In Italian, "scopa" means "to sweep." In the traditional Italian card game Scopa, players try to sweep all the cards on the table during play. Players are awarded points for achieving certain goals at the end of each round (each deal). The game is played in either two teams of two players or as individual players up to three players.
A Scopa deck has four suits: coins, cups, clubs, and swords. Each suit contains cards numbered 1 through 10. The dealer will shuffle these cards and deal out a set number of cards to each player. The number of cards dealt depends on the number of players. The dealer then places four cards face up in a row in the center of the playing space. Then players take turns trying to make matches to capture cards. To make a match, a player must play a card that is the same value (regardless of suit) as a card on the table. If the player can't do that, he can play a card that equals the sum of two or more cards on the table. So a player could match a 2 of cups in his hand to a 2 of swords on the table and take both cards. Or if the player has a 7 of swords in his hand, he can take the 6 of clubs and 1 of swords (6+1=7), then take all three cards. The card from the player's hand and the captured cards are won and placed face down in front of that player. These cards are out of play until scores are recorded at the end of the round. When a player makes a match that removes all the cards from the table, he has achieved a Scopa. A Scopa is worth one point. Play continues until all the players are out of cards, and then you add up the scores.
Scopa comes with 40 cards, two scoring reference cards, a 40-page scorepad, and illustrated instructions. The game is for two to four players.
We found this to be a fast-paced, fun game for people who really like card games. It's a change-up on traditional card games, and something families will enjoy playing together.
Scopa is for ages 10 and up.
Keeping score is a little complicated, so make sure you read the instructions carefully and keep the scoring reference cards handy.
If you wish to play Scopa as it is played in Italy, deal the cards to the right. Play also passes to the right, not the left, during play.
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