Cross Game Rules
General considerations

Cross Game can be played in 2, 3, 4 or even 6 as some suggest. The present page, however, will only tackle the rules specific for 2 players as this is the only available option at the moment.

The cards

Originally the game was played with the Hungarian playing cards (32 cards), but it can also be played with the normal Poker playing cards (52 cards excluding jokers). There are 4 suits (colors):

Poker deck Hungarian deck
Spades
Ace of Spades
Nut
Ace of Nut
Diamond
Ace of Diamond
Bells
Ace of Bells
Hearts
Ace of Hearts
Hearts
Ace of Hearts
Clubs
Ace of Clubs
Leaves
Ace of Leaves

Only 24 cards are used for the Cross game, 6 of each suit. Here are the cards, together with their point values, arranged in descending order of their points / value:

Card Poker deck Hungarian deck Value
Ace
Ace Ace
11 points
Ten
Ten Ten
10 points
King
King King
4 points
Queen
Queen Queen
3 points
Jack
Jack Jack
2 points
Nine
Queen Queen
0 points
Points & Values

A player collects all the cards from the hands he won, and sums up the card points. Additionally, the points awarded for the announcements he made are added to the sum. An announcement is made by a player when he owns a king and a queen of the same suit, leads the hand and plays one of the two cards from the mentioned pair. It doesn’t matter if he wins the hand or not. The awarded points are:

  • 40 points for king & queen, when the suit is trump
  • 20 points for king & queen, when the suit is not the trump

What counts for the game score are the cross points. 1 cross point equals 33 card points. If the number of card points is between the correspondences below, only the complete number of cross points is awarded (for example, for 110 card points only 3 cross points are awarded). Thus we have the following correspondences:

  • 1 cross point = 33 card points
  • 2 cross points = 66 card points
  • 3 cross points = 99 card points
  • 4 cross points = 132 card points
  • 5 cross points = 165 card points
  • 6 cross points = 198 card points

The sum of all card points is 120. If a player manages to make all the possible announcements he will get 40 + 20 + 20 +20 = 100 points. Thus the total number of card points one can get is 220, which means the maximum number is 6 cross points.

The game

Each player is dealt 8 cards, the rest of 8 cards remain in the deck, face down. An auction will take place and the winner decides the trump by playing the first card, a trump card. A hand is won by the player who played a card with a higher value (card point) of the requested suit (the suit of the first card played in the current hand). An exception is made when a user plays trump on another suit. The trump wins any card of other suit played by the opponent.

As long as there are cards in the facing down cards deck the players are not obliged to follow the requested suit. However, if he plays another suit than the requested suit, he looses the hand (unless he played trump on a non trump suit).

When the deck is empty, a player is obliged to play a card of the requested suit (follow the suit), if he does not have one, he is obliged to play a trump card. If he does not have any trump, he can play whatever card he wants.

If a player leads the hand and has a king and queen of the same suit and plays one of them, he is awarded the points for the announcement (40 or 20).

The player who wins a hand, leads the next hand.

When all the cards have been played, the card points are summed up, the announcement points are added to these, and the cross points are calculated. If the player has won the auction and the accumulated cross points are less than the auctioned points, the auctioned points are subtracted from his score. Otherwise he gets the accumulated points and they are added to the score. If the player lost the auction, the accumulated points are added to the score.

The player who gets to 15 first, wins the match. A player cannot win by a difference of 1 point. If there is such a situation the match is prolonged until one can get to a difference of at least 2 points.

The auction

The action takes place before playing the cards. After the cards are dealt the player whose turn is, estimates the number of cross points he will be able to make this game. Then the next player does the same thing. If the second one estimates more he wins the auction, otherwise he has to “pass” and the first is the winner. He who wins the auction establishes the trump, by actually playing a card of the trump suit. If the winner of the auction fails to make the auctioned points, they are subtracted from his score. However if he accomplishes his mission of accumulating at least the auctioned points, whatever he accumulated is added to his score.

If both players pass and do not auction any points the bidding fails, the cards are re-shuffled and dealt again.

The players alternate in being the first to bid / auction.

Exceptions

There are different variants concerning the rules for the auction / bidding process (such as "bidding on the basis of three cards only") or for playing the cards (such as “a higher card should be played by the opponent if he has it"), however they are not considered by the current implementation.