Baloot

balootWhere and how you can play the popular baloot game. A lot of people would agree with me that one of the best way to fight boredom is to play games. One of the most popular pastimes is playing card games. They have been around for a very long time. The idea of playing a game with a deck of cards is simple, but if you have ever played a game of cards then you know exactly how exciting card games can be. Card games could be played when having a get together with friends or you could play it with your family for keeping family bonds. Many Arab players play on the baloot championship and try to win the main prize.

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Baloot is a card game


We have popular casino card games like poker and blackjack; those that test one’s patience like solitaire and memory; and the ones that are popular among hobbyists which are the trading card games. Baloot is a card game which originated in Saudi Arabia. one of the most popular card games among the Arabian Gulf youth, and Saudis in particular is Baloot. People of all ages play it, but it is mostly popular among young men. It is a poplar trick card game played in GCC countries. GCC is an economic and political regional intergovernmental union which comprises of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The game baloot is similar to french game Belote.

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There are four players divided into two teams. A standard 32-card set is used with each player having 8 card.
Each team with two members are seated across each other at a table in such a way that no player can see the cards of each other. The game is normally played counter-clockwise.
The first dealer is chosen at random and after each hand the turn to deal passes to the right. The cards are shuffled by the dealer, and cut by the player on the left.
To enjoy and promote fairness in the game,few rules are upheld;

Ballot Dealing

The cards are dealt counter-clockwise starting from the player on the right side of the Dealer to the player on his Left. Each player receives a pack of three cards then two cards. After the four players receive the first five cards, the remaining cards are left face down except the card on the top, which is turned face up, and it’s called the bidding card.
As soon as a player takes the bidding card the rest of the cards are dealt:
2 cards for the player who took the bidding cards.
3 cards for the remaining players.

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Baloot Bidding

You get the chance to choose between Sunn and Hokom, which one supports your card. You decide your bidding on the public card that it shown to the players. The bidding are made in two rounds. If everybody passed on the first round the second round starts.
The player can propose Sunn or Hokom whether on the first or second round. If none of the players took the bidding cards in both rounds, the cards are reshuffled and a new round begins. The players on the right of the dealer becomes the dealer.

Gameplay

Choosing Sunn or Hokom the player on the right of the dealer starts the game. The following players should follow his suit. To win the game the player who takes most of the cards win, so the more you have higher cards the more the chance of winning.
In Hokom: The Player can’t follow suit and the opponent has already played a trump card, they must either play a higher value card of the trump suit (overtrump) or give a lower card of the trump suit if they can’t overtrump (undertrump).
However if the partner is winning the trick, a random card can be played.
In Sunn The sequence of the cards is A,10,K,Q,9,8,7 while in Hokom the sequence of the cards is J,9,A,10,K,Q,8,7
The highest Card wins the trick.

 

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Baloot Scoring

To score the points for the game, the team of the player who accepted the bidding card must score more than the other team. In Sunn they should score more than 65 points or more, otherwise the other team gets 26 points in the score. In case of Hokom the team who called the bidding card should score more than 81 points or more otherwise the other team will get 16 points in the score.