Pişti (pronounced “pishti”), sometimes known as Pişpirik, is a popular Turkish card game, using a standard 52 card pack. It is normally played by four people in partnerships, partners sitting opposite. The direction of play is anticlockwise.
Cards are played to a central pile, which can be captured by matching the previous card played or playing a jack. Points are scored for certain captured cards. The word “pişti”, which means “cooked”, describes a capture of a pile containing only one card, for which extra points are scored.
Cut and First Deal
The dealer shuffles and the player to dealer’s left cuts the pack by lifting off a part of it and looks at the bottom card of the lifted part of the pack (which will become the bottom card of the pack when the cut is completed). If this card is a jack, the cutter looks at the next card and continues until a card is reached that is not a jack, and places that card where it will be the bottom card of the pack.
The dealer completes the cut, deals the top four cards face down to the centre of the table, and then a packet of four cards to each player, beginning to dealer’s right and ending with the dealer. The remaining stock of (undealt) cards is placed face down to one side; the bottom card (the one the cutter looked at, which is not a jack) is placed face up at right angles under the stock, so that its value can be seen by all.
The dealer turns one card of the four in the centre of the table face up, to start the discard pile. If it is a jack, further cards are turned up until one is found that is not a jack. In the unlikely event that all four of the centre cards were jacks, there would have to be a redeal.
The player to dealer’s right begins, and the turn to play passes anticlockwise. A turn consists of playing one card from your hand face up on top of the discard pile.
If rank of the played card matches the rank of the previous card on the pile, the playing team captures the whole pile. The captured cards are stored face down in front of one member of the team. The next player will then start a new discard pile by playing a card face up to the empty table.
Playing a jack also captures the whole pile, no matter what card is on top of it.
If the played card is not a jack and is not equal to the previous top card of the pile, the played card is simply added to the top of the pile.
The team which makes the first capture also gets the cards which were dealt to the centre of the table. Both members of the capturing team can look at these cards, but the other team are not allowed to see them.
When all the players have played their four cards, the dealer deals another batch of four cards to each player from the stock (but no more to the centre of the table) and play continues. When these cards are played, the dealer deals a further batch of four cards each. With four players, this third deal exhausts the stock (the dealer will get the exposed card from the bottom of the pack). When everyone has played their last four cards, any cards remaining in the discard pile are given to the last team that made a capture. The play of the hand is now over, and the teams score for the cards they have captured
If the pile consists of just one card and the next player captures it by playing a matching card (not a jack), the capturing team scores a 10 point bonus for a pişti. The capturing card is placed face up in the team’s capture pile as a way of remembering the 10 points when scoring. If the pile consists of just a single jack and you capture it with another jack, this counts as a double pişti, worth 20 points. A pişti can happen at any stage of the game, except that you cannot score a pişti for the very first card played by the player to dealer’s right (capturing the original centre cards) nor for the very last card played by the dealer (just before the hand is scored).
Points are scored for particular cards, for the majority of cards, and for each pişti as follows:
|Each jack||. . .||1 point|
|Each ace||. . .||1 point|
|Clover 2||. . .||2 points|
|Diamond 10||. . .||3 points|
|Majority of cards||. . .||3 points|
|Each pişti||. . .||10 points|
Normally there will be 16 points to be divided between the teams, plus the piştis. However, if both teams take exactly 26 cards, the 3 points for the majority of cards is not awarded.
After the hand has been scored, the turn to deal passes to the right. The winners are the first team to have a cumulative score of 151 or more points at the end of a hand, or the team which has more points if both reach 151 on the same hand.
Traditionally the score is kept on paper using tally marks for tens, grouping them into fifties. The first ten is a horizontal stoke: , to which vertical tallies are added to make twenty: , thirty: and forty: . Fifty is indicated by closing off tallies to form a gate: .
On the score sheet each team has a column. The tally of tens is kept at
the top, and odd units are written at the bottom of each column. The
illustration shows a score of 64 to 38 for a game in progress. When a
team collects more than ten units at the bottom of the sheet, tens can
be transferred to the tallies at the top, and the number of odd units
Pişti is also commonly played by two players or by four playing as individuals. The rules are exactly the same as given above. It is also feasible for three people to play, each keeping an individual score.
A popular variation is to play with bluffing. When there is a single card on the table, the next player can play a single card on top of it face down, claiming a pişti. If the player of the first card believes this, it counts as a pişti for 10 points, and the card played is not shown. If the player of the first card does not believe it, the second card is turned face up. If it really matches the first card, then the pişti scores double – 20 points. If the second card was a bluff, and does not match the first card, the team which played the first card scores 20 points for exposing the bluff; in that case the two cards remain on the table and play continues. If you bluff when the face up card is a jack, then you will score 20 for a double pişti if you are believed, and if not the score will be doubled to 40.
Some descriptions do not mention the possibility of scoring double for a pişti made with a jack. It is possible that some players do not count this as a pişti at all, or only score it as a single pişti.