the corresponding card symbol is a clover leaf ( fr.trèfle ).

With the German leaf the colors are acorn (also corner ), green (also leaf , foliage or grass ), red (also heart ) and bells (also Bollen ), which correspond in this order to clubs , spades , hearts and diamonds . The sub replacing boys and the top the ladies . The ace is often Daus , majority Däuser called. The name Daus, however, is derived from deux (French: two). The dhow was originally the two and not the one; This has been preserved in the Salzburger or Einfachdeutscher Blatt . The other cards stay the same. In East , Central and South Germany you often play with the German hand, in North Germany, however, with the French hand. Furthermore, the French sheet with German colors , also known as the four-color sheet , has existed since 1994 and is the official tournament sheet of the German Skat Association.

Rules according to the international Skat rules

The official rules are set out in the International Skat Code. But there are also different variants played.

Overview of the course of the game

A Skat game consists of two parts: bidding and the actual game. Bidding is a type of auction that is won by whoever offers the highest game value. He determines what kind of game is played and he then plays in the actual game as declarer (or soloist ) against the other two ( opponent , opposing party ). The declarer must choose his game so that the game value is at least as high as the bid with which he won the bidding. The more someone stimulates, the more limited are their playing options.

Skat is a trick game : a player plays out , d. That is, puts a playing card on the table and in turn each additional player adds a card, whereby the second and third player must serve ( confess , indicate ) the card played by the first . The type and order of the cards played determines who wins the trick (also: takes the trick ). He receives the played cards, places them face down in front of him and leads to the next trick.

In the standard games ( color game or grand ) you have to get as many eyes as possible , with each card value counting a certain number of eyes. In the zero game , the declarer wins if he does not take any trick.

Number of players and game rounds

A Skat round consists of three or more players. Four is considered the ideal number and is used in tournament skating as far as the number of participants allows. Several games are played in the course of the game, in which three of the players take part. The cards are new for every game given (distributed). If there are four or more people, the dealer does not participate in the game. The role of the dealer changes from game to game in a clockwise direction. If each player has dealt once in this way, one round is completed and another is initiated when the first dealer continues.

In tournament skating, the number of games per series is generally set at 48, which corresponds to twelve rounds with four players. In the recreational game, the number of rounds is usually based on the preferences of the individual players. If the number of players differs, it should be ensured that the length of the series can be divided by these so that everyone is both dealer and forehand (player) equally often.

Game preparation

A game begins with the shuffling of the cards by the predetermined dealer. Then this leaves the player to the right once stand out and sets the broken-down part of the cards on the raised part of the card shock. When withdrawing, at least four cards must be withdrawn and at least four cards must be left.

Then, in a clockwise direction, starting with the player to his left, the dealer deals three cards to each of the three players taking part in the game. In a clockwise direction, participants are called forehand (or forehand ), middle hand and hindquarters . Then he places two cards face down in the middle of the table, these form the so-called skat or stick . Then he deals clockwise, starting again with the forehand, four cards to each player, and then again in the same way three cards to each player.

The dealer must always take the dealt cards from the top of the pile so that he cannot influence the distribution of cards after the cut. Shuffling, cutting and dealing must be done face down so that everyone only sees the ten cards that they receive. If a card is accidentally visible, the dealer must shuffle again.


Skat irritation values
Simplified irritation values

Even before the first card is played, the so-called bidding must determine which player will play as the soloist against the other two. The bidding is a kind of point auction in which the highest bidder "gets" the game, ie becomes declarer.

This is often the most complicated part for beginners, as the game values ​​must be calculated in the head or zero games must be known by heart.

When bidding, the player who is saying gives the hearing player ever higher possible game values ​​until one of the two passes (usually by saying "away"). The one who says it can also fit from the start. The forehand first hears the commandments of the middle hand. The one of the two who didn't pass hears the commandments from behind next. Finally, when one of these passes, the other is declared declarer . He plays against the other two ( opposing party ), who now form a team, but are not allowed to coordinate during the game. The declarer receives the skat and can determine the type of game.

In general, a player who has received sufficiently good cards, e.g. several jacks and many aces and 10s or jacks and a so-called color flute (= many cards of one suit) tries to become a soloist in order to gain points accordingly. A lost game, on the other hand, is rated with double minus points.

The value of the game must be at least as high as the bid with which the declarer won the bidding. The game value depends on the type of game, the cards that the declarer has (including the cards in Skat, even if this is not yet known when bidding) and the announced and the achieved profit level. If it turns out after the game that the bidding bid has not been achieved, which can result, for example, from unfavorable cards in Skat, the declarer has overstimulated and lost his game.

If neither player wants to bid, the game is considered fit. It is noted accordingly and the next dealer deals for the next game, i.e. that is, the fitted game is not repeated. In recreational games, junk is often played with the cards originally dealt in this case . But the junk is not part of the official Skat rules.

After the deal, each player first determines which game or which possible games he would like to risk and in this way determines the limit up to which he wants to bid.

Game types

Due to the rarity of the game, the remaining cards are usually torn up in the Grand Ouvert and the games are framed e.g. B. displayed in restaurants or club rooms.

There are three categories of games:

  • The color games in which the declarer chooses one of the colors as the trump card. The cards of this suit and the jacks or under in the German hand are the trump cards. For example, when spades are announced as trumps, they say spades , game of spades , or spades are played .
  • The grand (big game) in which only the jacks are trump cards.
  • The zero game where there is no trump and declarer wins if the opposing party takes all the tricks.

All these games can also be played as hand games or openly / ouvert.

In an ordinary game, the player picks up the skat and then presses two of his now twelve cards, i.e. i.e., he puts them face down before declaring his game. Skat offers you the opportunity to increase your chances of winning by using suitable cards to upgrade the hand and unsuitable cards to be pressed.

In a hand game, the skat remains hidden until the end of the game and, in the case of a suit game or grand, is taken into account in the game value calculation and added to the tricks of the declarer when counting as the cards pressed in a normal game. It is then said that someone is playing by hand or by hand . In a hand game, the game value increases by one level.

Believes so sure to win a player that he can counterparty show his cards, he can open or ouvert play: Declarer then lays his cards just to play on the game announcement visible on the table. This also increases the play value. With suit or grand, crotchless is only possible with hand play and is only won if the declarer actually takes all the tricks. A zero game can also be played openly after having seen the skate.

According to the international Skat rules, the value of the games is determined by two factors for stimulating:

  1. the number of "tips" (jacks and trumps) + the announced "degree of profit", multiplied by
  2. the chosen “trump suit” or type of game.

Each color is assigned a fixed value: clubs = 12, spades = 11, hearts = 10, diamonds = 9. The grand game (also in the grand ouvert ), in which only the jacks are trumps, is assigned the value 24. Exceptions are zero games which have fixed values ​​(23, hand 35, open 46, open hand 59). At zero there are no “peaks”.

The top factor

The top factor: With four
Jack of clubs de.svg
Jack of Clubs
Jack of spades de.svg
Jack of Spades
Jack of hearts de.svg
Jack of Hearts
Jack of diamonds de.svg
Jack of Diamonds
The four jacks are the highest peaks. If all four jacks are present, you can bid and count “with four”.

To determine the top factor, it is counted how many of the trumps from the jack of clubs on are consistently present or, on the contrary, do not exist.

In addition, the rank of Jack of Clubs, Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds applies to the trumps , as well as Ace, 10, King, Queen, 9, 8, 7 in the chosen trump suit . Here the peak factors are differentiated between with (number) and without (number) .

With (number) : If a player has the jacks of clubs , the factor is the number of consecutive jacks and other trumps (ace, 10, king, etc.) of the trump suit. If one is missing, others are not counted.

  • The Jack of Clubs, the Jack of Spades and the Jack of Diamonds are two points (since the Jack of Hearts is missing). They say: "At 2"
  • Jacks of clubs, jacks of spades, jacks of hearts, jacks of diamonds, ace of trumps count as five points. They say: "At 5"
Without one
Jack of spades de.svg
Jack of Spades
Jack of hearts de.svg
Jack of Hearts
Jack of diamonds de.svg
Jack of Diamonds

If the top trump (jack of clubs) is missing, you can bid and count “without one”. If more are missing, the “no” announcement increases accordingly

Without (number) : If the jack of clubs is not available, you count the “gaps” up to the first available trump.

  • The highest existing trump is the Jack of Hearts. They say: "Without 2"
  • The highest available trump is the king of the trump suit (four jacks + ace of trumps + 10 of trumps = 6 points). They say: "Without 6"

When determining the final game value, however, in addition to the cards that the player has in hand, the cards in the skat that are still unknown to the player also count. As a result, if there are consecutive top trump cards, the game value can change afterwards, which can lead to over-bidding. Zero play is an exception.

The degree of profit

In the simplest case, the profit rate is 1 and increases as follows:

  • 1 = "game" (single game against two players)
  • 2 = tailor (opposing party or soloist only get 30 or fewer eyes)
  • 3 = Black (opposing party or soloist does not get a trick )

or (in the case of handball):

  • 1 = "game"
  • 2 = hand (skat is not recorded)
  • 3 = tailor
  • 4 = black, or: tailor announced (the soloist plays "hand" and only wins the game if the other party stays in tailor)
  • 5 = Tailor hip and black
  • 6 = Black announced (the soloist plays "hand" and only wins the game if the other party remains black)
  • 7 = Open (the soloist plays "hand" and, in addition to the black announcement, places his cards face up on the table before forehand plays the first card)

The multiplication of the top factor plus the degree of winning by the trump suit shows how high the bid can be. Since the lowest degree of profit (“game”) counts 1, in the simplest case the number 1 is added to the top factor. Any higher degrees of winning (for example "hand") increase the value additionally.

Example values ​​can be:

  • “With two, game: three times of clubs” = 3 · 12 = 36
  • “Without four, game: five diamonds” = 5 · 9 = 45
  • “With five, game: six hands, seven times hearts” = 7 · 10 = 70
  • "With one, game: two hands three tailors four announced five times spades" = 5 · 11 = 55
  • "With three, game: 4 times grand" = 4 · 24 = 96

Stimulus procedure and game announcement

Skatblatt: The player has three jacks, including the jack of clubs, the "old man". For example, he could bid "with a" on a cross game up to 24 or for a "grand" up to 48.

After each player has decided whether and up to what value he would like to bid, a kind of auction now takes place. Starting with the giver, the following roles are set in clockwise order: "Giving, listening, saying, passing on".

The player whose turn it is to say usually tells the listener the next value in a fixed sequence as long as he calls or until he has reached his calculated play value and then has to "pass". The sequence results from the possible game values: 18 (2 · diamonds), 20 (2 · hearts), 22 (2 · spades), 23 (zero game), 24 (2 · clubs), 27 (3 · diamonds), 30 , 33, 35 (zero hand), 36, 40, 44, 45, 46, 48, 50 etc. In practice (from a game value of 22, but not earlier and not for numbers that can be divided by 10), only the ones place is used (“Four” instead of “24”) or “Zero” instead of 23 said. This results in the seemingly mysterious row: 18, 20, 2, zero, 4, 7, 30, 3, 5, 6, 40.

However, there is no obligation to state all values ​​in this sequence. The “teller” could also immediately say the value he would like to stimulate (“jump stimulus”), which in individual cases can be advantageous because the third player, i.e. the opponent's partner, does not receive any information about which game his partner intended, i.e. which color the partner has many cards of.

The listener answers whether he wants to and can play this value by answering “yes”, “gone”, “pass” or in a similarly clear way. If one of the two has left the bidding in this way, it is now the turn of the next player to “tell”, that is, in a three-player game, the “dealer”. He can continue bidding or pass.

At least it is possible to draw conclusions about the competitors' cards from the bid values: If a player bid up to 24 and is then "gone", then he probably has either the Jack of Clubs without the Jacks of Spades or the Jacks of Spades without the jacks of clubs and some cards of clubs in hand (with / without a game two times 12 = 24). Of course, you can't rely on it, it could have been a bluff, or simply a lack of courage to irritate further.

In this way it is determined which of the players is "playing the game". He plays alone against the other two players. He then takes the Skat into his hand and then has to put down any two cards face down ("press"). Exception: If a “hand” game is announced, the skat remains unseen. The discarded cards or the skat not picked up are counted among the tricks of the declarer for settlement purposes. It is therefore worthwhile to print not only inappropriate, but also endangered high-quality cards.

Then the declarer announces his "game" by choosing one of the colors or just the jacks (= "grand") as trump or announcing a "zero game". In hand games, i.e. if he does not take up the skat, he may also announce Schneider or Black, which makes the game more difficult for him, but increases the point value.


In any case, at the end of the day the actual play value, taking into account Schneider and Schwarz, must at least reach the bid value. Otherwise the player has overstimulated himself and lost the game. It is therefore risky to bid "without" (the highest trump cards), as the number of missing points and thus the game value can be reduced by the cards found in Skat.

The following example illustrates the problem of over-bidding with possible solutions for the declarer:

  • Irritated: Without 2, play 3 times of clubs (12) = 36
  • Found in Skat: Jack of Clubs
  • Actual value of the game: With 1, game 2 times of clubs (12) = 24

The game is now overstimulated, but the opponents do not know anything about it at first. The declarer must now upgrade the game to at least 36 through skillful play. That would be the case in this case if he kept the other party in the tailor: With 1, game 2, tailor 3 times clubs (12) = 36. If he does not succeed, the game is lost. Another possibility would be to choose another type of game, for example Grand: With 1, game 2 times Grand (24) = 48. Another variant would be to avoid exposing yourself to this danger by playing a hand game. Although the jack of clubs in Skat also counts in hand games, the game still has sufficient play value: With 1, game 2, hand 3 times clubs (12) = 36.

However, this can only be used to compensate for the gap from a point (if the hand game is not bid to allow solo play), since the hand game only increases the game by 1. If, for example, the jack of diamonds is in hand, a diamond is to be played (total game rating without 3 game 4 times 9 = 36) and a jack in spades or clubs is in unrecognized Skat, the player has overstimulated himself despite hand play if he has bid more than 27 (with or without 1 game 2 hand 3 times 9 = 27). If at least the first 3 jacks are missing, this tactic is extremely dangerous, while without a 2 game 3 times 9 = 27 it can still be compensated by hand play (with or without 1 game 2 hands 3 times 9 = 27).


The actual game is divided into ten tricks . The player to the left of the dealer (forehand) plays the first trick by placing any of his cards face up on the table. In a clockwise direction, the other players (middle and rear hands) do the same until each player has a card on the table. The middle and hind hands must use (confess) the card played by forehand: If forehand has played a trump or a suit, they must each also play a trump card or a card of the same suit. If you don't have one, you can play any card.

The trick is won by whoever played the highest-ranking trump card in the trick or, if no trump was played, the highest-ranking card of the suit led by forehand. He withdraws the three cards from the trick and places them face down in a pile in front of him. The following tricks run in the same way, only the player is always forehand and plays the trick that won the previous trick. The players following clockwise are then middle and hind quarters.

  • In the suit games, the jacks are the highest-ranking trump cards, in descending order: clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds. The ranking of the remaining cards (both trump and other) is: ace, 10, king, queen, 9, 8, 7.
  • In the Grand, the jacks are the only trump cards in the same order.
  • There is no trump in the zero game. Jack and 10 have no special position, they say: they line up. The order of precedence is: ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7.

In the case of suits and grand, the eyes of the cards are decisive for the outcome of the game ; after the game, each side adds up the points of their tricks. The ace counts eleven, the 10 counts ten, the king four, the queen three and the jack two. The rest (9, 8, 7), also called Luschen , do not count. For the declarer, the cards pressed or, in a hand game, the two cards in Skat also count.

The declarer wins his game (in the simple profit stage) if he has received more than half of all eyes, i.e. at least 61, while the opponents 60 eyes are enough for victory. There is also the tailor level , for which you need at least 90 eyes, and the black level , for which you have to win all tricks (not just all eyes).

A null game is won by declarer if the opponents get all 10 tricks, otherwise the opponents win. There are no different profit levels here.


The player to the left of the dealer (forehand) is the first to play any card for the first trick. The other players (middle hand, rear hand) must then also serve a card of the same suit in a clockwise direction . Depending on whether a higher or lower card is served, one speaks of accepting or admitting . If a trump card is played, trumps must be served (jacks count towards the trump suit).

If a player has no card of this color, he may play any other color. If he plays a trump card on a suit card, one speaks of stabbing or even knocking over (if this trick has already been taken from the middle hand by playing trump and the rear hand plays an even higher trump card). Depending on whether the trick is likely to go to the opponent or the partner or has already been taken, an attempt can be made to discard or smear or swarm unsuitable cards , this means to let the partner look.

If all three players have played one card, the three cards are given to the player who played the highest card of the required color or who tripped with the highest trump. As mentioned above, the ascending order of precedence 7, 8, 9, queen, king, 10, ace and, in the case of the trump suit, the jacks in the order of the suits. Cards of a different suit cannot win a trick. The winner of the trick takes the forehand in the next trick.

In a zero game, the order of the cards changes, see zero games.


The eyes of the tricks of the two opponents are added together, for the solo player the eyes of the cards pressed or the skat not picked up are also counted. The sum of the card values ​​is determined as follows: 7, 8, 9 do not count (they are also called Luschen in player jargon ), a jack 2, a queen 3, a king 4, 10 counts 10 and an ace 11 counts.

So there are a total of 120 eyes involved. If the declarer has at least 61 eyes, then he has won (if the declarer has only 60 eyes in hand, one speaks of “split ass” or, less often, “split ass”). However, 60 eyes are enough for the opposing party to win. If the player announced tailor or black or bid so high that he needs the additional counters, he needs 90 or more eyes or all ten tricks to win. It should be noted that a zero-eye stitch, i.e. a stitch that only contains Luschen (7, 8, 9), is also a stitch. A side that has taken one or more of these tricks has therefore not been played black. In addition, the “overexcitation rule” must be observed (see also above): A player who bids higher than his game was worth loses.

Zero games

In addition to the normal case described, there are special games in the event that the declarer has particularly low, i.e. bad cards in normal games:

  • Zero (value 23)
  • Zero hand (value 35) The player leaves the skat unseen on the table.
  • Null Ouvert (value 46) The player places his cards face up on the table, but may first take up the skat and press two cards.
  • Null Ouvert Hand (value 59) The player leaves the skat unseen on the table and puts his cards down.

These games are considered won if the declarer does not take a trick. The eye rating does not play a role here. The game logic is turned upside down.

The cards are placed differently in all zero games. There is no trump, the order is 7–8–9–10 – Jack – Queen – King – Ace. They say the 10 and the jack are lined up.

The variant “hand” can also be played in color games or in grand games; whoever plays "hand" increases his top factor in bidding by one. For all games except for “zero”, “hand” is the prerequisite for both open (Ouvert) and popular (Schneider or Schwarz) games.

Write it down

In general, many games are made, so a game rating is noted for each player. The value of the game results as explained under "Bidding".

There are several ways to write down the points:

  • Points are only ever written down for declarer: If he has won, he receives the value of the game as points. If he has lost, then double the value of the game will be deducted (capitalization required for official tournaments).
  • The points are always noted as minus points: If the declarer wins, both opponents (and, if applicable, the dealer in a four-player game) receive the value of the game as minus points. If he loses, he alone (as above) gets double the negative number of points.
    • For beer salmon , this method is written down in rounds of 301 (with three players) or 401 (with four players). If you score 301 or 401 or more minus points, you have lost the round and then the game starts again from zero.
  • The solo player receives 50 points (and points equal to the simple game value) for the games he wins; if he loses, he receives double the game value as minus points and the opposing party at the three-tier table receives 40 points each. In the four-table table, the opposing party including the dealer receives 30 points each if the declarer loses ( extended Seeger system ).
  • Originally, Skat was played for money, with the stake expressed in fractions of the currency (for example 1/10 cent) and related to the points. Even today, a game of skat with financial input is still common.
  • Preisskat is generally not a game of chance in the sense of § 284 StGB and may therefore be played for money. This is due to the fact that Preisskat is a tournament-style game that takes place long enough to exclude categorization as a game of chance .


In addition to the rules laid down in the International Skat Ordinance, there are numerous variants and unofficial additional rules. In order to avoid misunderstandings, you should agree on the rules before the game.

Play value

  • The top factor is widely determined solely on the basis of the boys. For example, if you have all four jacks and the trump ace in hand, this still only counts as “with 4” instead of “with 5”.
  • Some use only 20 instead of 24 as a basic value for the Grand, as was specified in earlier versions of the Skat rules.
  • Sometimes the independent multiplier 36 or 30 (instead of 24) is used for the grand ouvert and the level open is not counted. This rule was officially abolished a few years ago.
  • Sometimes Schneider and Schwarz are not counted towards the top factor, but lead to a doubling of the play value.
  • In some cases, the profit levels are not viewed as a fixed order, but it is possible to combine any announcements, for example to announce Schneider despite the recorded skats or simply to play a game at the table.
  • with patrol or miracle or tip : The last trick must be with the lowest trump, then the penultimate with the second lowest trump. This increases the top factor of the game value (for example "with 2 game 3 with 2 tips are 5 clubs = 60"). However, the trump cards are also referred to as tips .
  • Rum : The declarer announces "Rum" before starting the skat. Now he has to show the skat openly and then pick it up. This increases the peak factor by one.
  • After declarer has announced his game, a player from the opposing party can say "Contra" in anticipation of winning the game, thereby doubling the value of the game. If the declarer is still convinced that he is going to win, he can reply "Re" and thereby double the value again. However, if he loses such a game, he gets eight times the minus points: 2 (lost) times 2 (contra) times 2 (Re) = 8.
  • Some also play with the “Supra” (also known as the “Bock” or “Tischkante-Stuhl”), which tops the Re again. "Deer" (also called "leaf", "salmon" or "shot") double the game value again; which is now a total of sixteen times.
  • An opposing player is only allowed to say against if he has either made the bid himself or should have passed on with more than 18 as a hindquarters. As a rule, he can hold against as long as he still has all 10 cards in hand. In this form and with the levels »Kontra«, »Re«, »Zippe« and »Bock«, Kontra was part of the Skat system until 1932.
  • The opponents are off the hook at 30 instead of 31 eyes.
  • Lost hand games are not doubled. This was an official Skat rule until 2001. The appropriate saying for this is: "Hand is not punished".
  • Over-stimulation is not possible with hand games. Example: bid without 3, game 4, hand 5 × diamonds (9) = 45. The jack of clubs is on the stick. Actually, the game would be overstimulated: With 1, game 2, hand 3 × diamonds (9) = 27. With this special rule this does not apply. Either the hand card, here 45, or the card with Skat, here 27, counts for the scoring.

Special games

  • Revolution (value 92)
    • Variant 1: The game is played like a zero-ouvert hand. The opponents are allowed to swap their hand cards with one another. As with all games in Skat, forehand plays out.
    • Variant 2: The opponents may pick up the Skat, press it and then play it. The game is played like zero ouvert. Otherwise the rules stay the same.
    • Variant 3: The opponents may swap their cards and the Skat with each other. The declarer has to lead.
  • In a variant of the grand ouvert , the player announces tailor and black at the same time; the opponents are allowed to revolutionize, i.e. exchange their cards.
  • Saxon tip : With this variant of the tip, the cards are tripped in reverse order, as with the grand, the jacks are trumps, with the jack of diamonds being the highest trump and, for example, taking a seven-color ace and king with it. The descending order (from “highest” to “lowest” trump) is: 7,8,9,10, Q, K, Ace (like in the zero game, the 10 is in line). The value of the cards, however, is retained, so that, for example, an ace still counts 11 and a king 4 pips. The basic value is assumed to be 20. In some variants of the Saxon tip ( Upper Lusatian lace ) the basic value is assumed to be 21, in the north-eastern part of Upper Lusatia it is 16.

Junk and buck rounds

  • If none of the players want to play alone, rubbish is played: Everyone plays for himself and has to score as few eyes as possible. The sum of the "won" cards (including the card values ​​in Skat that the player who takes the last trick receives) is entered in the scoring list as minus points.
  • A Schieberamsch round can take place after a Grand Hand.
    • A sub-variant for the junk as well as for the Schieberamsch is the walk through. One of the players tries to get all the tricks, which gives him the full 120 instead of minus points. However, he should keep his project secret for as long as possible, since it only takes a single trick from a fellow player to let this project fail.
  • Bock rounds : Under certain conditions (such as split knife or gap ass , so 60-60, lost or won Contra Re or even with just a given Re or mock Grand Hand ) is double-counted one lap.
  • Bock-Ramsch-Rounds : In addition to a Bock-Round , a round of Schieberamsch can be played after special occurrences . In the junk rounds, each player has (once) the opportunity to play a grand hand instead of junk.
  • Winning junk: Popular with some leisure tournaments is a variant in which games are played as junk. The player with the most eyes gets the skat. The winner is the player with the fewest eyes. 23 points are recorded as for a zero won and a game won. If two players have the same lowest number, it is up to the organizer how it is scored. As a rule, both are rewarded for legitimate non-bidding and receive both the 23 points and the game won. Therefore the name.

Skat with ponte

This type of game owes its invention to the endeavor to organize games of chance in public and at the same time circumvent the state monopoly . In Skat with Ponte, which was operated in commercial gambling clubs, up to ten people who were not involved in the actual game could take part with money stakes.

The skat with Ponte was soon classified as a " totalizator - or betting-like game of chance" and banned in 1957. (This judgment is of course to be understood from the then prevailing legal opinion regarding betting.)

The name Ponte is derived from the French pointeur (opponent of the banker, see also Baccara , Ecarté-Chouette ).

Related card games

Altenburger color stimuli

The Altenburger color stimulus is the original variant, which was the prescribed form of the Skat code until 1927.

6-person skat

6-point Skat is played like real Skat, but is played with a hand of 6s (36 cards). The 6 is below the 7, but counts 6 eyes. The maximum number of eyes increases to 144, a game from 72 is lost, Schneider from 36. Each player receives eleven cards, in Skat there are 3. The game is suitable for bringing a little variety to a routine Skat round.


In the Räuberskat there is no teasing . The players must play competitive games one after the other. The game types are each a play of colors, a grand, a zero and a junk. After looking at the first five cards, declarer has to decide on a game type, whereby each game type can only be played once by each player. The points are counted regularly and the round ends when each player has completed his competitive games. In total, there are always twelve games in a round with three players and 16 games with four players. This variation is particularly interesting for beginners with little experience in bidding, but it is also attractive for advanced players due to the competitive games and the need to make decisions.


Another variation is ace . Here three players play without bidding. The declarer who has the ace of a certain color (e.g. red ace) is automatically declared. This is then also the highest trump before the acorn (club) jack. The declarer determines the trump suit and plays a suit.

Idiot skat

In idiot skating , the cards are held upside down so that you only see the cards of the other players, but not your own (see Quodlibet - Open Pants ). The own leaf can therefore only be accessed indirectly, which leads to few problems when stimulating. During the game, the duty to operate is then naturally suspended, and the result of the game is relatively left to chance. It is all the more important to use facial expressions, gestures and appropriate slogans to distract from the bad game. Idiot skat is suitable for ending a skat evening with humor.

Cameroonian Skat

The Cameroon Skat ( Camerun-Skat ) is a card game of chance for three or more players, which however only has in common with the usual Skat the name and the use of a pack of 32 cards.

Variations for two players

For two players there are variants called Skat with a straw man , Grandma Skat and Officer 's Skat (also Bauernskat , with a variant Admiralsskat ).

Skat with a straw man

If a third player is missing, skat can also be played in pairs with a straw man . Additional rules are:

  • In addition to the normal Skat there is a second Skat of three cards, which is never revealed and is only added to the player with the most eyes after the last trick; accordingly everyone plays with nine cards.
  • The straw man is always in the middle hand and always fits.
  • The straw man's hand is revealed after the first card has been played and played by the opponent.

Skat en deux

Skat En Deux is an exciting variant of the classic game of Skat that is played with only two players. The opponent takes on the role of the third player. However, after the game has been announced, this player's cards are also shown to the declarer. The dealer stimulates his teammate. Declarer becomes whoever has said or kept the highest bidding bid. The “third player” is not involved in the stimulus process. If the dealer passes immediately, the other player can dare a game or pass. If he also fits, the game will fit.

Pilot skat

In pilot skat , two players play with normal card distribution, but without the third player. The dealer gives his opponent the first card and the person not present on the right the second card. The dealer stimulates the second player as if there were three of them. The declarer picks up the skat, presses and names his game, now player two plays with the third card against the declarer. The third card is revealed after the lead and is visible to both, but is only used by the opponent.


In Switzerland, a modified form of Skat is played with the Jass cards customary there , mostly called bidder (not to be confused with bidding ). There are almost always three or five players in the game. In a five-player game, the player who bids the most (bids the highest) may request a card. Of the other players, the owner of this card becomes his partner. Four of them play one against three; the four-way bidder is more like a game of chance and is rarely played.


The perfect distribution

The distribution of cards in which the declarer can win both grand and all black suits as well as a zero game is considered perfect:

  • Player 1: Jack of clubs, Jack of spades, Jack of hearts, Jack of diamonds, Clubs: A, 10, 9, Spades: A, 10, 9
  • Player 2: Clubs: K, Q, Spades: K, Q, Hearts: A, K, Q, Diamonds: 8, 9, 10
  • Player 3: clubs: 7, 8, spades: 7, 8, hearts: 8, 9, 10, diamonds: A, K, D
  • Skat: 7 of hearts, 7 of diamonds

Number of distributions

The number of different card distributions in a regular Skat game can be answered using combinatorics :

The 32 cards are distributed to three players of ten cards and two cards on the table. There are 32! (32 faculty ) Possibilities to permute all 32 cards , so to bring them into a certain order. The order of the ten cards of each player, and also that of the two cards in Skat, is immaterial, so that with

about 2.8 quadrillion possible map distributions result. This number can also be arrived at by considering the following: the first player receives ten from 32 cards, the second player ten from the remaining 22 cards, the third player ten from the remaining twelve cards and the last two cards go into the skat. With the help of the binomial coefficients this gives


See also


  • Hugo Kastner, Gerald Kador Folkvord: The great Humboldt encyclopedia of card games. Humboldt, Baden-Baden 2005, ISBN 3-89994-058-X .
  • Günter Kirschbach, Rolf Lisker, Hans-Heinrich Benner: The Altenburger Skatbuch. Verlag Tribüne, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-7303-0012-1 .
  • Frank Krickhahn: Skat for advanced players . Humboldt Verlag, Baden-Baden 2005, ISBN 3-89994-063-6 .
  • Gerd Matthes: Skat and playing card city Altenburg. E. Reinhold Verlag, Altenburg 1993, ISBN 3-910166-08-3 .

Web links

Commons : Skat  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Skat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Skat  - sources and full texts
Wikibooks: Skat  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  1. German UNESCO Commission - Nationwide Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage - Playing Skat
  2. Championships & tournaments in the DSkV
  3. German team and individual champions of the ISPA. Retrieved April 22, 2020 .
  4. International Skat rules as of: 2011 (PDF; 328 kB)
  5. Form for writing down (PDF 61.9 kB)
  6. Annex to § 5a of the Gaming Ordinance . In Landmann / Rohmer, Commentary on Trade Regulations , as of January 2007 (edited by Marcks), the card games Preis bridge , -schafkopf , -doppelkopf , -skat and -tarock are explicitly mentioned in addition to price chess .
  7. Lore Sporhan-Krempel : A handful of luck, chats about playing cards and card players , Mercator Verlag Munich, 1958, p. 71 f.
  8. Skat En Deux