Pisti - The game explained....

Pronounced Pishti this is a very popular card game in Turkey using a standard 52 card pack. Now whilst you may initially think this game is no more than an extended version of the childrens game "snap" it could not be further from the truth.

The strategy in this game is to try and remember which cards have been layed and how many of the same number remain.

Read on!

Pisti is normally played by four people in partnerships, partners sitting opposite. The direction of play is anticlockwise. (For practise purposes, two can play no problem).
The cards are played to a central pile, which can be captured by matching the previous card played or playing a jack.

Points are scored for certain captured cards.

The word "pisti", which means "cooked", describes a capture of a pile containing only one card, for which extra points are scored.

The Cut and First Deal

The dealer shuffles and the player to the dealer's left cuts the pack by lifting off a part of it and looks at the bottom card of the lifted part of the pack (which will become the bottom card of the pack when the cut is completed).

If this card is a jack, the cutter looks at the next card and continues until a card is reached that is not a jack, and places that card where it will be the bottom card of the pack.

The dealer completes the cut, deals the top four cards face down to the centre of the table, and then a packet of four cards to each player, beginning to dealer's right and ending with the dealer.

The remaining stock of (undealt) cards is placed face down to one side; the bottom card (the one the cutter looked at, which is not a jack) is placed face up at right angles under the stock, so that its value can be seen by all.
The dealer turns one card of the four in the centre of the table face up, to start the discard pile. If it is a jack, further cards are turned up until one is found that is not a jack.

In the unlikely event that all four of the centre cards were jacks, there would have to be a redeal.

The Play

The player to dealer's right begins, and the turn to play passes anticlockwise. A turn consists of playing one card from your hand face up on top of the discard pile.

If rank of the played card matches the rank of the previous card on the pile, the playing team captures the whole pile. The captured cards are stored face down in front of one member of the team.

The next player will then start a new discard pile by playing a card face up to the empty table.

Playing a jack also captures the whole pile, no matter what card is on top of it.

If the played card is not a jack and is not equal to the previous top card of the pile, the played card is simply added to the top of the pile. The team which makes the first capture also gets the cards which were dealt to the centre of the table.

Both members of the capturing team can look at these cards, but the other team are not allowed to see them.

Further Deals

When all the players have played their four cards, the dealer deals another batch of four cards to each player from the stock (but no more to the centre of the table) and play continues.

When these cards are played, the dealer deals a further batch of four cards each.

With four players, this third deal exhausts the stock (the dealer always gets the exposed card from the bottom of the pack).

When everyone has played their last four cards, any cards remaining in the discard pile are given to the last team that made a capture.

The play of the hand is now over, and the teams score for the cards they have captured are added up.


If the pile consists of just one card and the next player captures it by playing a matching card (not a jack), the capturing team scores a 10 point bonus for a "pisti".

One of the capturing cards is placed face up in the team's capture pile as a way of remembering the 10 points later when scoring.

If the pile consists of just a single jack and you capture it with another jack, this counts as a double pisti, worth 20 points.

A pisti can happen at any stage of the game, except that you cannot score a pisti for the very first card played by the player to dealer's right (capturing the original centre cards) nor for the very last card played by the dealer (just before the hand is scored).


Points are scored for particular cards, for the majority of cards, and for each pisti as follows:
Each jack . . . 1 point Each ace . . . 1 point
. . . 2 points
. . . 3 points Majority of cards . . . 3 points Each pisti . . . 10 points
There is a downloadable version of pisti here (.exe file but quite safe!)


Have fun!