Scientific Scopone: how to play and rules


How to play scientific scopone, what it consists of and differences with the traditional broom, type of deck, score and what are the rules of the game.

Rules discovers Chitarrella

Chitarrella, an eighteenth-century monk who wrote a treatise on some card games, compared the scientific scopone to a large broom, although unlike the latter, it requires more memory and intuition.

The scientific scopone is, among the most popular games in Italy, the one that offers the most chance of winning to the player who, despite being in possession of unfavorable cards, exercises all his ability.

To play scientific scopone the deck of 40 cards is used, comprising four groups of 10 cards each: cups, swords, sticks, money.

For each suit there will be in the deck, an ace or 1, a 2, a 3, a 4, a 5, a 6, a 7, a horse, which is worth 8 points, a woman who is worth 9 and a king, who it is worth 10.

The best known scopone is played in four, with the players divided into two pairs.

Final score

a) A point will be awarded to the pair who, at the end of the game, will have conquered at least 21 cards, that is more than half of those that make up the deck.

In the event that both pairs find 20 cards in their hand, the point will not be awarded, because the pairs have gone even, that is, they have "patted".

b) A point will go to the pair who, at the end of the game, will be in possession of the highest number of diamonds, that is to the pair who finds more than five cards of this suit.

In the event of a tie, the point will not be awarded to either of the two pairs and it will be said that the opponents have skated.

c) The couple in possession of the 7 of diamonds, called settebello, will receive a point.

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d) One point will be awarded to the couple who made the first game. By primer, we mean the set of four cards of the same value, but of different suits.

To establish which of the two pairs made the first step, the calculation must be made taking into account these values:

- the ace is worth 16

- 2 is worth 12

- 3 is worth 13

- 4 is worth 14

- 5 is worth 15

- 6 is worth 18

- 7 is worth 21

- each figure is worth 10

This score has value only in order to establish who won the primera and therefore who will be entitled to a point.

The scopone game usually ends when one of the couples reaches 11 points.

In the event that the two couples reach the necessary points for victory together, the game will continue until one of the two couples takes the lead over the other.


Once the first dealer has been chosen, during the game, the other players will take turns playing this role, starting from the one on his right and continuing counterclockwise.

After shuffling the cards and having the player on his left cut the deck, the dealer will deal the cards starting with the player on his right.

Usually each player, the dealer, hands out a triad of cards three times.

Consequently, at the end of the deal, each player must have 9 cards in his hand, and there will be 4 cards on the table face up.

If one or more cards are dealt face up randomly during the deal, the cards will have to be redone.

If, however, the dealer makes a distribution error and a player finds himself in the hand more or less cards than he should have, it will be the first of the hand, i.e. the game that is to the right of the dealer, to determine whether that distribution should be repeated or not.

In the event that the four cards face up on the table are four or three kings, the cards must be redistributed, because the game would be blocked.

Playing the game

During the game, each player plays one card at a time, trying to take one or more cards that are on the table, if he does not have the possibility to take any card, he must also drop one of his cards face up, on the table next to the other.

If the player wants to take two or more cards that are on the table with one of his cards, he can only do so if there is no card on the table that is the same as the one he wants to play.

For example, if he wants to play a 5 and there is a 5 on the table, he will have to take that 5, even if there is a 3 and a 2 on the table, which give the sum of 5.

That is, if there is a card of the same value on the table as the one played, the player must take that, and not a mix of multiple cards.

He gets broom when he takes all that is on the table with a card.

Then put the card that allowed us to make a broom, face up under the bunch of conquered cards.

When the last card of the deck is played and with this card all those on the ground are taken, it will be considered a normal hold and not a broom.

In the event that at the end of the hand, when all the cards in the deck have been played once, they remain on the table of cards, they will go to the player who made the last trick.

Purpose of the game

The fundamental rule of Scopone is: the dealer and his partner, during the game, must try to keep the cards paired, that is, of the same value, while the pair of opponents will do everything to mismatch them.

The 48 rule

In the game of scientific scopone there are some rules that can help understand which cards are left in the hands of the opponents.

The best known is the 48 rule, which allows players to remember which cards are paired and which are mismatched.

For example, if the first player in the hand takes an 8 with a 6 + 2, the unpaired numbers are 2, 6 and 8.

At this point if someone makes another trick equal, 6 + 2 = 8, these cards reappear.

If, on the other hand, the hold was 2 + 5 = 7, 2 would reappear and 5,6,7 and 8 would be spread.

In this way, by trying to keep in mind which cards have been mismatched, the player will be able to understand, before the last turn of the hand, which cards the other three players are holding.

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