If you've never played a card game where you have to bid, bidding may seem complicated.  Here's the simplified version.

Why bid?  If you sit there and do nothing, Tarock will seem boring.  You've got to get in there and bid and declare a game or two and score some points.  You might get set every now and then (which means you might lose some points) but, after all, it's just a game and even getting set is much more fun than sitting there passively.

In Tarock, there are eleven different games.   The easiest game that you can win is "Three."  It's the easiest because you get to discard 3 bad cards from your hand and pick up 3 good cards from the Talon.  Also, you get to call a partner (it's easier to win when you play with a partner than it is playing solo).  Because it is so easy to win, the game of "Three" is only worth 10 points.

The next game, "Two," is a little harder to win because you can discard only 2 bad cards. Because it's harder to win, it's worth more points; 20 to be exact.

Each of the eleven games gets progressively harder to win, and the harder the game, the more points you can win!  Easy, so far...

Now, the way you bid is to just name the game you think your cards are suited to win.  Because "Three" is easy, the first person to bid usually will say, "I'll go Three."  If someone doesn't name a harder game ( or as we say, "a higher game"), then "Three" wins the bid.  The player who declared "Three" goes on to call a partner, discard 3 cards, etc.

The order of the games goes like this:   Three(10pts), Two(20pts), One(30pts), Three Solo(40pts), Two Solo(50pts), One Solo(60pts), Barach(70pts), Solo No Peek(80pts), Open Barach(90pts), Colour Valat(125pts), Solo Barcelona(250pts).

Usually, the first person to bid starts with Three and the bid continues around the table with players either naming higher games or passing.   However, if you have a totally awesome hand, and you're the first player to bid, you can bid Solo Barcelona right off the bat, not even giving the other players a chance to bid (because Solo Barcelona is the highest bid, the other players will have to pass).   Or, you can tease them by starting the bid with Three.  If another player bids Two, you still have a chance to either match their Two or bid a higher game.

So, if you have a Solo Barcelona and start the bid with Three, and player Z bids Two, you can then bid Two.  Player Z must bid higher than Two or pass.  If Z passes you win the bid with Two which means you can play with Two or declare any higher game.  Of course, you're going to declare Solo Barcelona.

After you matched Z's bid of Two, Z must bid higher than Two.  Naturally, One is the next sequential bid, but Z could bid any higher bid.

If you're going to bid, it's good to have a bunch of high Tarocks in your hand. Seven or 8 low Tarocks may lose because opponents will be able to overtrump you, thus capturing vital points.

Of course, you may have only one or two low Tarocks, in which case you'll bid Barach or Open Barach - Tarock is one of the few games where a really bad hand can actually be a good thing.

During the bidding, no one knows what's in the Talon. There may be Tarocks, big point cards or little point cards. There may be diamonds, hearts, clubs or spades in the set you want to pick up, and this will change your discard strategy. Essentially, the set you choose from the Talon and the cards you discard will come from, yes, experience.

Throughout the site you will find some basic guidelines for bidding. By no means set them in stone; experience will always be your best guide!