How to Play Scopa Cards

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor
Card Players !

Scopa, an Italian word meaning "broom" or "sweep" is an Italian card game. The name Scopa reflects the object of the game, which is to sweep the table clean of cards to get as many points as you can. You can play this game with an Italian deck or an American deck of cards.

Shuffle and deal the cards. If there are four people playing, dealer deals three cards, all at once, to each player face down on the table starting with the player on the right. If there are three players, dealer deals four cards in the same manner to each player. Dealer then places four cards side-by-side face up in the middle of the table and replenishes them when needed from the cards left over.

Take a card from one of the four face-up cards on the table if you are the player to the right of the dealer, who goes first in this game. For example, if you have a 5 card and there is another 5 on the table, regardless of suit, you may place your 5 on this card and take both cards from the table. Set the captured cards to the side to make up your "score pile."

Take more than one card if you can. For example, if you have an 8 card, you can take a 5 and a 3 or a 4 and a 4 and so on if these cards are available face up on the table.

Make a Scopa (sweep) when you remove the last face-up card from the table. Each time you do this you receive one point.

Go around the table clockwise playing only one card at a time until the round is finished. Pass by placing one of your cards face up with the other face-up cards if you don't have cards that can be played.

End the round when all four cards of each player's hand have been played. Start a new round after dealer deals out three or four more cards to each player and end the game when all cards are gone.

Tally the score: one point received for the player or team with the most cards; one point for player with the most cards of Denari suit; one point for the player with the most 7s; and one point for the player with the 7 of Denari in his pile. If there is a tie in scoring than no score is awarded in that category. Reshuffle and keep going in this game until someone reaches 21 and wins the game.

Tip

If you have a picture card in your hand and there is a picture card on the table, then you must play that card before playing any other cards in your hand. To use an American deck, remove Queens, Kings and Jacks. Replace the Denari suit with Spades.