How to Play Belote

Belote is a very interesting card game for 4 people.Here are a few steps to learn and play it.


  1. Image titled Play Belote Step 1
    Understand the rules of belote. They are simple, yet mastering the game is a long process. Here are the basic rules:
    • There are 32 cards used for playing belote. They are the Kings(K), Queens(Q), Jacks(J), Aces(A), Tens(10), Nines(9), Eights(8) and Sevens(7). All four colours are used - Spade, Diamond, Hearts and Clubs.
    • Cards are dealt as follows:
      • Three cards to each of the four players.
      • Then another two.
      • After the bids and contracts,three more cards to each player.
  2. Image titled Play Belote Step 2
    Learn about the bids and contracts.
    • The lowest bid is 'Clubs'♣.
    • 'Diamond'♦ is higher than 'Spade'.
    • 'Hearts'♥ is higher than 'Diamond'.
    • Spades'♠ is the highest of all colours.
    • After that comes 'Not Trump'.
    • The highest possible bid is 'All Trump'.
    • There is the option to 'Double'. This way you're saying you intend to beat your opponent at his own bid. The results in the end are doubled.
    • The other option is 'Re-Double', which can only be said if there has been a 'Double'. The results in the end are re-doubled (multiplied by 4).
  3. Image titled Play Belote Step 3
    Understand the strength of the cards.
    • When you're playing a colour as a trump (e.g a player has bid 'Hearts'), then the Hearts' strength is as follows (from strongest to weakest):
      • Jack, Nine, Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Eight, Seven.
      • The other cards are like that:
      • Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack, Nine, Eight, Seven.
    • In that case, 'Hearts' is the strongest colour and beats all other.
    • When you're playing a game of 'All Trumps', all colours are equally strong, none beats the other. Cards are again Jack, Nine, Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Eight, Seven.
    • When you're playing a game of 'Not Trump', all colours are again equal, but the strength of cards is Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack, Nine, Eight, Seven.
    • Whatever game you're playing, remember that you always have to answer the colour wanted, if you have it. Hearts on the table means you have to give hearts, as well. If you don't have that colour, you can give whatever you want. In a game of colour, when you don't have the wanted colour, you need to use a trump (the colour that was bid) in order to get the hand.
    • When a trump card has been played, you must overtrump it, if you have a higher-ranked card. For example, the player before you gives a Ten of the trumps. Then you must play a higher-ranked card, such as Ace, Nine or Jack.
    • In a game of 'No Trump', you can try 'going low'. In other words, you need not give a higher-ranked card, if you don't want to. E.g. The player before you gives a Queen of Spades. If you are uncertain who will win that hand, and you have a Ten and a Nine, you could give the Nine. That's 'going low'.
  4. Image titled Play Belote Step 4
    Learn the declarations.
    • Declarations must be announced during the first round of the current game.
    • They are:
      • A sequence of three. Cards can be any part of this order: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7. This is worth 20 points.
      • A sequence of four. It is worth 50 points.
      • A sequence of five. It's worth 100 points.
      • Longer sequences don't count. A sequence of eight is called one sequence of five and one of three.
      • Four Nines. This is worth 150 points.
      • Four Jacks. This is the highest declaration. It's worth 200 points.
      • Four of A, K, Q or 10 is worth 100 points. Sevens and Eights are not awarded.
      • A belote is the combination of a King and a Queen of the same colour. It must be a trump colour. A belote is worth 20 points.
    • In a 'Not Trump' game, declarations are not allowed and don't count.
  5. Image titled Play Belote Step 5
    Master the rules of scoring. Each card has its own scoring value. Only Jacks and Nines change theirs depending on the game.
    • Aces are worth 11 points. Tens are worth 10 points. Kings are worth 4 points. Queens are worth 3 points. In a game of 'Not trump' and if not a trump colour, Jacks are worth 2 points and Nines are worth 0 points. Eights and Sevens are always 0 points.
    • In a game of 'All trumps', Jacks are worth 20 points and Nines are worth 14 points.
    • The winner of the last round gets an additional 10 points. Declarations are also added to the score.
    • When the team who bid the game do not have enough points, they are considered 'inside' or 'committed'.This means all points go for their opposition.
    • When a team is kaput (has no hands won), the other team wins additional 90 points.
    • The whole score for a game of 'All trumps' is 258 (26) and for a game of 'Not trump' it's 162 (16). When a team has half or more, they win the current game. The score is then added to the global scoring sheet.
  6. Image titled Play Belote Step 6
    Learn to write scores. A score is always rounded.
    • If the score is below the limit (half of the required to win), then it's rounded to the lower number. For example,35 points in a game of 'Not trump' are rounded to 3,not 4.
    • If the score is above the limit, then it's rounded to the higher value. E.g. 135 points in a game of 'Not trump' is rounded to 14 and it's enough to win the current game or make the declarer be 'inside'.
    • If both teams have the same amount of points when rounded, the one with more points when not rounded wins. For example, team one has 13 points and team two has 13 points, then whoever has more points when not rounded, will win the round.
  7. Image titled Play Belote Step 7
    Learn how to start a game, after you are comfortable with the rules.
    • The players from the same team must sit opposite each other.
    • One player splits the deck and gives it to the next player.
    • Cards are dealt. Players then bid and the rest of the cards are dealt.
    • Players take their turns anti-clockwise. First to play is the player after the dealer.
    • When the current game ends, scores are written in the global score sheet.
    • The first team to reach 151 points is the winner.


  • Always clear the colours, at which you don't have good cards. That way your teammate can eliminate those colours and hit you on the colour, at which you have strong cards.
  • Invent a good strategy. Belote is a game of thinking and logic.
  • There is a little trick you could do in the beginning of each game: After you have split the deck, hand it to the player who will be the dealer and flip the top card. Then give it to your teammate. This way you will know what he has. But remember, this is illegal when playing in a tournament.
  • In the beginning, do not play with scores. Just play for fun and try to learn the game very well.
  • Do not count the scores of both teams. Let just one count and then calculate how much the second team has scored.
  • Play for fun. It's nothing but a game.


  • Be careful with the cards, they could easily get torn after a long term use.
  • Do not turn belote into a gambling game. It's a sport, not a casino card game.
  • Cheating in this game is totally illegal. Do not cheat just because you want to win. Where is the fun in that?

Things You'll Need

  • A deck of 32 cards.
  • 4 players,divided into two teams.
  • A global score sheet.
  • A pen/pencil to write the scores.

Article Info

Categories: Card Games