Double-Deck Pinochle Rules

The Joseph R. Pearson Yacht and Polo Club Version
as recalled by Doug Lindholm


This version of Pinochle requires 4 players, two team of two.


Two pinochle decks are required, with the nines removed. (Why do I get the impression that this is not the way pinochle was originally meant to be played?)

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 point of the game is for your team to bring in enough points to make your bid (or keep the other team from making their bid, i.e. to 'set' them). The A, 10, and K are each worth one point, for a total of 48. The player of the highest card (or the first to play the highest card since there are 4 of each card in the game) takes the trick. The team of the player who takes the trick gets the points in the trick. (So if you know you are going to lose the trick, play a J or Q.) The bidding team usually counts on getting at least half of these 48 points.

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.

meld description points in trump
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


Bidding begins by the player left of the dealer and typically starts at 50+meld/10. The meld/10 serves as a clue to your partner about how much meld you have, so they know how high they can bid. Upping the bid by one is an indication tha tyou want the bid, not necessarily that you have 10 meld. You can usually assume that your partner will have about 10 meld points so only a meld/10 of 2 or greater is meaningful. Bidding continues to the left (by multiples of 5 after 60) until all but the highest bidder has passed. If everyone passes, the dealer gets stuck with the bid at 50.

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 high bidder begins play (with any card). Others follow suit with a higher card, if possible. If you cannot follow suit, you must play trump if you have any. The one who threw the highest card (first) (trump will always be higher than other suits) takes the trick (getting points for the As, 10s, and Ks for his team) and leads for the next trick. Play continues till all cards are played.

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.

See also