How can I become a Differenzler Jass pro?

Don't forget – practice makes perfect. Read our Jass expert’s tips carefully and put them into practice to come a step closer to winning a place in the Jass Olympics.

Trumps and points count

Count the trumps that have already been played. However, it would be even better to know which trump cards are still in the game and how many points each player has already achieved.

Opening the game

  • It is not usually advisable to open the game by playing a trump, because this will make it harder for the other players to win tricks. In most cases, this results in large differences. Of course, you must still seize your advantage. In the case of a zero declaration with 2 trumps, it is usually advantageous to open with a trump so that you are not left holding the last trump at the end.
  • Playing the trump Nine or trump Ace at the start of the game is generally frowned on. Remember that around 28 points are expected for the trump Nine and 22 for the trump Ace. However, there is no actual rule on this.

How to handle trumps

  1. 1. The trump Under/trump Jack is what is known as a free card, so you should hold on to it as long as possible. There is a general tendency for players to take a trick with the trump Under/trump Jack too early. You should no longer need to take a trick after the Under/Jack trick.
  2. 2. The trump Nine should be played in the first 4 rounds. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that the trump Nine will be beaten in a trick and that the expected points will be lost.

Game strategies

  • It is much easier to go slightly on the offensive: if your prediction is too low, you have to keep on “ducking” (i.e. trying not to take a trick) and you usually end up holding only strong cards.
  • Waiting till the end to make up your points total is not a sensible strategy, because another player may hold nothing but trumps at the finish and you could end up not winning any tricks.
  • When a trick that had been clearly expected is taken by another player, a “dangerous” card can then be played without further ado. This is usually beaten.
  • If you have enough points but only hold the Under/Jack and the Six in a particular suit, in most cases it is worth taking a risk and playing the Under/Jack first.

Assessing the match

At the start of a match it is difficult to assess whether too many or too few points have been predicted in total.

  • If tricks are immediately won at the start, it may be assumed that the declaration was too high or optimal.
  • If the trump Banner/Ten achieves a lucrative trick of 25 points or more, then a total of more than 157 points were probably declared. In this case, care is needed in order to reach the target score.
  • If all the players “duck”, the declaration was probably too low. However, it could also be the case that one player is holding a lot of trumps and lets some tricks go in order to win the others later.