5-hand Pincochle

In my early college years, I got hooked on playing pinochle. Our version, played as a freshman in the dorms, was a simple single-deck game, and we played it nightly. I had a job working the security/front desk overnights in the dorm, and my floor mates would gather each evening, and we set up a tv in the lobby to watch Star Trek and Late Nite with David Letterman each night and played cards. They would usually stay up and play cards and watch the television until about 2 am.

My new obsession is 5-handed double deck pinochle that I hope to play when I go home for Thanksgiving this year.

5-handed pinochle
Several generations ago, my family invented a version of pinochle that allows five players to play and is won individually (not as a team). I think it speaks to our competitive nature that this is one of our favorite card games whenever we get at least five family members together.

At a family reunion this summer, I played it a bit and decided to write down the rules so I don’t forget the next time I play… one time, we tried to remember them after a long break, and we got it all wrong.

I still remember very distinctly the summer I learned to play this game. My cousin and great-aunt were visiting from the East Coast. After learning the rules and such, we started getting competitive. I remember being dealt an outstanding hand, outbidding my great-aunt (who was a legendary high bidder) with a bid of 72… and I managed to make it. It was a high point of my adolescence, for sure.

Hopefully, this version of the game is as cutthroat as it reads on the page We shall see. (Also, this seems worth a look)

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