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About Skat

Skat (German pronunciation: [ˈskaːt]) is a 3-player trick-taking card game of the Ace-Ten family, devised around 1810 in Altenburg in the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It is the national game of Germany and, along with Doppelkopf, it is the most popular card game in Germany and Silesia. It is considered one of the best and most interesting card games for 3 players.

History of Skat

Die Skatpartie (“The Skat Session” by Josef Wagner-Höhenberg)
Skat was developed by the members of the Brommesche Tarok-Gesellschaft between 1810 and 1817 in Altenburg, in what is now the State of Thuringia, Germany, based on the three-player game of Tarock, also known as Tarot, and the four-player game of Schafkopf (equivalent to the American game Sheepshead). It has become the most loved and widely played German card game, especially in German-speaking regions. In the earliest known form of the game, the player in the first seat was dealt twelve cards and the other two players ten each. He then made two discards, constituting the Skat, and announced a contract. But the main innovation of this new game was that of the bidding process.
The first book on the rules of Skat was published in 1848 by a secondary school teacher J. F. L. Hempel. Nevertheless, the rules continued to differ from one region to another until the first attempt to set them in order was made by a congress of Skat players on 7 August 1886 in Altenburg. These were the first official rules finally published in a book form in 1888 by Theodor Thomas of Leipzig. The current rules, followed by both the ISPA and the German Skat Federation, date from Jan. 1, 1999.
The word Skat is a Tarok term derived from the Latin word scarto, scartare, which means to discard or reject, and its derivative scatola, a box or a place for safe-keeping. The word scarto is still used in some other Italian card games to this day, and is not to be confused with the American game called scat

General principles

Skat is a game for three players. At the beginning of each round or ‘deal’, one player becomes declarer and the other two players become the defending team. The two defenders are not allowed to communicate in any way except by their choice of cards to play. The game can also be played by four players. In this case, the dealer will sit out the round that was dealt. Players may agree at the outset how many rounds/deals they will play for.
A central aspect of the game are the three coexisting varieties called “Suit“, “Grand” and “Null” game, that differ in suit order, scoring and even overall goal to achieve.
Each round of the game starts with a bidding phase to determine declarer and the required minimum Game Value (explained below). Then, ten tricks are played, allowing players to take trick points. Each card has a face value (except in Null games) and is worth that number of points for the player winning the trick. The total face value of all cards is 120 points. Declarer’s goal is to take at least 61 points in tricks in order to win that round of the game. Otherwise, the defending team wins the round. Points from tricks are not directly added to the players’ overall score, they are used only to determine the outcome of the game (win or loss for declarer), although winning by certain margins may increase the score for that round.
After each round a score is awarded in accordance with the Game Value. If declarer wins he is awarded a positive score, if he loses the score is doubled and subtracted from declarer’s tally (i.e. a negative score).

Eric Luz – interview about Skat in North America

About the Skat Club Calgary Jungs

The Calgary Jungs Skat Club is a card club that plays a German card game called Skat. Our club was founded in 1981 by Harry Bartsch, then run by Bernd Luz for many years and Eric Luz is now the current president.

Skat was created in Europe in the early 1800, and is now played all over the world.

We play one round of Skat in our German Club every Wednesday at 7pm, and a 2 round tournament on the 2nd Saturday of every month starting at noon.

We also play a 5 round tournament in early June and invite players from all over North America to attend.

We also play in tournaments in other cities and look forward to hosting the World Championship in Edmonton in 2020.

So now would be a good time to learn to play Skat.

We welcome all level of players, from expert to beginner, ( new player ), all are welcome.

Should you have interest in playing or learning to play Skat,

you can contact Eric Luz locally at 403-861-4644 or

Gut Blatt

Skat Club Calgary Jungs

Location: 218 37 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2L9

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Christian Fruhen Christian Fruhen from Calgary wrote on September 26, 2018 at 5:08 am
We play Skat every Wed. at 7PM at the GermanCanadian Club in Calgary. It is fun


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