All About … Scopa

13330-scopa-packageScopa is a 400-year-old Italian card game, part of a group of games known variously as  Scopone, Scopetta, and Scopone Scientifico.  The word “scopa” means “broom”, and refers to the action of taking all the cards from the table in a sweep.

The game is played with a 40-card deck, divided into 4 suits (either cups, swords, coins, and clubs; or hearts, diamonds, spades, and flowers, depending on the region).  Cards are numbered 1 through 7, then Knave, Queen, King.

Three cards are dealt to each player, followed by four cards face-up on the table. On his or her turn, a player may capture any of the face-up cards if he can play a card of the same value from his hand. If a player cannot make a capture, he must play one card to the table. After each round of play, cards are dealt out in lots of three until the deck is exhausted, at which point the scoring is calculated.

Players earn 1 point for a sweep; 1 point for capturing the greatest number of cards; 1 point for capturing the most cards of the coin suit; 1 point for capturing the 7 of coins (the “sette bello”); and 1 point for the best “primiera,” the highest number of sevens or high cards.  The game is traditionally played to 11 points.

A clever game with a lot of history behind it. Che bella gioco!

Scopa, 2-6 players, ages 8+  $14.99

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