Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 04 Aug 2019, 09:45
For point values we are therefore left to the analogy of Tarot, with the basic rule that kings count the same as at least four of the Trumps. I say four Trumps on the assumption of Bolognese rules being the closest to the original, and also on the fact of the fourfold structure of Marizano's game. On that basis, I'd give the two highest and two lowest gods the same value as kings: Jupiter and Juno, and Daphne and Cupid. Let's say 5 points for these 8 cards.
The other 12 gods are empty. A trick counts for a point.
So, for the basic game, if we assume 56 cards dealt out to four players, that is 14 cards with no discard, 40 card points, plus 14 points for tricks gives 54 points up for grabs in a hand. If we give 2 additional points for winning the last trick, we get 56 points, which is the same as the number of cards, a neat coincidence. We can assume a fixed partnership form, who can strategize together (signals, some words?) and combine their points.
A full round is four deals, rotating counterclockwise, for a total of 224 card points in play. Here is where we have to get really creative, and assume that some other number was fixed upon, for which we have to create other points for sequences of trumps, or combinations like three and four kings, or a set of gods, according to moral category, for instance, e.g. all of the Virtues: Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, and Hercules. The combinations are where we can get really creative, for instance giving the Dii Consentes
pairings some point value, or references to some mythological event that involves specific gods.
So this is how I mean to be creative in coming up with rules, a plausible reconstruction, but not one I'd offer as an historical argument.
Would anybody be up for trying to make games for the Marziano deck?
There are two categories of tarot games that use combinations. The first is what Dummett called classical tarot and likely originated in Milan in the 15th century. Depaulis found it was played all over France during the 1580s. In this type, combinations are made before
play. The purpose of this is to let players get a partial glimpse into each other's hand to create strategies. Players that reveal their special cards are compensated with points for the risk they took.
The second type is associated with the Bolognese and Florentine games in which combinations are made before
play. McLeod notes that no other card games had this during "that period", which I assume to be around 1500 to 1800. I must point out that the most conservative Sicilian tarot games have faint, vestigial traces of combinations before and after play which may be why Villabianca called the game "little Gallerini". The spirit of these games is to make and break sequences as that is where the real points lie.
A sorely overlooked game is the one invented by Pier Antonio Viti of Urbino during the 1490s. Viti's game is often ignored as it does not adhere to tarot rules closely and is poorly thought out. Yet Viti did not invent his game in a vacuum, he clearly played tarot and borrowed much of the general structure from the rules popular in Urbino. When all cards are dealt, the players expose them to each other; this is very likely inspired by combinations but Viti doesn't do anything clever with this nor does he award players with points. At the end of the hand, players try to form the longest sequence to win. This appears to be proof that Bolognese-Florentine style gameplay goes back to the 15th century.
As for Marziano's pack I recommend the following combinations (which may overlap):
- Three or four trumps of the same morals
- A sequence of the top four trumps plus any consecutive trumps
- The same with the bottom four trumps
- The top two and bottom two trumps
- Entire hand consists of consecutive trumps
I am curious as to why your pack has 56 cards. Do you believe kings take the place of 10s? Without a discard, it is much harder to trump a king or make combinations. With a discard, honours can only be discarded to create an entire hand of consecutive trumps. There should also be a bonus for winning all tricks.
The Bolognese games are the only tarot games that have combinations and signalling together but not all of them do as there are many two-handed forms. I've compiled a list of games that have signalling from Dummett-McLeod volume 1, its supplement, and pagat.com. I haven't found any in volume 2 so far but I haven't finished it.
: 5.1-5, 5.8 (supplement)
: 8.11-12, 8.40-42, https://www.pagat.com/tarot/piedicavallo.html
: 11.1-4, 11.6, 11.13-18 with appendix
: 14.1, 14.6, 14.8