Court piece

Court piece
Court piece
Origin South Asia (also popular in Iran, Suriname, Netherlands)
Players 2×2
Cards 52
Play Counter-clockwise (mostly)
Card rank (highest to lowest) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Related games

Court piece or rang is a variant of the card game whist in which eldest hand makes trumps after the first five cards have been dealt, and trick-play is typically stopped after one party has won seven tricks. A special bonus is awarded if one party wins the first seven tricks, or even all tricks. The game is played by four players in two teams, but there are also adaptations for two or three players.

Derived games have removed the special role of eldest hand or have added features such as the 2 of hearts as the highest trump (satat), the need to win two consecutive tricks in order to pick up tricks (double sar), or counting tens rather than tricks (dehla pakad).

The game appears to originate from India and Pakistan, where it is also spelled coat peace, kot pees or rung. Alternative names include seven hands, hokm (Iran), t'rup chaal and troefcall (Guyana, Suriname and the Netherlands). In English the game is sometimes referred to simply as trumps. Satat is the most popular card game of Mauritius.

Basic rules

The game is played with a full standard deck of 52 cards by four players in fixed partnerships, sitting crosswise. Cards are dealt in batches of 5–4–4.[1][2][3]

The player who sits after the dealer in the direction of play (which is typically counter-clockwise) is known as trump-caller. Having received the first five cards, this player announces the trump suit. The other players are not allowed to look at their cards before the trump suit has been announced. The trump-caller leads to the first trick. In trick-play the normal whist rules apply: Players must follow suit if possible, and the highest trump, or the highest card of the suit led, takes the trick. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick.[1][2][3]

The party that wins seven or more tricks wins the hand[4] and will usually stop the game at this point. Winning the first seven tricks is a special achievement known as kot or kap. Continuing afterwards and winning all tricks is a rare achievement known as a bavney or baunie.[1][2][3]

The first trump-caller (and by implication the first dealer) is determined at random. The role of the trump-caller only passes on to the next player if the trump-caller's party did not win the hand.[1][2][3]


In a simple scoring variant used in Iran, the winning party scores 1 point if the other team also won a trick, or 2 points for kot, or 3 points for hâkem koti, i.e. a kot achieved by the opponents of trump-caller.[2]

A scoring variant used in the Netherlands assigns 2 points to a simple win, 5 points to a kap and 15 points to a baunie. To score the 5 points for kap, the player who wins the seventh trick (but not his or her partner) must stop the game at that point. If a party goes for baunie but loses a later trick, then it is only a single win of 2 points.[3]

A scoring variant popular in India and Pakistan counts kots. Winning seven consecutive hands (none of which is a kot) is equivalent to a kot. A single bavney counts as 52 kots. Each time the trump-caller's party scores a kot, the trump-caller's partner becomes trump-caller.[1]

Minor variations

Sometimes the direction of play is clockwise.[3][5]

Instead of fixed partnerships, the partnerships may also be determined randomly. In this case the seating arrangement may have to be adjusted so that the players sit crosswise.[2]

After all cards have been dealt, it may happen that trump-caller does not hold a single court card. In this case trump-caller may be allowed to announce a redeal.[3] In another variation, trump-caller may call for a redeal if there is not court card among his or her first five cards, but may not do so more than twice in a row.[5] Trump-caller's partner may also be allowed to announce that they do not hold a trump and suggest a redeal. The redeal only happens if trump-caller agrees.[5]

Instead of making trumps, the trump-caller may be allowed to opt for a different procedure. In this case, trump-caller or dealer will turn up one of the remaining eight cards dealt to trump-caller for trumps, without looking at it first.[5][1]

A party that fails to stop the play of the hand after winning the first seven tricks, but does not win all tricks, may score only a simple win of the hand rather than a kot. In this case, only the player who wins the seventh trick may have the right to stop the hand.[3]

Closely related games


Satat, the most popular game of Mauritius, differs from court piece only in the special role assigned to the 2 of hearts and the existence of a system of signals for the exchange of information between partners.[5]

In this game the 2 of hearts is the highest trump. It may always be used to trump a trick, even if its owner still holds cards of the suit led. A player who holds the 2 of hearts but no other trumps need not follow suit when trumps is led.[5]

There is no fixed scoring system. Once all cards have been dealt again after a kot, each of the losing partners must pass a trump (or if they do not hold a trump their highest ranking card) to their right neighbour, who simultaneously passes them an unwanted card. However, the 2 of hearts need not be passed, and neither of the players who won the kot may use this opportunity to rid themselves entirely of a plain suit. The same principle applies after a bavney, except that in that case each player passes on two cards.[5]

Trup kasiet

Trup kasiet is a satat variant in which the trump-caller makes trumps secretly by putting a card face down. Until it is clear which suit is trumps, trump-caller must announce after each trick who won it. When the 2 of hearts is played before the trump suit is known, players may play any card. Since kot and bavney are more common in this variant, no cards are passed in the following hand.[5]

Double sar

Double sar or double siri, also referred to as double rang or double rung, is a variant of court piece in which tricks are not automatically collected by their winner's party. Instead they form a heap in the middle between the players until one player (not one partnership) wins two consecutive tricks, thereby winning the entire heap for his or her partnership. Moreover, the winner of the last trick always picks up whatever remains in the heap at that point. Some variations of double sar forbid collecting the heap when a certain common game situation occurs, such as winning the first two tricks or winning two consecutive tricks with aces.[1]

Scoring is by kots. In this game a kot is defined as collecting all tricks, which unlike bavney in standard court piece is realistically achievable. Winning seven hands in a row by collecting the majority of tricks in each is equivalent to a kot. A goon kot counts triple (or ten-fold). The game is popular in India and Pakistan.[1] Sar literally means head, but in this context refers to a trick.

Dehla pakad

Dehla pakad is double sar with the further variation that tens are counted instead of tricks. A kot is achieved when a party wins all four tens in tricks or if it wins seven consecutive hands by collecting three tens in each.[6]

Court piece variants with no trump-caller

Double sar and dehla pakad have developed variants which lack the special role of the trump-caller – otherwise a defining feature of court piece and its variants. The game begins without trumps, and the first player who cannot follow suit determines the trump suit with the card he or she plays. The heap cannot be picked up before the trump suit has been determined.[1][6]

In a variant described for dehla pakad, trick-play begins after the first five cards have been dealt. The first player who cannot follow suit determines the trump suit with the card played. This is the earliest chance to pick up the heap. At this point the remaining cards are dealt, potentially making it unverifiable that the player was in fact unable to follow suit. Therefore this game requires honest players. In the event that all players were able to follow suit in the first five tricks, a random card is drawn from the heap.[6]

In be-ranga double sar, the game begins after all cards have been dealt. The heap cannot be picked up before the subsequent trick after the trump suit has been determined.[1]

Adaptations for less than four players

In Iran, two- and three-player variants of this popular game are documented. For the three-player game, one of the 2s is removed, resulting in a pack of 51 cards. The cards are dealt in batches of 5–4–4–4. A round is stopped as soon as one player has won more tricks than any of the opponents would have if they won all the remaining tricks. (For example the game is over at 7–4–4 tricks, but not at 8–3–1.) If a player wins the first 7 tricks, the round is also stopped and the player wins 2 points (eldest hand) or 3 points (opposing player).[2]

In the two-player game, only 5 cards are dealt to each player. After eldest hand has declared trumps, each player discards 3 cards face down. Players then alternate drawing single cards from the stock until they have 13 cards each. Any card drawn may be discarded face down and replaced by the next card from the stock, which must then be kept.[2]


rang, rung, hokm, troef
trump-caller, caller, hâkem
Eldest hand, i.e. the player who sits after the dealer and leads to the first trick. This player also determines the trump suit.
kot, court, coat, kap
Winning the first seven tricks in a hand. In some scoring variants winning seven hands in a row is also a kot.
t'rup chaal
Leading a trump to the first trick.
rafeh koti
Playing a high card to the first trick in an attempt to prevent the opponents from scoring a kot.
goolah kot, goon kot, hâkem koti
A kot won against trump-caller's party.

Geographical distribution and naming

The game appears to originate in India and Pakistan,[7] where it is known under several names.[8] Court, coat or kot apparently stands for the achievement in the game, and pees is a Hindi word for to deal. In the alternative name seven hands, hands is Indian English for tricks. Immigrants from the Indian subcontinent brought the game to Suriname and Guyana, where it is known as troefcall ("trumps call", a mixture of Dutch and English) and t'rup chaal.[7][9][10][11] From Suriname it found its way to the Netherlands. Under the name hokm (Persian: حُکْم, trumps) it is also very popular in Iran.[12]

Satat is the most popular game in Mauritius, a group of islands whose majority population is of Indian descent. The name of the game is derived from saat hant, Hindi for seven hands.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McLeod, John, ed., Court Piece / Rang, Card Games Website.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h McLeod, John, ed., Hokm, Card Games Website.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Troefcallspelregels en bepalingen van de Troefcall Sport Bond Nederland.
  4. ^ In Indian English, the card term hand can refer to a trick. However, in this article the term is used with its normal meaning and refers to the set of cards which a player is dealt at the beginning of a game round, as well as to the entire game round played with those cards.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i McLeod, John, ed., Satat, Card Games Website.
  6. ^ a b c McLeod, John, ed., Dehla Pakad, Card Games Website.
  7. ^ a b Geschiedenis troefcall.
  8. ^ McLeod, John, ed., Card games in India, Card Games Website, McLeod, John, ed., Card games in Pakistan, Card Games Website.
  9. ^ McLeod, John, ed., Card games in Surinam, Card Games Website.
  10. ^ Troefcallspel weer te downloaden, Suriname Network Online, 2010-02-07, .
  11. ^ Parlett, David (2008), The Penguin Book of Card Games (3rd ed.), Penguin Books, p. 24, ISBN 978-0-14-103787-5 
  12. ^ McLeod, John, ed., Card games in Iran, Card Games Website.

External links

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