Deal all the cards (4 at a time) such that each player has twenty cards.
The cards rank as follows: A 10 K Q J.
The rest of the points come from meld (shudder). Meld points are based exclusively on the cards in your hand and thus can be counted before play actually starts after trump is anounced by the highest bidder (but you can have a pretty good idea before bidding starts). This is one motivation to get the bid -- some meld values are higher if the cards involved are in trump. E.g. if you have a double run, do everything you can to get the bid. The following table lists the type of meld and the point values.
|run||one of each card (A 10 K Q J) of the same suit||2||15|
|double run||two of each card (A 10 K Q J) of the same suit||4||150|
|triple run||three of each card (A 10 K Q J) of the same suit||8||225|
|quadriple run||four (you wish) of each card (A 10 K Q J) of the same suit||12||win|
|marriage||K and Q of the same suit (not counted if part of a run)||2||4|
|double marriage||2 K and Q of the same suit (not counted if part of a run)||4||30|
|triple marriage||3 K and Q of the same suit (not counted if part of a run)||8||60|
|quadruple marriage||4 K and Q of the same suit (not counted if part of a run)||12||120|
|Menage a Trois||K, Q, and J of same suit - same points as marriage|
|Run + Marriage||run with extra marriage||0||45|
|Run + 2 Marriages||run with 2 extra marriages||0||75|
|Run + 3 Marriages||run with 3 extra marriages||0||135|
|Aces||one ace in each suit||10|
|double Aces||two aces in each suit||100|
|triple Aces||three aces in each suit||150|
|quadruple Aces||four aces in each suit||200|
|Kings||one king in each suit||8|
|double Kings||two kings in each suit||80|
|triple Kings||three kings in each suit||120|
|quadruple Kings||four kings in each suit||160|
|Queens||one queen in each suit||6|
|double Queens||two queens in each suit||60|
|triple Queens||three queens in each suit||90|
|quadruple Queens||four queens in each suit||120|
|Jacks||one jack in each suit||4|
|double Jacks||two jacks in each suit||40|
|triple Jacks||three jacks in each suit||60|
|quadruple Jacks||four jacks in each suit||80|
|Pinochle||Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades||4|
|double Pinochle||two pinochles||30|
|triple Pinochle||three pinochles||90|
|quadruple Pinochle||four pinochles||160|
|Round Robin||Kings and Queens in each suit||25|
|double Round Robin||two Kings and Queens in each suit||200|
|Court Intrigue||Kings and Queens and Jacks in each suit||33|
Before play starts, all players display and count their meld. If the highest bidding team does not have at least 20 meld points, they go set and a new hand is started. The dealer can also choose to go set before play starts. In both cases, the bidding team has their bid subtracted from their total score, but the other team has no opportunity to gain any points.
The points are then tallied for each team. The final trick is worth an additional 2 points. Each side must have 20 meld to "get down" and 20 points (As, 10s, and Ks) to "save meld." The bidding team must have >= their bid to avoid going set. If set: subtract bid from total score, other team keeps their points.
The deal shifts to the left and additional hands are played till one team goes over 500. The bidding team wins if both go over.