Quinto is only "historic"
Professor Hoffmann (Angelo Lewis) 1839-1923
in that it is over 100 years old, not in that it belongs to the natural history of card games. It was in fact invented around
1900 by Angelo Lewis, who edited card-game books under the pen-name "Professor Hoffmann". He edited an edition of
Hoyles Games which was one of the first I ever bought when I first started getting interested.
I include it because I find it delightful and imaginative - it is, indeed,
one of the few card games invented by someone else that I wish I had invented myself.
Cards and deal
Four players sit crosswise in partnerships and play to the left. From a 53-card pack ranking AKQJ1098765432 in each suit,
and including a Joker, deal 12 each in ones and leave the last five face down on the table as a cachette.
To score 250 points over as many deals as necessary. Points accrue for winning tricks (5 each) and especially for
any "quints" they may contain. The best quint is the Joker, or "Quint royal", worth 25 points.
Additional quints are the Five of each suit, and two cards of the same suit totalling five (A+4, 2+3) that fall to the
same trick. A quint in hearts scores 20, diamonds 15, clubs 10, spades 5.
Quints and their scores
Before play, each player in turn has one opportunity to pass, double, or redouble an opponent's double.
A double increases the value of
won tricks from 5 to 10 points in the current deal, a redouble further increases them to 20 each. An incidental but not
insignificant effect of doubling is to reduce the relative value of quints to tricks.
Dealer's left-hand neighbour leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow
suit if you can but may otherwise play any card. There is no single trump suit. Instead, the suits rank in order from low to
high: spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts. A player unable to follow suit to the card led may discard from a lower suit (if any),
or may "trump" by playing from a higher suit (if any). The trick is therefore taken by the highest card of the
highest suit played. The Joker may not be led to a trick, and cannot win a trick, but otherwise may be played at any time,
whether or not its holder can follow suit. (It follows that a player still holding the Joker at the 11th trick
must play it if the only alternative is to win the trick, as it would be illegal to lead it to the
During play, the side winning a trick containing a quint scores immediately for the quint (Joker, Five, A-4, 3-2),
according to its suit. If this brings them to the 250-point target, they win, and play ceases immediately. Otherwise, the
side winning the last trick wins also the cachette, which counts as a thirteenth trick, and scores for any quint(s) it may
contain. If neither side has reached 250, the thirteen tricks are then counted at 5, 10, or 20 each, depending
whether or not any doubling took place. If both sides are still under 250, or both are over but tied, there is another
deal. The turn to deal passes to the left.