How to Play Pitch

How to Play Pitch ​

Pitch is a popular card games that combines elements of strategy, skill, and luck. It is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and involves bidding, taking tricks, and scoring points. If you’re new to Pitch or looking to expand your knowledge, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the rules, strategies, and variations of the game. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to master the Pitch game and enjoy countless hours of fun with your friends and family.

How the Game Is Played

How the Game Is Played

To play Pitch, you will need at least three players and a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The deck is typically shuffled thoroughly before the game begins to ensure fairness. Once the deck is ready, the players gather around a table, and the dealer is chosen. The dealer rotates clockwise after each hand to give everyone an equal opportunity to deal. This game is usually played with a partner, so it is ideal to have two teams with 2 players each.

Bidding, Taking Tricks and Scoring Points

The game starts with a bidding process that determines the trump suit for the round. The trump suit is a suit that carries special privileges and outranks other suits during gameplay. The bidding process adds an element of strategy and excitement to the game, as players aim to secure the winning bid and assume the role of the pitcher.

The bidding starts with the player to the left of the dealer, and each player has the chance to either make a bid or pass. The bid represents the number of points the player believes they can earn in the upcoming round. The bids typically start at one and increase incrementally, with each player having to either increase the bid or pass.

The bidding continues in a clockwise manner until all players but one have passed. The last player remaining with a bid becomes the pitcher for that round. The pitcher has the privilege of selecting the trump suit for the round, giving them an advantage in gameplay.

Once the trump suit is determined, the game proceeds with the playing of tricks. A trick consists of each player playing one card, and the player with the highest-ranking card of the lead suit or the highest-ranking trump card wins the trick. The winning player collects the trick, sets it aside, and leads the next trick.

During each trick, players must follow suit if they have a card of the lead suit. However, if a player does not have a card of the lead suit, they can play any card from their hand, including a trump card. The use of trump cards adds a strategic element to the game, as players try to gauge the optimal timing and value of playing their trump cards.

Once all the tricks have been played, the round concludes, and the players proceed to count their points. Each card carries a specific point value, with face cards often worth more points than numbered cards. The exact point values may vary depending on the specific variation of Pitch being played. Additionally, teams can earn bonus points based on the margin of victory, further incentivising strategic gameplay.

The points earned in each round contribute to the overall score. The game continues until a player or team reaches the predetermined score, which is typically set at 52 points. Upon reaching or surpassing this score, the player or team is declared the winner of the game.

Pitch offers an intriguing blend of strategy, skill, and luck. Successful players must carefully consider their bids, make wise card choices during tricks, and adapt their strategies based on the ever-changing dynamics of the game. As players gain experience and familiarity with the nuances of Pitch, they can develop their own unique playing styles and strategies, adding depth and excitement to each hand.

Now that you have a solid understanding of how Pitch is played, it’s time to gather your friends or family, grab a deck of cards, and dive into the thrilling world of this beloved card game. May your bids be strategic, your tricks be successful, and your enjoyment be endless as you embark on countless memorable Pitch adventures.

Pitch Game Rules

Card Game Rules

Pitch is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with each player being dealt a certain number of cards depending on the number of players involved. The rules for dealing cards and gameplay can vary slightly depending on the number of players and the specific variation of the game being played.

Ranking of Cards

Understanding the ranking of cards is crucial to success in the Pitch game. In general, the cards are ranked as follows, from highest to lowest: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. However, it’s important to note that the trump suit can change the ranking of the cards during gameplay.

In the game of Pitch, there are several ways to earn points, each corresponding to specific card plays and outcomes. Let’s explore the different point categories in Pitch: highest trump, lowest trump, jack of trump, and game.

The highest trump is awarded to the player who plays the highest-ranking trump card during a trick. It signifies the skill and strategic decision-making involved in playing a strong trump card to win the trick.

Conversely, the lowest trump goes to the player who plays the lowest-ranking trump card in a trick. This demonstrates the value of carefully managing and strategically using lower-ranking trump cards to gain an advantage.

The jack of trump is earned by the player who plays the jack of trump during a trick. The jack holds a special status as a trump card, and capturing it in a trick is considered a significant accomplishment.

Finally, the “game” point is based on the number of face cards a player accumulates. Face cards, such as kings, queens, and jacks, carry additional point value. The more face cards a player collects throughout the game, the higher their game point total becomes. This rewards players who effectively utilise their hand and make strategic decisions to secure valuable face cards.

By having distinct point categories in Pitch, the game incorporates a strategic layer that encourages players to carefully consider their card plays and aim for specific objectives. Whether it’s playing high or low trump cards, capturing the jack of trump, or accumulating face cards for game points, each point category adds depth and excitement to the gameplay experience.


Mastering the Pitch Game

Mastering the Pitch game requires a combination of strategic thinking and adaptability. Here are a few essential strategies that can help improve your chances of success:

  • Pay attention to the bidding: The bidding process sets the tone for the entire game. Carefully consider your hand and the potential trump suit before making a bid.
  • Count your cards: Keeping track of the cards that have been played can give you an advantage in determining which cards are still in play. This information can help you make better decisions during gameplay.
  • Lead with lower-ranking trump cards: Leading with lower-ranking trump cards can force your opponents to play higher-ranking trump cards, potentially depleting their strong cards early in the game.
  • Observe your opponents: Pay attention to the cards your opponents play and the strategies they employ. This information can help you anticipate their moves and adjust your gameplay accordingly.
  • Teamwork is key: If you’re playing as part of a team, communication and coordination with your partner are crucial. Work together to maximise your points and outmanoeuvre the opposing team.

Essential Strategies for Success

To achieve success in Pitch, players should employ essential strategies that can greatly improve their gameplay. These strategies include paying close attention to the bidding process, counting cards to track the cards in play, leading with lower-ranking trump cards, observing opponents’ moves, and emphasising teamwork in team play. By implementing these key strategies, players can enhance their decision-making, adapt to changing situations, and maximise their chances of winning the game.


Pitch is a versatile game with various regional and personal variations. Here are a few popular variations that you can explore.

Exploring Different Pitch Game Variations

Some of these variations are: Oklahoma 10 Point, Contway 6 Point and Juniper Pitch.

Oklahoma 10 Point

Oklahoma 10 Point is a fascinating twist on the traditional Pitch game. In this variation, the objective is to reach a score of 10 points, deviating from the usual target of 52 points. As a result, the bidding process and gameplay are modified to accommodate the reduced score. With a lower target, players must employ different strategies and carefully consider their bids to ensure they have a realistic chance of reaching the 10-point mark. The lower point requirement increases the intensity of the game, as every bid and trick becomes even more crucial in the race to accumulate the necessary points for victory. Oklahoma 10 Point breathes new life into the classic game, offering a fresh and dynamic experience for players seeking a faster-paced version of Pitch.

Contway 6 Point

Contway 6 Point introduces a unique challenge by utilising a reduced deck of 33 cards instead of the standard 52-card deck. The objective in this variation is to reach a score of 6 points, adding a strategic twist to the game. With fewer cards in play, players must carefully assess their hands and adapt their strategies accordingly. Contway 6 Point requires players to think creatively and make the most out of the limited resources at their disposal. The reduced deck introduces a level of unpredictability and forces players to be more resourceful in their gameplay. This variation showcases the adaptability of Pitch, proving that even with fewer cards, the game can still deliver an exciting and intense experience.

Juniper Pitch

Juniper Pitch merges the elements of Pitch and Poker, creating a captivating hybrid variation. This unique twist introduces additional hands, such as flushes and straights, which can earn extra points. By incorporating elements from Poker, Juniper Pitch adds a layer of complexity to the game, as players must now consider the possibility of building specific card combinations to secure bonus points. This variation challenges players to not only focus on winning tricks but also on strategically collecting cards that can form powerful hands. Juniper Pitch provides a refreshing take on the traditional game, appealing to both Pitch and Poker enthusiasts by combining the best aspects of both games into one thrilling and strategic experience.


Beginning the Game with Bidding

  1. Deal the cards: The dealer shuffles the deck and deals a set number of cards to each player, following the specific rules for the chosen variation and the number of players.
  2. Start the bidding: Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, each player has the opportunity to make a bid. The bidding proceeds clockwise, with players making bids or passing.
  3. Determine the pitcher: The player who makes the highest bid becomes the pitcher. They then choose the trump suit for the game.

Playing the Game

  1. Lead with a card: The player to the left of the pitcher leads with a card, and the other players must follow suit if possible. If a player does not have a card of the lead suit, they can play any card, including a trump card.
  2. Win tricks and win points: The highest-ranking card of the lead suit or the highest-ranking trump card wins the trick. The winning player leads the next trick, and this process continues until all the cards have been played.
  3. Count points and determine the winner: After all the tricks have been played, the game ends, the teams count their points. Additional points may be awarded based on the margin of victory. The team that reaches the predetermined score or the most points first wins the game.


Do you have to follow suit?

In Pitch, players must follow suit if they have a card of the lead suit. However, if a player does not have a card of the lead suit, they can play any card, including a trump card.

How many cards are dealt for 6 players?

The number of cards dealt to each player in Pitch can vary depending on the number of players and the specific variation being played. However, in most variations, each player is dealt six cards when playing with six players.

Is it one deck for six people?

Yes, when playing Pitch with six players, it is common to use a single standard deck of 52 cards. The deck is typically shuffled and dealt to the players according to the rules of the chosen variation.