Troggu is a trick taking game for 3-8 players. It is played with a shortened Swiss Tarot pack.
The aim of the game is to win more than half the points in tricks by winning valuable cards.
The pack contains 62 cards in five different suits:
- A suit of cups and a suit of coins, both ranking from high to low: King, Queen, Knight, Jack, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
- A suit of swords and a suit of batons, both ranking from high to low: King, Queen, Knight, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
- A suit of trumps, which usually rank from high to low: The Fool, XXI, XX, ..., II, I.
The Fool is sometimes not the highest trump, this will be explained later.
The cards are dealt so that each player has:
- 3 players: 18 cards
- 4 players: 13 cards
- 5 players: 11 cards
- 6 players: 9 cards
- 7 players: 8 cards
- 8 players: 7 cards
The leftover cards form the Tapp.
Starting with the player to the right of the dealer, each player decides whether to Pass, play Tapp, or play Solo. As soon as someone bids Solo, the bidding is over. If someone says Tapp, anyone later can say Pass or Solo. If nobody said Solo, the bidding is over once everyone has spoken. If all players Pass, a Misère is played when playing with 6 or less players, otherwise the player with The Fool must play Tapp. If The Fool is in the Tapp, then the player with the I of trumps must play Tapp. If that is in the Tapp too, then a Misère is played.
In a bid of Tapp, the bidder takes the cards of the Tapp and discards the same number of cards to their trick pile. They cannot discard any 5 point cards, unless they have all four kings, in which case they may discard all four kings. In a bid of Solo, the Tapp is moved to the Soloist's trick pile but the cards are not looked at.
Calling a partner
When playing with 7 or 8 players, somebody playing Tapp is allowed to call a partner by naming a trump other than The Fool, XXI, or I. The player with this card will play with the Tappist, but does not reveal themselves until the called card is played. Somebody playing Solo must play alone and does not call a partner.
Usually, the Tappist/Soloist leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if possible, or if not must trump. A trick is won by the highest trump in it, or if there are no trumps in it, by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next. If a Misère is played, the player to the right of the dealer leads to the first trick.
The Fool usually ranks as the highest trump. However, if it is the only trump left in a player's hand and a player is required to trump, they may instead 'hold back' the fool and play any other card instead. If a player chooses to do this, the Fool now no longer ranks as the highest trump and instead will never win a trick. It is held back until the last trick, where it is shown and added to the fool holder's trick pile. A low value card is given to the winner of the trick in exchange. If the Fool is held back and led to the last trick, the next card played sets the led suit of that trick. If the Fool is not held back earlier on and then played to the last trick, it still wins the trick as usual.
Each card is worth a number of card points.
- The Fool, XXI and I are worth 5 card points.
- Kings are worth 5 card points.
- Queens are worth 4 card points.
- Knights are worth 3 card points.
- Jacks are worth 2 card points.
- All other cards are worth 1 point.
There are 114 card points in total.
If a Tapp or Solo is played, the Tappist/Soloist adds up their won card points (together with their partner's, if any). With 6 or less players, if they have more than 57 card points then they win 10 game points off of every other player if they are playing Tapp, or 20 if playing Solo. If they have more than 84 card points then they win double that amount. If they have won every trick, then they win triple that amount. If the score if 57-57, nobody scores.
With 7 or 8 players, the game point values are the same, only the partner of a Tappist receives payment from two opponents whilst the Tappist receives the rest. For example if Tapp is played and won for 10 game points, the partner receives 20 game points whilst the Tappist receives 30 game points if there are 7 players total, or 40 game points if there are 8 players total.
If all players passed and Misère was played, the player (or players) who took the most card points pays 10 game points to each player who took less than them.