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Parceiros de Retirada

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Parceiros de Retirada
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How to Play Truco

Truco is a card game so well-known and popular in Brazil that it seems like it was invented by Brazilians themselves, even having a commemorative date: July 11th. This game fills bars and pubs with fun and contagious joy, being also very common at parties and family or friend gatherings.

But did you know that Truco has European origins? That's right, it originated in England in the 17th century and spread throughout Europe, mainly Spain and France. It had a trajectory of forgetting, especially in England, and then a resurgence in these same countries, transforming and gaining variations with distinct characteristics.

As far as we know, Truco came to Brazil mainly through Portuguese immigrants, during the Jesuit period, and was widely played by the bandeirantes who explored Brazilian lands, also spreading throughout South America. Therefore, we can consider that, nowadays, Truco has already been incorporated into Brazilian culture.

Let's focus on Truco Paulista, as it is very common.

Important details to remember while playing

  • Number of components in Truco. If you want to know how to play Truco, first understand the game's formation. The most common is with four players, but it can also have six, depending on the variation. With four players, two opposing teams are formed, and with six players, two teams of three each.
  • Game analysis. Truco is a betting game. Therefore, you need to be strategic. Observe and analyze your opponent's moves to anticipate them.
  • Truco signals. Communicate with your partner through small signs and gestures, indicating something about your play or the value of your cards. For example, raise one or two shoulders, wink, move your mouth, among other gestures. Agree with your partner, before the game starts, on the meaning of each signal. However, note that in official championships, gestures or signals are not always allowed.
  • Use bluff wisely. Bluffing in Truco is expected. However, use bluffing strategically and try to perceive signals in your opponents indicating whether they are bluffing or not. Don't overdo it!

How to play Truco?

To know how to play Truco (Paulista), pay attention to the card values:

  • Order of cards in Truco - The general order is, from weakest to strongest: 4, 5, 6, 7, Queen, Jack, King, Ace, 2, 3. The cards 8, 9, and 10, besides the Jack, are discarded (leaving a deck with only 40 cards).
  • Order of suits in Truco - From weakest to strongest: Gold, Swords, Cups, Clubs.
  • Divide the team. The game rotates counterclockwise, with players from each team arranged alternately.
  • Each player receives 3 cards.
  • From the remaining stack of cards, one is drawn, called the “turn”. This will define that the strongest card of the round will be the card immediately superior to it. This last one will then be called the “manilha”.
  • In each round, each player puts a card on the table. The one who puts the highest value card is considered the winner of the round.
  • The team that wins the most rounds wins the game.
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Frequently Asked Questions

As Truco is a bluffing game, there is an interesting thing: a player can ask for “Truco” during a round. This means that he trusts his hand and thinks he will win. If the opposing team accepts the request, the round becomes worth more points. If they refuse, the round continues normally.

Bluffing without having very good cards can be a bluff to know the level of confidence of your opponents!

Some of the most popular Brazilian variations are: Truco Mineiro, Truco Gaúcho or Gaudério, and Truco Paulista.

In Truco Mineiro, the manilhas are fixed and the points are counted differently.

There are several online platforms where it is possible to play in various ways, including betting.

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