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Skat School - "Bid, Baby, Bid!"


Tonight we are going to think about bidding systems. The goal is not to mimic a particular bidding system, but rather to develop our own personal system--one that is most compatible with our own skill level and style of play. Any Skat player will maximize their score when their bidding system aligns best with their ability to play themselves out of the little "tight spots". You know, the ones that arise when you find those two dud cards in the Skat or you discover to your chagrin that the trumps or side suits are sitting lopsided between the defenders. That said, a Skat player should always bid when the odds are squarely in his/her favor and must learn to recognize when that is indeed the case to succeed. Otherwise, you are literally just leaving points sitting on the table! And that makes the Skat gods so very sad...

So we'll examine some bidding systems from three veteran players: Skat author, Joe Wergin, Skat superstar, Ron Link, and even the system used by our own club champion, Kevin, who has shared it with me to share with you. Learn what these successful players consider in the bidding process, take the pointers that seem most helpful, recognize when the odds sit heavily in your favor--even though it does not seem that way at first--and move along the path toward developing your best possible style as a Skat player. One thing I can say is that, for some of our club members, it involves pushing a bit and overcoming that basic fear that, OMG, I might actually lose a hand. Horrors!! It's really no big deal, folks. Remember, it's total points, not fewest lost games, that determines the outcome of the game. Playing 18-4 usually beats the living tar out of playing 6-0!

My hope is that this session will have a greater positive impact on our scores than most of our sessions. Once we look at the three bidding systems, we'll put what we learn into practical use:

    • When to push a Suit game to a Hand game
    • When to push for a Grand when you don't quite have one
    • When to push for a Null Ouvert

Skat School is the chance for beginners to learn Skat, developing players to hone their skills at Skat and experienced players to participate in a shared learning experience that can still better their play at this truly amazing and unique card game.

The topic of our sessions will be adjusted to fit the playing level of the participants, so if you are a beginner, don't worry--we will gladly get you started playing Skat. If you are more experienced, we will have something helpful for you too. Typically at Skat Schools, the game score is drastically de-empahsized (often ignored) and we table talk, but with a definite purpose in mind. That purpose is to not just learn how to play Skat, but also to learn how to PLAY WELL.

I am extending a special invitation to those players who have signed up for our Meetup group, but still don't know the game well enough for club play to come on out and join us for a relaxed and fun evening at a card-friendly venue with great Mediterranean food.

We don't bite, but we just might schnibbel for your tens!

Bill T

CSC Organizer



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  • Bill T

    Well, a few of the exercises that I left to chance fell flat when the Skat gods put either D - 9 (bad) or two jacks (good) in the Skat and nothing in between! But I think you guys got the message. The top three jacks, even with nothing else, is a very biddable hand because of all the possible helper cards. So is a hand with 5 full ones and nothing. And a hand with six full ones is one you should not let go easily.

    We had a great example come up where Don pushed a null ouvert and found badly for it, but looking again he had the club jack, three aces, a ten to match an ace and nothing else, putting two K's under. So by risking just 4 more negative points, he can play grand, and if all the full ones walk he squeaks it out. And indeed they did. A great "sand save".

    March 21, 2013

  • Bill T

    Wow, 8 Skat schoolers, even without my kids! I knew that baby picture would be just irresistible! LOL

    March 19, 2013

  • Jeannette

    Maybe late. Don't wait for me.

    March 19, 2013

  • Bill T

    Plus Rick

    March 16, 2013

6 went

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