Money conversion is a funny thing. The moneychangers of this world would give you, in 1995, roughly ten or eleven Norse kroner per pound Sterling. On the other hand: folk living and working in Norway can assess the value of the kroner in terms of how much folk earn, how much goods and services cost and what it costs to rent or buy a home. Folk living and working in Britain can assess the value of the pound likewise. In these terms, the pound was, in 1995, worth about fifteen kroner: the kroner is worth about seven pence. These are the terms to use in deciding what things are cheap or dear in each land, so likewise they are the terms to use in deciding how large a stake is sensible in a bet.

So, when I say the kroner is worth `roughly ten or seven' pence I'm not giving an error bar of about three pence: the error bar is about one pence on the ten and slightly broader on the seven. It's up to you to decide which of these rough figures is relevant to you: if you earned the money in Britain, I'd advise you to use ten but if you earned the money in Norway, use seven.

# Davoserjazz

The game is commonly played for money, though I never do so myself: the folk who taught me reckon it quite good if played with one kroner (roughly ten or seven British pence) per point. At the cheaper extreme, I reckon it would be quite good at one British penny per point. There are of order a hundred points in each hand: anyone scoring points puts them (or equivalent money) into a pot. This is shared out, at the end of the game, in accordance with the outcome of the last hand. So you don't want to score many points and you want to do well in the last hand (which, again, involves scoring few points). You (collectively) have to decide how the pot is to be shared out before you start play: for an example, see below. With three players, it's common to give half to the first out, a third to the second and the remaining sixth to the last. For more: half to first, half of the rest to the next, split the remainder equally among the rest with rounding errors favouring the earlier of them.

If the number of players doesn't divide 52 (the number of cards in a pack) then some cards are left out to correct for this. First to go is the two of diamonds (sufficient for three players), next would (I guess) be the two of hearts (for five).

Each round of the game consists of seven hands: you can play as many rounds as you like. In each hand, all the cards are dealt out into equal piles, one per player. The dealer for each hand is the player to the left of whoever dealt the last hand (decide for yourselves who will deal the first). With the exception of the last, the hand is then played in a sequence of tricks (one per card dealt). The tricks are whist-style, with no trumps: that is to say,

• the player who `won' the previous trick `leads': ie plays any card (the player to the left of the dealer leads in the first trick)
• each player, proceeding leftwards round the table from the one who lead, plays a card of the leader's suit or, if holding no cards of that suit, plays any card (and definitely doesn't win the trick)
• the player who played the highest card in the leader's suit wins the trick.

There is a twist in the order of cards within suits: aces are alternately low (below the two on odd-numbered hands) and high (above the king on even-numbered hands).

Each hand is played to different goals and scored accordingly. In the first three (and the last) the basic unit of points is ten: in each of the second three, there are 100 points split progressively more coarsely. The first two hands are only concerned with the number of tricks each player wins: in the next two and the sixth, the aim is to avoid winning the tricks in which certain cards are played: the fifth is similar to these last.

The hands are as follows:

few
aces are low and you aim to win as few tricks as possible. Score ten points for each trick you won in excess of the least that any player won (so at least one player scores zero).
many
aces are high and you aim to win as many tricks as possible. Score ten points for each trick by which you fall short of the most that any player won.
clubs
every club card played scores ten points to the winner of the trick in which it was played: however, if one player manages to take all of the clubs, that player scores nothing and each of the others scores 100.
queens
every queen played scores twenty-five points to the winner of the trick in which she was played. Getting all the queens is a bad move and there is no need to play the tricks after that in which the fourth queen falls (but nothing to stop the players choosing to do so).
first/last
the first and last tricks played in the hand score fifty points each to their winners. The first is mostly a matter of luck, the last involves some skill.
whoever wins the trick in which the king of spades is played gets the entire hundred (and this is usually the last trick that folk bother to play in this hand)
qabbalah

is something completely different. Play proceeds leftwards round the table continuously (rather than in tricks), starting with the player to the dealer's left. At each turn, if there's any card you can play, you must play a card: otherwise, you score ten points and miss your turn. If you've got a seven, you can play it - thereby starting a pile for its suit. Once a suit's pile has started, you can play the next card upwards from its top or downwards from its bottom (in suit, of course). When a rising pile reaches king, it dies (turn the eight-to-king pile face down); when a descending pile reaches ace (which is low) it dies likewise.

Some cards may have been left out of play, in which case they can be brought in by any player, before taking a turn, as soon as it would be valid to play them. Thus when the descending diamonds reach three, a player can bring the two into play so as to be able to play the ace. Bringing such cards into play doesn't count as taking your turn: it's just something you can do in preparation for the turn. There's also nothing to stop you doing so when it isn't useful to you, which generally helps your opponents.

When you play your last card, you are out: the order in which players go out is their position in the entire round and dictates what share they take of the pot.

### An example of the scoring

As an example of the scoring, when I first wrote this page, we'd just had a game in which I went out first, with 210 points; Margareta went out next, with 315; Fabe was next with 115 and Mikkel was last with sixty. Putting all our points into the pot gave the tidy total of 700; we'd agreed before play started (that's when you have to agree these things) that the first would get half the points, next would get half the rest and the others would share whatever remained. So I got 350 out of a pot into which I'd put 210: a profit of 140. Margareta got 175 out having put in 315: a loss of 140, exactly matching my profit. So you can guess the other two balanced equally too. Since Fabe was just ahead of Mikkel, we decided she should get the extra half point; 88 less the 115 she put in left a loss of 27. Mikkel's 87 less sixty left him with a profit of 27 (phew !). If we'd been playing for real money, this would have left me with more money than I'd had in ages ...

Notice that the scores in the first six hands are not correlated (except via the players' relative skill, of course) with the order of going out in the last hand. Thus Margareta and I got to take most out of the pot because we happened to do better on the last hand despite our earlier failures. The variety of goals being pursued leads to a nicely varied game and makes it possible to do well despite poor skill (or luck) in some particular hand.

To clarify how the individual hands are scored, I may as well tell you how we got to our scores, hand by hand:

few
Fabe and I got away with one trick each, Mikkel took three and Margareta took eight: so zero for Fabe and I, twenty for Mikkel and seventy for Margareta.
many
the two M's took five tricks each, Fabe got the other three (oops) so I got fifty points and Fabe got twenty.
clubs
Fabe took tricks in which three clubs fell: I got lumbered with the rest, hence a hundred points to Fabe's thirty. The M's got off Scot free again.
queens
Fabe took a trick with a queen in it, so landed twenty-five points; Margareta got landed with the other three queens and, hence, seventy-five points. The lads are smiling.
first/last
I was lumbered with the first trick, hence fifty points, and Margareta with the last and its fifty.