The Cuatrola is a Tute variant played in some zones of the center of Spain. If you already know how to play Tute, just read the differences between both games.
It is an Spanish card game, using only 20 cards (Aces, Threes and figures).
The Spanish pack has 40 or 48 cards distributed in four suits: oros (golden coins), copas (glasses), espadas (swords) and bastos (sticks); the picture cards are sota (jack,10), caballo (horse,11), and rey (king,12). Most games are played with the 40 cards pack (pictures and cards from ace to seven), but some of them need also eights and nines.
Four players take part in the game.
The main objective is to be the first to achieve the agreed number of points, usually 21; and the objective in every hand is to get the highest amount of points with the cards taken through all the tricks.
The hierarchy between cards of the same suit in order to determine the winner of the trick goes, from the highest to the lowest, as follows: Ace, Three, Rey, Caballo and Sota. Between different suits, this is the order: the highest are the trumps, next the opening suit in the trick, and finally the other two suits can´t be used to win the trick.
How the game goes on
Start of the game and each of the hands
At the start of every hand the player at the left of the dealer must cut the pack; 20 cards of the pack are dealt one by one between the four players, and finally the last card received by the dealer is shown to all the players, since the trumps are set by that card.
In every hand all the cards are played once. In every trick all the players throw one card; always one of the players wins the trick and takes thrown cards.
Before playing the cards players have the option to throw a bet, or just pass. There are 3 possible bets:
- Solo (alone): the pair who wins the hand will sum two points instead of one.
- Cuatrola: the player stands that will be able to get four of the five tricks in the deal. Only the number of tricks will be counted, and there will be 4 points to play in the deal.
- Quintola: same as the cuatrola, but the player stands that is going to get the 5 tricks, and there are 5 points to play.
The betting is done in one only round, and players who don´t increase previous bets must pass.
When someone has thrown a bet, the partner does not take part in the deal.
The pair who has already got at least 17 points can´t make any bet that could give them more than the necessary 21 points to win the game.
Playing the cards
The leader may throw any card; the other players, from left to right, throw each one card complying with the following rules:
- The first priority is the obligation to beat (montar) and assist: the player who has the turn must assist throwing a card of the opening suit and, if possible, beat the highest card on the table.
- The second priority is the obligation to fail (fallar): if the player who has the turn has not any card of the opening suit, and it is possible to use some trump that could beat all the cards on the table, it must be used.
- Finally, if it is not possible to beat, assist or fail winning all the cards on the table, any card may be used.
- The player who has thrown the highest card according to the above mentioned hierarchy will take the trick.
- The player who wins the trick will open the next trick.
When one player has in his hand the king and the caballo (knight) of the same suit, he has the chance to make a cántico (canticle).
The pair gets 40 points if the king and caballo are the trumps suit, or just 20 points in any other case.
Each player must make his first canticle just when the pair has won the first trick in the turn (so the pair can make up to two canticles simultanously). If they have more possible canticles, they must wait until winning successive tricks. If it is possible to make more than one canticle, the 40 points canticle must be made first.
You can perform the canticles by clicking on the corresponding icon as soon as you have the necessary cards; the program will show the canticle when it is possible.
Canticles are not available when someone is playing for Cuatrola or Quintola, due that only the number of tricks is taken into account in those cases.
Scoring the tricks
After playing all the cards, the score got by every player is counted, adding also the points got by the canticles.
Scores are counted in pairs of players.
The pair who achieves the last trick adds 10 more points.
The hand is won by the pair who gets the highest amount of points. If both pairs get the same score, the pair who gets the last trick is the winner. When the amount is higher than 100 the count is made as if the winning pair would have won 2 hands.
The counting rules are only used when there is no any bet or it is a solo; in case of cuatrola or quintola, only the number of tricks is counted.
End of the game
The game ends when one of the pairs reaches or beats the score set before the start of the game. Ususally it is 21 points, but Ludoteka offers the option to play until 11 or 16 points.
Differences with tute
If you also play Tute, it will be very easy to learn cuatrola. Here are the differences:
- Only 20 cards are used (figures, aces y threes); so, 5 tricks are played in every dealing.
- Before playing tha cards, player may bet for solo, cuatrola or quintola (increasing possible previous bets), or just pass.
- If someone has thrown one bet, the partner must leave the cards on the table and does not take part in the game.
- If the bet is cuatrola or quintola only the number of tricks is taken into account. The player who has thrown the bet must get 4 tricks if it is cuatrola, or all of them if it is a quintola.
- The points achieved are: 1 for a normal bet (all players pass), 2 for a solo, 4 for a cuatrola and 5 for a quintola. There is not any additional prize for reaching more than 100 points in the dealing.
Play online with some other players
Play by yourself: Cuatrola
Campionat Comarcal de Cuatrola en Cirera
Cuatrola - Wikipedia
Las 40 reglas generales de la cuatrola de El Narro
Reglamento de la cuatrola