Double Deck Pinochle Online: Play Double Deck Pinochle for Free [Single + Multiplayer]
Double Deck Pinochle is a fun trick-taking game played by 4 players. It combines a lot of fun elements like strategy, memory and teamwork. It's played by teams of two, and unlike other trick-taking games like Euchre, it requires an 80-card deck. Double the deck and double the joy in online Pinochle Double Deck!
You can play the game online for free, requiring no download or registration to get started. Play solo against the computer, join a public table to play against other people online or start your own private table and invite friends and family to play.
If you're in need of brushing up on the rules of Double Deck Pinochle, we've summed them up below. For people new to the game, we suggest going through our in-depth guide on how to play Double Deck Pinochle. On that page, you'll also find an interactive tutorial that'll teach you the rules by having you play a game while explaining the rules.
Double Deck Pinochle is a 4-player game where the players are split into 2 teams of 2 players. The goal of the game is to reach 500 points first. Points are earned through melding and trick-taking. Kings, Aces and 10s are each worth 1 point in a trick, and the last trick has a bonus of 2 points. Each team must score no less than 20 points in both melds and tricks to avoid penalties.
At the start of the game, each player is dealt 20 cards, and the trump suit is determined by having each player bid. The highest bidder chooses the trump suit and must have a marriage (King and Queen) in that particular suit. Tricks are played in clockwise order, with players needing to play higher-ranking cards if possible.
Double Deck Pinochle is a game of communication. Much of the strategy revolves around signaling your partner through the bidding process to develop unique systems to communicate hand strength. Furthermore, you want to get good at managing trump suits and meld points to maximize your trick-taking and scoring opportunities.
We've summed up the most important strategic points below. If you want to improve your skills even more, read through our Double Deck Pinocle strategy guide for in-depth tips and tricks to the game.
Signaling via a "meld" bid
In Pinochle, it is a valid strategy to use your bid to signal something about your hand to your partner.
Partners often develop unique systems for signaling via bidding, but a commonly used pattern works as follows:
If a player opens with a bid of 50, they usually want to choose trump. If their partner is the dealer, it may also mean that they have a marriage and are offering to choose trump in order to save their partner from being forced to choose trump. Remember that if the dealer is forced to choose trump but does not have a marriage, their team immediately gets 50 points deducted from their score!
An opening bid of 51 means you want to choose trump in a specific suit and also have some Aces in other suits (so the hand is reasonably strong).
An opening bid of 52 or more is an indication of the "trumpless" meld points in the player's hand (i.e., all meld except Runs or Royal Marriages). It indicates 20 meld points of this type (2 x 10 = 20). Similarly, 53 bid indicates 30 melds, etc.
If a player bids 1 more than the previous bidder, it indicates a desire to choose trump.
If a player bids 2, 3, 4, or more points than the previous bidder, they are telling their partner how many "trumpless meld points" they have. For example, suppose the first player bid 53 to show they have 30 meld. If you have 40 trumpless meld, you then bid 57 (4 extra points indicate 40 meld).
Bids of 60 or more are usually made to force other players out of the bidding. Remember that you are required to score your bid in meld and trick points, so bid wisely! If you bid 60 and only take 20 points in tricks, you must have 40 meld points between you and your partner to make up the difference.
General Bidding Strategy:
- When thinking about whether to bid or pass, use the "Show Meld" button to look for Marriages. Then, check to see whether you can get Runs in the suit of any Marriages. Runs will yield more meld points (see the meld table).
- Don't bid unless you have at least one Marriage!
- You will probably have more success winning trick points if you have a relatively large number of cards in the trump suit.
General Playing Strategy:
- It's usually best to play your Aces first. It gives your partner an opportunity to feed you lower-point cards.
- If your partner played a high card that is likely to win, you might want to slough your lowest ranking point cards so that they take as many points as possible, assuming that they win the trick.
- Try to keep track of which cards are played, especially the high cards (Ace, 10). If you notice all Aces in a suit have been played, you may be safe leading with a 10 of that suit (unless it is likely to be trumped).
Frequently asked questions
What are melds in Double Deck Pinochle?
Melds are special combinations of cards, such as "Pinochle" (Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades) or "Aces around" (an Ace in every suit), which contribute points to your team's score.
How do I signal my meld points to my partner during the bidding phase?
You can signal your meld points by carefully choosing your bid. For example, if you have 30 meld points, you can bid 3 extra points over the previous player's bid. More advanced players can develop their own bidding systems with their partners.
How do I find melds in my hand?
You can look for melds manually or use the "Show Meld" button during the bidding phase to display cards involved in melds that do not require a trump suit. You will need to look for melds that do require a trump suit, such as Runs and Royal Marriages, yourself.
What is the Bidder Out rule?
The Bidder Out rule is applied when both teams reach 500 points or more on the same hand. In this case, the victory is given to the team who declared trump, which is not necessarily the team with the highest score.
Can a card belong to more than one meld?
Yes, a card can belong to more than one meld if the melds are of different types. For example, the Queen of Spades can be part of a Pinochle meld (Type II) and a Spades Marriage meld (Type I) simultaneously.
What is a captaincy bid?
A captaincy bid, also called a take bid, is a bid that tells your partner that you want to choose the trump suit. An opening bid of 50 or adding 1 to the previous bid usually indicates a captaincy bid.