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  • 40 game cards
  • four scoring boards
  • four game pegs
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

To be the first player or team to score 11 points.


Scopa must be played with an even number of players. If there are four or more players, divide into teams of two. See The Team Game section below.

Grabs some pencils and give each player a score sheet. Select a player to act as the dealer for this round (each round a new player acts as the dealer).

The dealer shuffles the card deck and deals each player three cards, face down, one at a time. They then place four cards face up in the middle of the table and place the remaining deck to one side.

Game Play

Play starts with the dealer and moves in a clockwise direction. The dealer looks at the three cards in their hand before attempting to match one card from their hand with one or more of the four cards laid face up in the middle of the table.

There are several ways in which a player can make a card match. See matChinG Cards. If the player is unable to make a match they must select one card from their hand and place it face up in the middle of the table with all the other cards. Their turn is over.

Play continues in this manner with players taking turns to either make a card match or discard a card from their hand. When all players have no cards left in their hand the dealer deals out three more cards to each player and the round continues. Players keep playing until there are no cards left in the deck and the cards in their hand are gone.

If there are any cards on the table after the last card of the last hand has been played, it's that player who picks up all the remaining cards.

The round is now over and players may now add up their scores and mark them down on their score sheet. The first player or team to collect 11 points wins the game.

Understanding the Cards

There are 40 cards in each Scopa deck. Each deck is made up of four suits: Coins, Clubs, Cups and Swords, which each contain 10 numbered cards.

The card designs are based on a classic Italian design although these may vary from region to region.

Matching Cards

  • Single Number Match Example

    If a player has a 6 in their hand and there is a 6 on the table this is a straight match. They simply lay their card over the card on the table before picking up both cards and placing them at their side.

  • Combination Match Example

    If a player has a 6 in their hand they may pick up a 4 and a 2 from the table or any combination of cards that adds up to 6 (5 and 1, 3 and 3 etc). BUT this can only be done if the player does not have a matching single number card in their hand.

  • Scopa Match Example

    Scopa means 'sweep' in Italian. If you find that you have a card in your hand that is equal to the sum of all the cards on the table you may 'sweep' up all the cards in one move.

    For example, if you have an 8 in your hand and on the table were the cards 3, 2, 2 and 1 then you have a number match and a 'Scopa' and can collect all the cards.

End of the Game

The first player or team to score 11 points wins the game.

There are five ways to score in Scopa. Mark each point you score on your score sheet and total your score for that round.

If there are ties, no one gets the point.

  • Scopa: Each Scopa collected during a round - score 1 point.

  • Most Cards: The player with the most cards - score 1 point.

  • Sette Bello: Picking up the 7 of Coins card - score 1 point.

  • Dinaro: Picking up the most Coins suit cards - score 1 point.

  • Primera: Highest score - score 1 point. The highest score or Primera is calculated by finding the "best" card in each of the four suits in a players captured card collection. Use the chart to the right to add the four cards' "scores" together.

The Team Game

If four or more people are playing you may form teams (players sit across from each other when playing in teams). If there are six or more players use both decks of cards.

Players play each round as normal but combine their captured cards at the end of each round before counting and scoring. Players still score one point for each Scopa.

Scopa d assi

The rules for Scopa d'Assi are the same as Scopa, with the following exception: if a player can match an Ace from their hand with one on the table, they may pick up all the cards.


Like Scopa, Briscola is played with an even number of players. If there are four or more players, divide into teams of two. If there are six or more players use both decks of cards.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to win tricks and score more points than your opponents. To the right is the ranking and value of the cards.

Unlisted cards are ranked in descending order from 7 to 2, but have no point value.

However, please note the special ranking of the 3. There are a total of 120 points in each deck of cards

Game Play

Each player cuts the deck of cards and the player with the highest card is the first dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck and, moving counter-clockwise around the table, deals three cards to each player.

If there are only two players, each player receives nine cards. Following the deal, the top card is turned over and left face up on the table. This is the Briscola and is the trump suit for the game. The remainder of the deck is left face down.

Play commences with the player to the right of the dealer laying the first card face up on the table. Moving counter-clockwise, each player plays one card in turn bearing in mind that the objective is to win the trick.

The winner of the hand is determined as follows:
  • If any Briscola cards have been played, the highest value trump wins the trick
  • If no Briscola cards are played, the highest card in the lead suit wins the trick.

For example: if the lead card is a 7 of Clubs and the highest Clubs card played during that hand is the Jack, then the Jack takes the trick.

Unlike other trump card games, players are not required to follow suit - that is, to play the same suit as the lead player. Once the trick has been won, the winner collects those cards from the table and keeps them in a pile in front of them.

Before commencing the next hand, which starts with the winner of the previous trick, each player draws a card from the top of the deck and adds that card to their hands.

Important note: As the game progresses and the deck has been completely used, the last card to be picked up from the table will be the up-turned Briscola.

End of the Game

When all the cards have been used, players calculate the value of the cards in the tricks they have won and the player or team with the highest score is the winner.

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